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Philosophy Major & Minor

An undergraduate degree in philosophy is based on the critical interrogation of the history of philosophy in the context of enduring and emerging questions. Students who study philosophy explore the nature of reality (metaphysics), what distinguishes knowledge from opinion (epistemology), and what actions and lives are praiseworthy and blameworthy (ethics).

Such study develops strong critical thinking skills, rigorous logical analysis, clear writing, and imaginative conceptual vision. It also provides students with excellent background for a wide variety of paths in graduate and professional education, and a highly competitive skill set if they decide to pursue employment directly upon graduation.

Students may opt for a Philosophy major or minor. Students may also craft their own concentrations within the major, using electives to focus on areas such as aesthetics, Continental philosophy, ethics, feminism, philosophical psychology and the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of the Americas, and the philosophy of race, just to name a few of the areas in which departmental faculty specialize. While informal, such concentrations allow students to tailor their electives to interests, including disciplines that might be the subject of a second major.

Students with strong interests in political philosophy should also consider the Philosophy, Politics, Law major (PPL).

NOTE: All classes that count toward the major or minor must be taken for a letter grade.

(36 credit minimum)

The philosophy major consists of 1 logic course, 3 history of philosophy courses (200 level), and 5 electives, three of which must be taken at the 400-level. In some cases, students will need to take an additional elective in order to meet the 36 credit hour requirement.

Logic (4 credits)

  • Phil 110: Intro to Logic

History (12 credits)

  • Phil 200 or 200W: ancient Greek and medieval philosophy
  • Phil 202 or 202W: renaissance and modern philosophy
  • Phil 204 or 204W: 19th and 20th century philosophy

Electives (18 - 20 credits)

  • Five elective courses, at least 3 of which must be at the 400 level

(18 credit minimum)

Two 200 level history courses (8 credits) from the following list:

  • Phil 200 or 200W: ancient Greek and medieval philosophy
  • Phil 202W: renaissance and modern philosophy
  • Phil 204W: 19th and 20th century philosophy

One additional course at any level (3 - 4 credits)

Any two other courses at the 300 level or above (7 - 8 credits. At least one of which must be at the 400 level)

You can earn an Ethics minor by taking PHIL 115: Introduction to Ethics, plus any four philosophy courses of the following list:

  • PHIL 116: Introduction to Biomedical Ethics
  • PHIL 119: Contemporary Moral Issues
  • PHIL 319: Military Ethics
  • PHIL 415: Ethics
  • PHIL 482: Ethics and International Affairs

Alternatively, you can also choose any four courses from the list provided by The Emory Center of Ethics.


PHIL 110, PHIL 200, PHIL 202, and 3 electives of which two must be at the 300 level or above; 5 courses in Greek or Latin but no combination of both (45 hours); Additional credit hours for the major beyond the required courses may be taken in Classics (including Greek and Latin), Philosophy, or other courses that focus on Art History, History, or Philosophy of ancient Greece and/or Rome offered by or cross-listed with other departments.


Six Religion Courses: One course selected from REL 301-320 (or a tradition-specific course with approval from REL advisor), REL 300, four REL electives (at least two at 200+)

Six Philosophy Courses: PHIL 110, PHIL 131, two of these three (PHIL 200W, PHIL 202W, PHIL 204W), two PHIL electives at 300+ level, either PHIL 431 or PHIL/REL 470 (typically taken in senior year)