How to Major in Philosophy

There are three ways in which to major in philosophy at UAB. To our knowledge we are the only department in the university with such a 3-track system.    When a student first formally declares a major in philosophy, he or she is placed in the General Track. The majority of majors graduate in this track. Students may enroll in the Individually Designed Track or apply for the Honors Track.

•    General Track suits the interests, needs, and scheduling desires of many philosophy majors. It is popular with students with general philosophical interests, with double majors, or with significant non-academic responsibilities (job, etc.). The general track consists of any ten philosophy courses (30 hours), seven of which (21 hours) must be at the 200 level or above, and for students graduating in 2013 or later one must be 490, 491, or 492 (Capstone Courses) taken in the senior year.

•    Individually Designed Track is for students with well defined philosophic interests or vocational aspirations. The formal requirements are indistinguishable from the general track: 30 hours, 21 of which must be at the 200 level or above, and either 490, 491, or 492 (Capstone Course) in the senior year. Informally, however, students on the individually designed track are assigned an advisor in the department to help them to tailor course selections to interests or aspirations. Several families of concentration can be designed in this manner, including applied ethics, bioethics, cognitive science, history of ideas, law and society, religion, and science and the modern world. To enroll in the individually designed track simply consult with the department chair.

•    Honors Track requires twelve philosophy courses (36 hours), including the satisfaction of a distribution requirement and the composition of an honors thesis with a faculty supervisor or reader. Students graduating in the honors track graduate "With Honors in Philosophy”.

No matter the track, no philosophy major can receive credit towards the major for any philosophy course with a grade lower than “C”. It is recommended that each and every rising senior major consult with the chair before the end of their final year, so as to be assured of readiness for graduation.