Q: What courses absolutely must be taken during the first year (or the first semester)?
The Philosophy major does not require any specific sequence of courses in the first year, but some choices are better than others. Phil 102, "Introduction to Philosophy", Phil 110 "Introduction to Logic, Phil 141, "History of Ancient Philosophy", and Phil 143 "History of Early Modern Philosophy are excellent choices. The department also offers several First-Year Intensive Seminars on specialized topics. Analytic Reasoning and Personal Values are very popular courses, but do not fulfill any requirements in the major program. Click here to see Philosophy course availability.
Q: What courses should first year students steer clear of?
Some 100 courses (like Medical Ethics) exclude first year students. Almost all 200 level course will assume some familiarity with Philosophy. Check the course catalog for specific prerequisites.
Q: If a course is filled, are there good alternatives?
If you are interested in a philosophy course that is full, contact the instructor. Depending on the circumstances, the instructors may be willing to enter an "override" and permit you to enroll over the cap. You should also watch the Registrar's listing of courses to see if spaces become available. Some popular courses are offered every semester. Talking to the instructor may help you get into the course next semester.
Q: Does your department recommend that first year students explore the PLS during their first year? Or, should first year students focus more on fulfilling prerequisites for the major?
We recommend that students interested in philosophy prioritize their FA and VE courses. Writing and formal analysis are fundamental to all philosophy. Other PLS courses can be distributed over the first two or three years as necessary.
Q: How and when does your department assign advisers for declared majors?
Students select their own major adviser by asking a faculty member to fill that role, or ask the department chair to assign an adviser. A faculty Adviser must be selected when students in order for the student to declare their major(s).
Q: What courses in related departments do your majors usually take?
Philosophy majors take courses in almost every department. The most common double majors are Psychology, Political Science, and Biology. These choices depend on the student's specific interests and post-Clark goals.
Q: Where should students or faculty go for more information?
Student can contact Professor Patrick Derr, Department Chair.