Undergraduate Program in Philosophy

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Major in Philosophy
Minor in Philosophy
Honors in Philosophy
Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards

Major in Philosophy

Students planning to major in philosophy must consult with the department undergraduate advisor at the beginning of their junior year or, if transferring from another major, upon deciding to transfer. When accepted as a major, a student must complete a declaration of major form. To contact the undergraduate advisor, refer to our program administration page.


  1. A minimum of 30 credits in philosophy courses is required

  2. The following three courses:
    • Philosophy 211 Elementary Logic (3 credits)
      (Philosophy 212, Modern Deductive Logic, or a more advanced course in logic, may be substituted for Philosophy 211 with the permission of the department chair)
    • Philosophy 430 History of Ancient Philosophy (3 credits)
    • Philosophy 432 History of Modern Philosophy (3 credits)
  3. At least one course from each of the following groups:
    • Group A:
      • Philosophy 341 Modern Ethical Theory (3 credits)
      • Philosophy 349 Great Moral Philosophers (3 credits)
      • Philosophy 355 Political Philosophy (3 credits)
    • Group B:
      • Philosophy 303 Theory of Knowledge (3 credits)
      • Philosophy 317 Metaphysics (3 credits)
      • Philosophy 324 Philosophy of Science (3 credits)
      • Philosophy 351 Philosophy of Mind (3 credits)
    • Group C:
      • Any philosophy course numbered 500 or above and carrying 3 credits (excluding whichever course you choose to satisfy the capstone requirement, see below).
  4. Philosophy electives of the student's choice to reach a total of 30 credits. At least 15 of these 30 credits must taken at the 300-level or above in residence at UWM

  5. Capstone or Research Requirement:
    Philosophy 681 Seminar in Advanced Topics or Philosophy 685 Senior Capstone Research Seminar (Philosophy 685, in particular, is reserved exclusively for senior undergraduate majors).

Students planning to major in Philosophy should ideally sequence courses as follows: Philosophy 101 and/or 200 level metaphysics or epistemology, 200-level ethics or social/political, and 211 logic. Then take 300-level area courses. Required courses in the history of philosophy - Philosophy 430 (History of Ancient Philosophy) and Philosophy 432 (History of Modern Philosophy) - should be taken as soon as the student decides to major in philosophy (normally during the junior year). Next, 500-level and 600-level courses. Students must fulfill the capstone or research requirement (Philosophy 681 or 685) in their senior year. It is strongly recommended that students become proficient in at least one related academic discipline.

Majors will be asked to submit a paper for inclusion in a portfolio that is kept in the department.  Typically, this will be a paper written for the senior capstone or research seminar.  It should be stressed that this is not an additional requirement for graduation as a major.  Rather, it is part of the department's ongoing efforts to evaluate and improve our major program.

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Minor in Philosophy

Students who plan to major in another discipline but who wish to enhance their studies with a substantial amount of coursework in philosophy may elect to obtain a minor in philosophy.


  • Total of 21 credits in philosophy, including:
    • At least one of the following:
      • Philosophy 211 (Elementary Logic)
      • Philosophy 430 (History of Ancient Philosophy)
      • Philosophy 432 (History of Modern Philosophy)
    • At least 12 credits at the 300 level or above, 9 of which must be taken in residency at UWM.

Students wishing to minor in philosophy should consult with the undergraduate advisor (see our program administration page for contact information) in order to complete a Declaration of Minor form.

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Honors in Philosophy

Philosophy majors who maintain a 3.5 grade point average in courses in the major may, prior to the beginning of their senior year, apply to the undergraduate program coordinator for special honors work in philosophy. Upon successful completion of that work (which is normally a matter of earning at least an 'A-' in Philosophy 681, our undergraduate/graduate seminar, or in Philosophy 685, the undergraduate senior capstone research seminar) the student will be recommended by the department for graduation with honors in the major.

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