Ohio University

Philosophy Major B.A.

  • A tradition of searching for answers to timeless questions
  • Communication and problem-solving skills applicable to careers in education, research institutes, environmental agencies, consulting firms, legal clinics, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, religious organizations, and more
  • Preparation for careers from politics, to business, to service
  • Preparation for graduate work in philosophy, law, theology, and other related disciplines

Admissions Information

Degree Requirement

Major code BA5241

Sample Curriculum

Faculty Contact: Dr. Alfred Lent

Program Overview

A major in philosophy introduces students to a wide range of substantive and theoretical topics that have been the subject in the Western intellectual tradition beginning in 585 B.C. and continuing right through to the 21st century. These topics include such broad and enduring questions as:

  • What is the right way for human beings to live their lives?
  • What is the ultimate structure of reality as we encounter it?
  • What is human knowledge and how do we come to have it? Can other sorts of beings have anything like knowledge in the same sense that we have it?
  • Is there a God, and, if so, what are the properties that God has?
  • What is the nature and structure of scientific inquiry?
  • What are the fundamental components of rational thought and practical reasoning?

These questions have intrigued generation after generation, and they continue to fascinate the thoughtful and well-educated person, even though many of these questions appear to be very difficult, if not outright impossible to answer. Indeed, part of the beauty of philosophy is the discovery that rational inquiry is not always intended to find specific answers to specific questions, but is rather a process of intellectual growth and development that is available to anyone with a sufficient degree of intellectual curiosity.

A major in philosophy, therefore, not only teaches the student about his or her own intellectual tradition, but it also prepares him or her to become an active and productive member of that tradition, ready to make his or her own contribution to the process of searching for answers to timeless questions.

Careers and Graduate School

A bachelor of arts in philosophy prepares students for a wide range of careers, from politics, to business, to service, and much more. Virtually any job that requires critical thinking skills, an ability to communicate well and work out problems will be suitable for a philosophy major. Examples of potential employers include, but are not limited to, the following: institutions of higher education; adult education programs; research institutes; environmental agencies; consulting firms; legal clinics; non-profit organizations; financial institutions; religious organizations and retreat centers; correctional institutions; etc.

A degree in philosophy also prepares Ohio University students for further graduate level work in philosophy, law, theology, and various other related disciplines.
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Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission: No requirements beyond university admission requirements.

Change to Program Policy: No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission: No requirements beyond university admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

University-wide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all University-wide graduation requirements.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Distribution Requirement

View the College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences.

Philosophy Major Requirements

Complete 33 hours of PHIL courses, including the two courses and five components listed below:

  • PHIL 1010 - Fundamentals of Philosophy Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHIL 1300 - Introduction to Ethics Credit Hours: 3.0

Component 1: History of Philosophy

Complete the following two courses:

  • PHIL 3100 - History of Western Philosophy: Ancient Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHIL 3120 - History of Western Philosophy: Modern Credit Hours: 3.0

Component 2: Logic

Complete the following course:

  • PHIL 3200 - Symbolic Logic I Credit Hours: 3.0

Component 3: Upper Division Courses

Complete 9 hours of PHIL courses at the 4000 level, not including PHIL 4901 and PHIL 4970.

Component 4: Electives

Complete 6 hours of PHIL courses, not including PHIL 4901 and PHIL 4970.

Component 5: Senior Seminar

Complete the following course:

  • PHIL 4901 - Senior Seminar Credit Hours: 3.0