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Philosophy Pre-Theology Major (B.A.)

  • Understanding the philosophical foundations of religion and religious belief
  • Focus on the philosophy of law, social and political philosophy, and moral theory
  • Preparation for graduate school in theology with strong critical analysis and writing skills

Admissions Information

Degree Requirements

Major code BA5242

Faculty Contact: Dr. Alfred Lent

Program Overview

The pre-theology track within the philosophy major does not differ greatly in terms of distribution requirements (though there are some differences), but differs principally in the direction, guidance, and preparation it offers to students who are interested in the philosophical foundations of religion and religious belief.

Students whose interests center on religion (whether the ministry or religion studies) often find philosophy an attractive field of study because of its analytical and deeply reflective character as an academic discipline. While seminaries tend not to favor one major over another, a mix of philosophy and Classics & World Religions, which is what the pre-theology track prescribes, will serve to create a secure foundation for further study in this and related areas.

Careers and Graduate School

With strong skills in critical analysis and writing, graduates of the Philosophy – Pre-theology program are well-equipped to pursue graduate work in theology. Philosophy – Pre-theology graduates have the same variety of potential employment and graduate school opportunities that general philosophy graduates have, as well.

A bachelor of arts in Philosophy – Pre-theology 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.

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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 Pre-Theology Major Requirements

Complete the following two courses and the five components listed below, for a total of 33 hours of PHIL coursework:

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

Component 1: History of Philosophy H5

Complete the following courses:

  • PHIL 2600 - Philosophy of Religion Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHIL 3100 - History of Western Philosophy: Ancient Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHIL 3110 - History of Western Philosophy: Medieval and Renaissance 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 6 hours of PHIL courses at the 4000 level, not including PHIL 4901 and PHIL 4970.

Component 4: Electives

Complete at least 3 hours of coursework in Classics and World Religions.

Component 5: Senior Seminar

Complete the following course:

  • PHIL 4901 - Senior Seminar Credit Hours: 3.0

Theological Seminary or Graduate Study Recommendations

If you plan to enter a theological seminary or to do graduate study in religion, it is recommended that you take a broad program of appropriate undergraduate courses in the following:

  • Classics & World Religions
  • English composition and literature, and world literature
  • History
  • Sociology & Anthropology

Arrange your program to meet the requirements of the B.A. degree and the University General Education requirements.

It is advisable to major in Philosophy, English, Classics, or one of the social sciences. Check the entrance requirements of the theological seminaries, other religious educational institutions, or graduate schools of your choice and plan your curriculum accordingly. A pre-theology major is also available from the departments of English and History.