The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program nurtures habits of thinking, writing, and communicating that prepare students to respond well to the complex realities of professional, social, and personal life. Our pluralistic, socially engaged faculty guides students in critically analyzing prevailing values, norms, and institutions. We empower students to imagine and create flourishing lives and communities.
All philosophy courses focus on careful reading, thinking, and clear expression. You may select from a wide array of content—from applied ethics to non-Western philosophy—to meet the requirements of the major, which includes courses in value theory (ethics, aesthetics), social justice, knowledge and reality, the history of western philosophy, logic and critical reasoning, and global and feminist perspectives. Students master the skills of reading, critical thinking, and analysis essential to success in the professional world; and develop the abilities to think and write clearly as well as the capacity to grasp the intricacies of difficult problems facing the world today.
Philosophy majors develop widely transferable skills, including critical reasoning and critical writing, the ability to solve problems, the facility to communicate clearly and effectively, and the capability to analyze and assess a situation from diverse points of view. These skills are valuable in every profession.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Philosophy majors have a higher average starting salary than any other major in the Humanities. Further, Philosophy and Mathematics majors have higher mid-career salary growth than any other major.
Philosophy majors do exceptionally well on exams for graduate or professional schools. They score higher than any other major on the verbal and analytic writing portions of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and well above the mean on the quantitative reasoning section. Philosophy majors rank second overall on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and third overall on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
Graduates of philosophy programs are employed in many different areas, including:
- Law and public policy
- Computer programming
- Technical writing
- Editing, journalism, and public relations
- Criminal justice
- Higher education
Major Requirements: 33 hours
This major requires students to complete 33 credit hours, including a minimum of 15 credit hours at the 300-level or above, and a maximum of six hours at the 100-level.
Required Courses: 18 hours
Satisfactorily complete at least one course in each of the following six core areas.
Restricted Elective Courses: 15 hours
Select an additional 15 credit hours from above or any PHIL course (100-499), not already taken.
This major requires a minor. Please see Programs for a list of available minors or contact your major advisor.
Students must earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level or above.
Critical Graduation Information
The following are minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult the online catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.
- Earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level and above. Courses with numbers below 100 will not be counted toward this degree requirement. At most 8 credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses will be counted toward this requirement.
- Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below).
- Complete a Writing Intensive (GEWI) Course in your major.
- Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement. (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details.)
- Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
- Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
- Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor; students should check requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required.
- Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits in excess of the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 124 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
- Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
- Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
- Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
- Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
- Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit for transferred courses; grades are not used in the calculation of an EMU GPA.
- Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU in order to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses taken at EMU and those applied to a student’s major or minor will be used in the calculation of their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)
General Education Requirements EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or with similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education section of the catalog.
Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.