Department of Philosophy and Religion

Chair and Professor: Dr. Harvey, 450-3179
Professors: Dr. Mehl, Dr. Shelton
Associate Professors: Dr. Crockett, Dr. Deitrick
Assistant Professors: Dr. Butler, Dr. Duncan, Dr. Held, Dr. Rider
Lecturer II: Dr. Novy, Mr. Spivey
Lecturer I: Dr. Thiher
Instructors: Dr. Winden Fey, Mr. Brasovan, Ms. Jeffcoat, Mr. Saafir, Mr. Springer

[1] Purposes

The Department of Philosophy and Religion offers degree programs with majors in philosophy or religious studies. The department administers the interdisciplinary degree program in Religious Studies. The philosophy program serves all academic disciplines by the examination and analysis of the major ideas that have shaped our civilization and by the development of skills in critical thinking. The interdisciplinary religious studies program introduces students to the basic methods and subject matter of the study of religion. Philosophy and religion courses are designed both to contribute to a broad liberal education and to enrich more vocationally oriented programs. Both the major and minor in philosophy and religious studies are designed to provide the core of a liberal arts education for students interested in graduate, professional, or divinity school. They also provide broad, non-specialized degrees for those who desire career flexibility.

A student who majors in philosophy will acquire a fundamental understanding of philosophy, which includes an understanding of the central problems of philosophy, a comprehension of the various methods of philosophical inquiry and discourse, a knowledge of the historically significant philosophers and philosophical movements, a knowledge of the fundamental principles of logic and an understanding of the basic theories of ethics. A student who majors in philosophy will achieve a satisfactory level in the application of critical thinking skills and will be able to write a philosophical paper.

A student who majors in Religious Studies will gain a broad understanding of various religious texts, practices and traditions, as well as critical tools to interpret and assess these traditions, in the areas of theory and method; Asian religious traditions; Western religious traditions; sacred art, ritual and literature; religion, culture and society; and religious thought. A student who majors in Religious Studies will learn to examine and evaluate religious phenomena and ideas from several disciplinary and inter-disciplinary viewpoints, including philosophical, historical, anthropological, literary and theological perspectives.

[2] The Undergraduate Scholars Program in Philosophy

Students who major in philosophy and who demonstrate exceptional ability may request or may be invited to enter the undergraduate scholars program. In addition to or as one of the courses required for a major in the area, the student must

  1. Complete PHIL 4301 Philosophy Honors Tutorial;
  2. Maintain a minimum 3.25 grade point average overall, and a 3.5 grade point average in the major;
  3. Complete an honors thesis in conjunction with PHIL 4301; and
  4. Pass an oral examination on the thesis conducted by three faculty members.

[3] The Undergraduate Scholars Program in Religious Studies

Students who major in religious studies and who demonstrate exceptional ability may request or may be invited to enter the undergraduate scholars program. In addition to or as one of the courses required for a major in the area, the student must

1. Complete RELG 4300 Religious Studies Honors Tutorial;
2. Maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA overall and a 3.5 GPA in the major;
3. Complete an honors thesis in conjunction with RELG 4300; and
4. Pass an oral examination on the thesis conducted by three faculty members.

[4] Baccalaureate Degrees in Philosophy: Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science

The degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, with a major in philosophy, requires successful completion of 120 hours, including (1) the general education component, (2) degree requirements, (3) major requirements listed below, and (4) a minor as worked out with the student's minor advisor.

[4.1] Major in Philosophy (33 hours)

Required courses (12 hours): PHIL 2310 or 3310; 3320 or 3325; 3300; and 3302.

Elective courses (21 hours)

At least two courses from the History of Philosophy area (6 hours): 3301; 3303; 3304; 4305 or 4306.

At least one course from the Epistemology & Metaphysics area (3 hours): 3310; 3341; 3370; 3375; 3380; 4306; or 4330.

At least one course from the Social, Political, Values area (3 hours): 2300; 3320; 3325; 3330; 3331; 3340; 3343; 3345; 3352; 3360; 4340; or 4350.

Students should select three additional elective courses (9 hours) from any of the groups.  Courses at or above the 2000 level with the prefix RELG may also function as electives for the major with permission of advisor and chair.

The following are special courses, that, depending on content, may or may not substitute for a requirement or elective: 3390, 3395; 4300; 4301; or 4310.

[4.2] Minor in Philosophy (21 hours)

Required courses (6 hours): PHIL 2310 or 3310; and 3320 or 3325.

Elective courses (15 hours)

At least two courses from the History of Philosophy area (6 hours): 3300; 3301; 3302; 3303; 3304; 4305 or 4306.

At least one course from the Epistemology & Metaphysics area (3 hours): 3310; 3341; 3370; 3375; 3380; 4306; or 4330.

At least one course from the Social, Political, Values area (3 hours): 2300; 3320; 3325; 3330; 3331; 3340; 3343; 3345; 3352; 3360; 4340; or 4350..

Students should select one additional elective course (3 hours) from any of the groups.  Courses at or above the 2000 level with the prefix RELG may also function as electives for the minor, with permission of advisor and chair.

The following are special courses that, depending on content, may or may not substitute for a requirement or elective: 3390, 3395; 4300; 4301 and 4310.

[5] Baccalaureate Degree in Religous Studies: Bachelor of  Arts

[5.1] Major in Religious Studies (33 hours)

Required course (3 hours): RELG 3301

Elective courses (30 hours)

At least one course from the Asian Religious Traditions area (3 hours): HIST 3303, PHIL 3352 or RELG 3325.

At least one course from the Western Religious Traditions area (3 hours): HIST 3320, 3321, 4387, RELG 2300 or 3335.

At least one course from the Sacred Art, Ritual and Literature area (3 hours): ART 2325, ENGL 3325, 4341, RELG 2332 or 2333.

At least one course from Religion, Culture and Society area (3 hours): ANTH 3310, HIST 4302, RELG 3315, 3330, 3340 or SOC 4300.

At least one course from the Religious Thoughts area (3 hours): PHIL 3331, 4340, RELG 3320, 3345, 4320 or 4325.

And, five additional elective courses from any area above, or any other course that contributes to the Religious Studies program (15 hours): ANTH 3315, PHIL 2300, 3301, 3303, 3343, 3370, RELG 1320 or 1330, 3380, 4325, 4330.

[5.2] Minor in Religious Studies (24 hours)

Required course: (3 hours): RELG 3301

Elective courses (21 hours):

At least one course from the Asian Religious Traditions area (3 hours): HIST 3303, PHIL 3352, or RELG 3325.

At least one course from the Western Religious Traditions area (3 hours): HIST 3320, 3321, 4387, RELG 2300 or 3335.

At least one course from the Sacred Art, Ritual and Literature area (3 hours): ART 2325, ENGL 3325, 4341, RELG 2332 or 2333.

At least one course from Religion, Culture and Society area (3 hours): ANTH 3310, HIST 4302, RELG 3315, 3330, 3340 or SOC 4300.

At least one course from the Religious Thoughts area (3 hours): PHIL 3331, 4340, RELG 3320, 3345, 4320 or 4325.

And, two additional elective courses from any area above, or any other course that contributes to the Religious Studies program (6 hours): ANTH 3315, HIST 4387, PHIL 1330, 2300, 3301, 3303, 3343, 3370, RELG 1320 or 1330, 3330, 3380, 4325, 4330.

[6]Courses in Philosophy (PHIL)

Follow this link for PHIL course descriptions: course link.

[7] Courses in Religion (RELG)

Follow this link for RELG course descriptions: course link.