2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog
For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section in this catalog.
Philosophy is an activity, a practice, and a way of life that is intimately associated with the ideals of liberal education. Philosophy is also a discipline and a subject matter, one that arises from the history of its primary activity of asking and answering questions about reality, meaning, and value. Through both the activity and the discipline aspects, the study of philosophy contributes to the development of the whole person. Philosophy cuts across other disciplines by uncovering the basic assumptions of our various ways of understanding reality, making it possible for us to be alert and responsive at this level. This same inherently interdisciplinary quality also makes it possible for us to achieve a conception of the world as a whole, which supports an informed scale of value. The ongoing study of philosophy is not only informative, but transformative, enabling us to live an examined life and to grow toward the way of being that the liberally educated person and the philosopher exemplify.
Students seeking a minor in philosophy are invited to work out an appropriate program with any member of the department. The program must include a minimum of 18 hours of philosophy, at least six hours of which must be upper-division (300- or 400-level), and at least one course must be chosen from PHI 400, PHI 420, PHI 430, PHI 440, PHI 450, PHI 460, or PHI 470.
The Department of Philosophy also offers the following interdisciplinary minors: STEM ethics, health care ethics, and ethics, culture, and society.
Graduate and Professional School Opportunities
Any graduate, professional, or career program depending on a liberal arts curriculum will welcome work done in philosophy. Schools of law, theology, and religious studies are particularly enthusiastic about philosophy as an undergraduate major. Students interested in attending law school should contact Professor John Uglietta, the department's prelaw advisor.
Study abroad programs directed by philosophy faculty are especially beneficial for philosophy students. The GVSU Summer School in China represents a rare opportunity to study many aspects of Chinese culture, including Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian philosophy, in China.
The undergraduate teaching apprentice program is directed toward philosophy majors planning to attend graduate school and is designed to provide an opportunity for selected students to apprentice in teaching philosophy. For such students, experience in this aspect of the practice of philosophy is an important complement to the undergraduate major.