Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate degree requirements

Major Requirement

The Philosophy major requires twelve courses (including the prerequisites and the senior requirement) that collectively expose majors to a wide range of philosophy and philosophers. The Philosophy curriculum is divided into three large groups: history of philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, and ethics and value theory. In history of philosophy, majors are required to take (1) either the introductory sequence in philosophy (PHIL 125a and 126b) or both terms of Directed Studies, and (2) an additional, third course in history of philosophy. Majors must take two courses in metaphysics and epistemology and two courses in ethics and value theory. Majors must also take two seminars and satisfy the senior requirement as described below. Prerequisite to the major are two introductory or intermediate philosophy courses.

Senior Requirement

The senior requirement is normally satisfied by completing a third philosophy seminar. Students taking a seminar to satisfy the senior requirement are expected to produce work superior in argument and articulation to that of a standard seminar paper. To this end, students taking a seminar for the senior requirement must satisfy additional requirements that are delineated in the syllabus or during the first class session, and that may include (1) additional readings, (2) submission of a complete draft of the final paper by the eigthth week of the term that will then be significantly revised, and (3) one-on-one or small-group meetings with the instructor to discuss class material, the additional readings, and drafts in preparation. In special cases, students may meet the senior requirement through either a one-term or two-term independent project supervised by an instructor (PHIL 490). Students must petition to fulfill the senior requirement through an independent project, and approval is not guaranteed. Applicants must submit a proposal to the director of undergraduate studies, in consultation with an appropriate supervisor, by the end of the term prior to beginning the independent study.

Yale College Programs of Study  

Yale Online Course Information (OCI)

Philosophy Courses

The Yale Philosophy Review
An undergraduate publication