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The mission of the philosophy program is to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the value of philosophical inquiry and the examination of perennial questions about the nature of human experience, the purpose of human endeavors individually and communally, and the value of knowledge. We create diverse educational experiences that develop ethical, intellectually curious students who are invested in their communities. By developing critical, logical, and creative thinking, sound judgment, and effective civil communication, we produce students who can engage their philosophical reasoning in the service of solving real-world problems, attending to the ethical issues and theoretical complexities of purpose, policy, and implementation.

A major in philosophy is ideal for students who plan to enter the field of philosophy, law, professional or medical ethics, the ministry, or other fields requiring a liberal arts background.

The major consists of 31 semester hours, including:

General Education Requirements
Core Competencies12
Writing 1
Writing 2
Communication Foundations
Mathematics Requirement
Arts and Humanities6
Natural Sciences (one course must include a lab)7
Social Science6
Social and Personal Awareness6
First-Year Experience3
Foreign Language Requirement8
Major Requirements
PHIL 1560Introduction to Philosophy3
PHIL 2619Introduction to Logic3
PHIL 2612Ancient & Medieval Philosophy3
PHIL 3702History of Modern Philosophy3
PHIL 3711General Ethics3
PHIL 4820Seminar in Philosophy3
Philosophy Electives (Three additional courses in Philosophy, 2 of which must be at the 3700-level or 4800-level.)9
PHIL 4859Capstone Cooperative Seminar1
PHIL 4861Senior Capstone Project3
Electives Must complete a minimum number of electives to meet the 120sh total graduation requirement23
Total Semester Hours120

This program can be completed in eight semesters if students enroll in 16 hours per semester and enroll in a combination of day and evening classes. The hours for the degree could increase depending upon the student's foreign language placement upon entering YSU.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
PHIL 1560 Introduction to Philosophy 3
CMST 1545 Communication Foundations 3
ENGL 1550 Writing 1 3
First Year Experience 3
FNLG 1550 Elementary Foreign Language 4
 Semester Hours16
PHIL 2612 Ancient & Medieval Philosophy 3
Social Science 15XX/26XX 3
ENGL 1551 Writing 2 3
PHIL 2631 Environmental Ethics 3
FNLG 2600 Intermediate Foreign Language 4
 Semester Hours16
Year 2
PHIL 2619 Introduction to Logic 3
Natural Science 15xx/26xx 3
Minor 15xx/26xx 3
Social and Personal Awareness 15xx/26xx 3
Social Science Elective 3
 Semester Hours15
PHIL 3702 History of Modern Philosophy 3
General Education 26XX 3
Minor 15XX/26XX course 3
Natural Science plus lab 15XX/26XX 4
Elective 15XX/26XX 3
 Semester Hours16
Year 3
PHIL 3711 General Ethics 3
PHIL Elective 3
Minor 15XX/26XX course 3
Elective 37XX 3
Elective 37XX 3
 Semester Hours15
PHIL Elective 37XX 3
Minor 37XX course 3
Elective 3
Elective 37XX 3
Elective 37XX 3
 Semester Hours15
Year 4
PHIL 4820 Seminar in Philosophy 3
Minor 37XX course 3
Elective 3
Elective 37XX 3
Elective 37XX 3
 Semester Hours15
PHIL 4861 Senior Capstone Project 3
PHIL 4859 Capstone Cooperative Seminar 1
Minor 37XX course 3
Elective 37XX 3
Elective 37XX 3
 Semester Hours13
 Total Semester Hours121

Learning Objectives

  •  Demonstrated reasoning ability (competently utilize principles of critical thinking, including assessment of definitions, recognition of fallacies, and application of the principles of good inductive and deductive reasoning).
  •  Demonstrated ability to articulate philosophical ideas and arguments (clarity, nuance, and sophistication of content) and knowledge of seminal figures in history who espouse them.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in charitable reading (willingness to consider alternative and plausible interpretations of an author’s work) and to consider arguments from the standpoint and experience of others (suspend one’s personal views).
  • Master the basics of theoretical writing, including the development of precise definitions, effective analysis of texts, traditions, and theoretical positions, and effective development, defense, and critique of arguments.
  • Demonstrated ability to revise beliefs, ideas, and arguments when presented with new sources, criticism, and evidence or to withhold judgment in the absence of reasons (reasonable disagreement and intellectual humility).