Philosophy and Humanistic Studies Department

Minor in Philosophy


Etymology Latin philosophia study or pursuit of wisdom, from ancient Greek ϕιλοσοϕία love of wisdom.

  1. The love, study, or pursuit of wisdom, truth, or knowledge.
  2. Rational inquiry or argument, as opposed to divinely revealed knowledge.
  3. The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, and the basis and limits of human understanding.

Philosophy attempts to answer the most basic questions that humans are capable of asking, which are: What is real? What is true? What is valuable? The history of philosophy is the history of people trying to make sense of their existence by thinking for themselves—rather than simply accepting some tradition or convention as authoritative—and by creating concepts and theories to explain the true nature of reality, knowledge, and values. Philosophy will challenge you to question your own assumptions and beliefs, it will help you solve problems in an analytical and logical way, and it will lead you to profound discoveries that will change your life.

A minor in philosophy is an excellent complement to any major. It will make you stand out among all the other students who have the same major as you, and it will signal to graduate schools and future employers that you are extraordinary: a thoughtful, logical, creative, independent thinker.

A minor in philosophy requires 18 PHI credits, including at least 9 credits at the 200-level or above, at least one course in logic, at least one course in the history of philosophy, and at least one course in ethics. Courses in logic, history of philosophy and ethics must be chosen from the list below; all current PHI courses can be applied toward the remaining 9 elective credits. 

Current Logic Courses:

PHI 209 Informal Logic

PHI 211 Formal Logic


Current History of Philosophy Courses:

PHI 231 Ancient Philosophy

PHI 232 Medieval Philosophy

PHI 233 Modern Philosophy

PHI 234 19th and 20th Century Philosophy


Current Ethics Courses:

PHI 120 Introduction to Ethical Theory

PHI 221 Ethical Issues in Business

PHI 223 Ethical Issues in Health Care

PHI 225 Ethics and the Nonhuman

PHI 227 Ethics in Computing

PHI 229 Philosophy of Law & Legal Theory

PHI 245 Philosophy of Death and Dying

PHI 262 Philosophies of Love & Friendship

PHI 265 Philosophy of Happiness

PHI 320 Social and Political Philosophy

PHI 334 Existentialism