Philosophy Major

Listed below are the requirements for the Philosophy major. In addition to the requirements for the major, students must also satisfy all of the university general education requirements and the College of Letters & Science breadth and other degree requirements. Degree requirements will vary depending on when you took your first college class. You are strongly advised to consult both the philosophy advisor and your L&S advisor to ensure you stay on track towards a degree. Read more about the degree requirements on the L&S Degree Requirements web pages.


Total Philosophy Credits

30 credits

Required Courses (9 credits)

  • Philos 211 - Elementary Logic, 3 credits
  • Philos 430 - Great Thinkers of the Ancient Period, 3 credits
  • Philos 432 - Great Thinkers of the Modern Period, 3 credits

Philos 212 - Modern Deductive Logic, or a more advanced course in logic may be substituted for Philos 211 with the permission of the department chair.

At least one course from each of the following three groups

Group A:

  • Philosophy 341 - Modern Ethical Theory, 3 credits
  • Philosophy 349 - Great Moral Philosophers, 3 credits
  • Philosophy 355 - Political Philosophy, 3 credits

Group B:

  • Philosophy 303 - Theory of Knowledge, 3 credits
  • Philosophy 317 - Metaphysics, 3 credits
  • Philosophy 324 - Philosophy of Science, 3 credits
  • Philosophy 351 - Philosophy of Mind, 3 credits

Group C:
Any philosophy course numbered 500 or above and carrying 3 credits (excluding whichever course you choose to satisfy the capstone requirement, see below).


Philosophy electives of the student's choice to reach a total of 30 credits. At least 15 of these 30 credits must taken at the 300-level or above in residence at UWM.

Capstone or Research Requirement (3 credits)

  • Philosophy 681 - Seminar in Advanced Topics: (Subtitle), 3 credits
    Philosophy 685 - Senior Capstone Research Seminar, 3 credits

Students must fulfill the capstone/research requirement in the senior year. It is recommended strongly that students become proficient in at least one related academic discipline.

Each major will be asked to submit a paper for inclusion in a portfolio that is kept in the department. Typically, this will be a paper written for the "Senior Capstone Research Seminar" (Philos 685). It should be stressed that this is not an additional requirement for graduation as a major. Rather, it is part of the department's ongoing effort to evaluate and improve our major program.

Additional Requirements

It is expected that the required courses in the history of philosophy Philos 430 and 432 will be taken as soon as the student decides to major in philosophy (normally during the junior year).

Honors in the Major

Prior to the beginning of their senior year, philosophy majors who maintain a 3.5 GPA in courses in the major may apply to the undergraduate program coordinator for special honors work in philosophy. Upon successful completion of that work, the students are recommended by the department for graduation with honors in philosophy. The special work normally involves participation in Philos 681 or 685, earning a grade of A- or above.

GPA Requirements

Students also must attain at least a 2.000 GPA on all credits in the major, including any transfer work.