Major/Minor Requirements

Wellesley philosophy majors gain a thorough grounding in both the contemporary and historical aspects of the subject, by taking courses in three distinct sub-fields as well as compulsory core classes in ancient and modern philosophy.

The Philosophy Major

  • At least nine units are required.
  • 201 (Ancient Greek Philosophy) is required of all majors.
  • 221 (History of Modern Philosophy) is required of all majors.
  • Every major must take at least two units from subfield b (value theory) and at least two units from subfield c (metaphysics and theories of knowledge).  Click here to see the subfield information.
  • Every major must take at least two 300-level units in different subfields of philosophy; at least one of these units must be a seminar offered by the philosophy department.
  • In addition, majors are strongly encouraged to take a third unit in subfield a (history of philosophy).

The Philosophy Minor

  • At least five units are required.
  • No more than one of these units may be on the 100-level.
  • 201 (Ancient Greek Philosophy) or 221 (History of Modern Philosophy) is required of all minors.
  • At least one of the five units must be at the 300-level.

Honors in Philosophy

See the Honors & Awards page for policies and procedures concerning the pursuit of an honors thesis in philosophy.

Advice for Majors

  • We encourage majors to get in touch with their departmental advisor at the beginning of each term to discuss their course selections for the term and their overall progress through the major/minor.
  • It is a good idea to take Phil 201 (Ancient Greek Philosophy) and Phil 221 (Modern Philosophy) early in the major sequence, since they provide a general grounding in many topics.
  • Students who think that they might be interested in going to graduate school in philosophy should contact their advisor to discuss the process and requirements. Majors intending to pursue graduate work in philosophy should take 216 (Logic). Those who are interested in graduate work in the history of philosophy may be advised to study one or more foreign languages. The Philosophical Gourmet Report has some useful information about graduate study in Philosophy as well as specific graduate programs.

Thinking about Law or Med School?

The philosophy department is happy to help pre-law and pre-medical students plan a sequence of courses that integrates the philosophy major with their other requirements.

Preparing for a Career in Law

106 – Introduction to Moral Philosophy

207 – Philosophy of Language

213 – Justice

216 – Logic

226 – Philosophy of Law

249 – Medical Ethics

340 – Seminar: Contemporary Ethical Theory

    Preparing for a Career in Medicine

    106 - Introduction to Moral Philosophy

    215 - Philosophy of Mind

    245 - Rationality and Action

    249 - Medical Ethics