The Philosophy and Religion degree gives students grounding in the traditional issues, content, and methods of these disciplines while emphasizing a broad global perspective. At the introductory level students take courses in disciplinary foundations and methods, as well as general surveys in the disciplines. The major then requires the study of philosophy and religion within specific cultural contexts with opportunities for students to engage with Western, Islamic, African and Asian systems of thought and value.
Given the common ethical and normative concerns of the two disciplines, students take an ethics course that has both an applied and a multicultural perspective. Upper division electives allow students to do in-depth and specialized work on issues and topics of their choosing, with a disciplinary focus. Students with a particular interest in some area of applied ethics, such as the environment, issues of race and gender, health, and social policy, may choose elective courses from outside the major in consultation with an advisor. Pre-law students should also consult with an advisor in choosing their electives.
Successful completion of the degree will give students an understanding of the role of philosophical principles and religious systems in current ethical and political debates, as well as an understanding of the existential issues common to all humankind. The courses enhance critical thinking, analytical skills and the ability to make independent and informed ethical judgments. The Philosophy and Religion major is excellent preparation for many career paths and is especially recommended for students preparing for law school.