Philosophy and Religion, B.A.

Degree Type
Bachelor of Arts

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.


Students are required to complete a minimum of 120 credits, including 51-52 credits of Liberal Education Curriculum courses, major requirements (40 credits), and general College electives. No more than one course with a D grade will be accepted toward requirements for the major.

A. Liberal Education Curriculum:

Refer to the Liberal Education Curriculum Bulletin for specific requirements. 

B. Major Requirements: 40 credits

1. Disciplinary Perspectives/Surveys (Choose Two)

  • HI1010 World Religions: West
  • HI1020 World Religions: East
  • HI2720 Introduction to Philosophy

2. Disciplinary Methods (Choose One)

  • HI2155 Introduction to Comparative Religion
  • HI2700 Introduction to Logic

3. Cultural Foundations (Choose Two)

  • HI3002 The Rise of Reason
  • HI3011 Foundations of the Judeo-Christian Tradition
  • HI3021 Europe in the Middle Ages
  • HI3030 From God to Machine
  • HI3080 Asian Cultures
  • HI3091 African Cultures
  • HI3102 Hispanic Heritage
  • HI3110 Latin American Culture
  • HI3558 Classical Greco-Roman History
  • HI3835 Islamic Cultures
  • HI3640 African History
  • HI3840 Crescent and Cross
  • HI 4557 Renaissance& Reformation Europe
  • HI4800 History of India
  • HI4905 Chinese Civilization

4. HI3752 Ethics (Required)

5. Electives (Choose Three from One of the Following clusters)


  • HI3323 Buddhism
  • HI3525 Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • HI3703 Modern Philosophy
  • HI3704 African Religions and Philosophy
  • HI3710 Contemporary Philosophical Issues
  • HI3950 Philosophy of Religion
  • HI4051 Logic and Scientific Reasoning
  • HI4318 Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism
  • HI4395 20th & 21st Century Philosophy
  • PE4620 Political Thought
  • PE4665 Human Rights
  • PE4658 Law and Civil Liberties
  • PE4659 Law and Civil Rights
  • SY4810 Law and Justice 


  • HI3040 Analysis of Cultures
  • HI3130 The Black Church in America
  • HI3200 Contemporary Experience of Religion
  • HI3323 Buddhism
  • HI3704 African Religions and Philosophy
  • HI3950 Philosophy of Religion
  • HI4305 Islam and the Quran
  • HI4306 Golden Age of Islam
  • HI 4308 History Modern Middle East
  • HI4313 Islamic Philosophy & Mysticism
  • HI4420 Women and Witchcraft
  • HI4557 Renaissance and Reformation Europe
  • EL4312 Greek Mythology


  • AS3482 History of Love and Sexuality
  • AS4215 Critical Ideas in American History
  • HI3002 Rise of Reason—The Classical Origins of Western Culture
  • HI 3011 Found of Judeo-Christian Trad
  • HI 3021 Europe in the Middle Ages
  • HI3030 From God to the Machine: Europe from
  • the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries
  • HI3040 Analysis of Cultures
  • HI3200 Contemporary Religious Experience
  • HI4308 History of the Modern Middle East
  • HI4420 Women and Witchcraft
  • PE4580 Origins of the Capitalist Economy
  • PE4620 Political & Social Thought
  • SY4530 Sociological Theory I
  • SY4520 Global Sociology

6. Senior Research Project.

A capping requirement for Philosophy and Religion majors involving a substantial research project that can be fulfilled in one of the following ways:

  1. The student may enroll in HI5910 at the same time as another upper-division Philosophy and Religion course and do the research project in conjunction with the course;
  2. The student may enroll in HI5910 and do the research project as a “stand-alone” undertaking in consultation with an adviser.

Senior standing and permission of the course instructor (for Option 1) or project adviser (for Option 2) required.

C. General Electives

In consultation with Academic Advisor