Philosophy Undergraduate Program (BA)
Undergraduate Study of Philosophy
The study of philosophy has long been a central part of a sound liberal arts education. It provides students a deeper understanding of the ideas that have shaped human cultures, at the same time honing students’ analytic skills and helping them to think more creatively, write more carefully, and interpret difficult texts with greater care. It delves into every aspect of life and examines the foundations and applications of every discipline. Consequently, the study of philosophy provides an enlightening interdisciplinary perspective on humanity in the universe. Courses in philosophy explore both historical and contemporary philosophical writings, and inquiry ranges from highly theoretical issues to concrete, practical philosophical problems. And just as philosophy opens the student to different ways of apprehending the world, it also enhances the student's self-understanding and self-esteem. As Bertrand Russell said, philosophic questions "enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation, but above all through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind is also rendered great..."
Philosophy majors do exceptionally well on graduate and professional school admissions exams. Their average scores regularly place philosophy among the top five majors on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), and the Graduate Records Examination (GRE). No other undergraduate discipline matches this record of achievement.
Major: Philosophy majors must fulfill all of the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences listed in the Texas Tech University Undergraduate Catalog. Students majoring in philosophy must complete 30 hours in philosophy, including PHIL 2310 (Logic), 2320 (Introduction to Ethics), 3301 (Classical Greek Philosophy), 3303 (Modern European Philosophy), and one of the following: 3330 (Philosophy of Science), 3340 (Minds, Brains, and Computers), 4330 (Epistemology), 4331 (Philosophy of Language, or 4340 (Metaphysics). Majors may not count PHIL 1310 (Reasoning) toward fulfillment of the 30-hour requirement, but they may substitute PHIL 4310 (Advanced Logic) for the 2310 requirement.
- PHIL 3320 Introduction to Political Philosophy
- PHIL 3321 Philosophy of Law
- PHIL 3322 Biomedical Ethics
- PHIL 3325 Environmental Ethics
- PHIL 4320 (Advanced) Ethics
- PHIL 4321 (Advanced) Political Philosophy
- PHIL 3323 Business Ethics
Other courses may be substituted for these when topics are appropriate. For example, PHIL 3301 Ancient Philosophy when the focus is Socratic and Platonic ethics.
Minor: A minor in philosophy requires the completion of 18 hours in philosophy, 6 of which must be at the 3000 or 4000 level.
For transfer students, at least 9 hours of the major or 6 hours of the minor must be completed in residency at Texas Tech. Philosophy students must receive at least a ‘C’ in any philosophy course in order for it to fulfill major or minor requirements.
It is not unusual for students to combine a major in philosophy with a second major in another field. To complete a double major, a student must satisfy all of the requirements of both disciplines.