The Department of Philosophy encourages outstanding students to enhance their undergraduate experience by participating in the Honors College, and the Department offers a variety of honors experiences for students, including classroom experiences and individual research opportunities. All members of the Honors College are eligible for these experiences. Students not in the Honors College who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher may register for one honors section before applying for admission to the Honors College (application opens each spring for fall Honors admission consideration). All students with a GPA of 3.3 or higher and who are in good standing are eligible to complete an honors thesis. The Department encourages all eligible students to take advantage of these opportunities.
Every fall and spring semester the Department offers an Honors Introduction to Philosophy course in which students can explore some of the great questions of philosophy in a small class setting. The course is limited to twenty students to allow for more class discussion and in-depth treatment of issues.
Most 3000-level and nearly all 4000-level philosophy courses offer honors components to allow students an opportunity to further their learning experience. Honors components vary by instructor but may include projects in which students consider current events or community issues related to class discussion or in which students conduct a more in-depth study of a philosophical issue than is possible in the main section of the course. Students’ interests are a large factor in the design of most components.
An honors thesis allows students to conduct independent research on a topic of a student’s interest while under the supervision of a faculty member. Students need not major or minor in philosophy to write a thesis in the Department but must complete at least three courses in philosophy at the 3000 or 4000 level before they enroll in thesis research. Philosophy offers two models for thesis research. One permits students to continue existing research and complete a thesis in one semester, and the other allows students to explore a new research interest over two semesters. The requirements and guidelines for writing an honors thesis in philosophy are available here: Department of Philosophy Honors Guidelines