The Standard Major & Minor Concentration — Hunter College

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The Standard Major & Minor Concentration

There are two concentrations for the major in philosophy:

  1. The standard concentration (see below)
  2. Concentration in "Philosophy, Politics, and Society" (PPS)

Requirements for the standard concentration are below.

Major Requirements

30 credits, distributed as follows:

  • 3 cr. in logic: PHILO 171
  • 9 cr. in history of philosophy: PHILO 212, 215, and 218
  • 3 cr. in ethics, politics, and aesthetics: any course from PHILO 244, 246, or 258
  • 3 cr. in metaphysics and epistemology: any course from PHILO 360, 362, 364, 366, or 379
  • 3 cr. in the intensive study of a major philosopher: any course from PHILO 380, 381, 382, 383, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389 or 390
  • 9 additional cr. chosen in consultation with the adviser. Students are required to select at least one course (3 cr.) at the 300-level. Also, they are encouraged to select courses that acquaint them with philosophic traditions other than the dominant Western ones


A student must take, as a pre-requisite to the minor, one of 6 introductory philosophy courses (PHILO 101, 103, 104, 106, 203, or 204) as her first course in philosophy and ENGL 120. None of these courses count toward the philosophy minor.

A minor in philosophy is comprised of 12 credits at the 200-level or above, including no fewer than 3 credits at the 300-level. Exceptions: PHILO 171 may count toward the minor at the 200-level; and PHILO 203 and 204 shall not count.

A student may take PHILO 171 (Introduction to Symbolic Logic), but not PHILO 103 (Introduction to Logic & Critical Thinking), to count toward a 200-level course in the 12-credit minor. This makes possible a minor in philosophy through the department's logic sequence (PHILO 171, 275, 375, and 376.)

PHILO 203 and 204 are excluded from counting toward the minor because they are, albeit advanced, introductory courses. They do count, however, toward the pre-requisite as indicated above.

Furthermore, if a student wishes to minor in the Philosophy, Politics, Society (PPS) concentration, it is required that s/he select 4 courses or 12 credits from the list of philosophy courses, not from the list of non-philosophy courses, in the PPS concentration. Non-philosophy courses counting toward the PPS major concentration may not count toward the minor in philosophy.

Finally, a student must pass a minor in philosophy with a minimum GPA of 3.00.

When constructing a philosophy minor in either the standard or the PPS concentration, a student should always consult with a philosophy department advisor beforehand.

Recommended Minors for Philosophy Majors

While any minor offered at Hunter College is acceptable for philosophy majors, certain minors may be more appropriate for students with particular philosophical interests, especially those considering graduate study in philosophy. For students with historical interests, a minor in a language in which there is a substantial philosophical literature is appropriate—in particular, Greek or German. Latin, French, or Chinese may also be appropriate minors in cases of students with special interests. For students with interests in politics, ethics, or aesthetics, minors in fields that devote considerable attention to the study of values—such as History, Africana & Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, English, Women’s Studies, Art, Latin American & Caribbean Studies or Music—are appropriate. For students with interests in ontology, epistemology, or logic, a minor in one of the sciences is appropriate—in particular, Psychology, Physics, or Mathematics. Anthropology or Biological Sciences may also be appropriate minors in cases of students with special interests.

Recommended Philosophy Minor Courses for Other Majors

Students majoring in foreign languages and cultures who minor in philosophy should take courses on philosophers writing in the language of the major—for example, for Greek majors, PHILO 212, 380, 381; for German majors, PHILO 218, 384, 386, 387, 389; etc. Students majoring in English or fine arts fields should take historical courses that include the substantial study of values, such as PHILO 212 and/or 218, as well as courses dealing directly with problems of ethics or aesthetics, such as PHILO 244, 256, and 258. (In addition, English majors should consider taking courses that include substantial study of English or American philosophers, such as PHILO 215, 225, and/or 383.) Students majoring in History or social studies fields should take historical courses related to their area of interest (for example, PHILO 212 for ancient history or PHILO 218 for late modern European history), as well as courses dealing directly with problems of politics and society, such as PHILO 246, 248, and 250. Students majoring in the sciences should take courses in logic (PHILO 171, 275, 279, 375), as well as courses directly related to their major field—for example, PHILO 268 and 366 for Psychology, PHILO 270 and 379 for Physics, or PHILO 376 for Mathematics.

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