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Requirements for a Major or Minor in Philosophy or Religion
The two disciplines of Philosophy and Religion represent humankind’s abiding interest in the fundamental questions of life, truth, and value. Questions about the meaning of life, the significance of truth, the access to knowledge, and the ability to live ethically have been studied by philosophers and theologians from the time of Socrates and before. Philosophy seeks answers which, chiefly, refer to human capacities and ideals and to the world of experience in which we live; Religion will often include postulates about divine forces and spiritual realities in the answers it frames. The two disciplines tend to be more distinct in Western culture; philosophers and theologians have often been in bitter conflict both with each other and with religious authorities. In Eastern cultures, however, philosophy and religion overlap — often appearing as complements. In both East and West these two fields of study represent the longest and most basic traditions of literature and the intellectual life. Though Philosophy and Religion both address questions of ultimate meaning, each discipline preserves its own literary history and its own scholarly tradition.
Every student can benefit from coursework in Philosophy and Religion. Most courses in the department fulfill General Education Requirements in Arts and Humanities. Several major programs require or recommend specific courses to their students. A two to five course series of courses in Philosophy and Religion can be designed to complement major programs in nursing, engineering, science, business, criminal justice studies, as well as humanities disciplines. Minor programs (20 hours) in Philosophy and Religion can also give depth and breadth to any major program. Neither Philosophy nor Religion requires a large technical vocabulary even in upper level courses. Juniors and seniors are urged to register for courses at the 300-400 level even though they have not taken courses at the 100-200 level.
Those students who wish to pursue a major or a second major in Philosophy and Religion must follow one of the two programs of concentration.