Major in Philosophy

This page contains information for current and prospectus philosophy majors. You can read about the requirements, the senior thesis, and related opportunities below.

Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences degree from UIC, students must complete University, college, and department degree requirements. The Department of Philosophy degree requirements are outlined below. Students should consult the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for additional degree requirements and college academic policies.

Summary of Requirements

Major Requirements 33
General Education and Electives to reach minimum Total Hours 87
Total Hours 120

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Senior Thesis

For the philosophy major who is serious about academics and ready for a significant challenge, there is an option of writing a senior thesis.  A senior thesis should be a paper of approximately 15 to 20 pages in length that offers a careful and thoughtful investigation of some philosophical problem or some portion of the thought of a historical figure.  The senior thesis is intended to be more in-depth and demanding than a typical paper for a course, and should contain original arguments and insights rather than simple summary or exposition.  It is to be written under the supervision of an advisor typically over the period of one semester.  

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Opportunities

The following list was extracted from the website of the American Philosophical Association.

Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institutes (PIKSI)

The two PIKSI programs are affiliated with one another but operate autonomously. The are funded in large part by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the APA, as well as their host institutions.

PIKSI-Boston

PIKSI-Boston, founded in 2015, is held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is also supported by the University of Massachusetts Boston.

  • Dates: June 20 - June 27, 2017
  • Location: Cambridge, MA
  • Application Information:
    Applications are accepted until January 31, 2017. The two PIKSI institutes use a shared application process. Applicants must complete an online application and submit a transcript and writing sample, and each must have a faculty sponsor. Undergraduates and recent graduates from underrepresented groups such as women, African Americans, Chicano/as and Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, LGBTQA persons, economically disadvantaged communities, and people with disabilities are urged to apply. 
  • About the Institute:
    PIKSI summer institutes are designed to encourage undergraduates from underrepresented groups to consider future study of philosophy. Transportation and lodging are provided; stipends are awarded to all.
  • Additional Information: PIKSI-Boston Website

PIKSI-Rock

PIKSI-Rock, founded in 2006, is held at the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State University.

  • Dates: June 21 - June 30, 2017 
  • Location: State College, PA
  • Application Information:
    Applications are accepted until January 31, 2017. The two PIKSI institutes use a shared application process. Applicants must complete an online application and submit a transcript and writing sample, and each must have a faculty sponsor. Undergraduate women or men from underrepresented groups such as African Americans, Chicano/as and Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, LGBTQA persons, economically disadvantaged communities, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
  • About the Institute:
    PIKSI summer institutes are designed to encourage undergraduates from underrepresented groups to consider future study of philosophy. Transportation and lodging are provided; stipends are awarded to all.
  • Additional Information: PIKSI-Rock Website

Rutgers Summer Institute for Diversity in Philosophy

Now in its 20th year, the institute founded by Prof. Howard McGary is held at Rutgers University.

  • Dates: July 30 - August 5, 2017
  • Location: New Brunswick, NJ
  • Application Information:
    Applications are due May 8, 2017. Eligible students must demonstrate how their experiences and background foster greater diversity in the discipline of philosophy and be full-time students in a college or university in the United States (preference will be given to sophomores and juniors, though others are eligible). Interested students must be in good academic standing and be interested in philosophy as a career.
  • About the Institute:
    This seven-day program is designed to introduce undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds to the various areas of specialization within the discipline of philosophy, give students a better idea of what graduate studies in philosophy is about, and explore various views about what it means to be a professional philosopher. The institute provides travel, room and board, and a stipend.
  • Additional Information: Rutgers Summer Institute Website

Summer Immersion Program in Philosophy at Brown University

SIPP at Brown began in 2015. It is hosted and supported by Brown University.

  • Dates: July 16 - July 29, 2017. 
  • Location: Providence, RI
  • Application Information:
    Applications are due March 15, 2017. Students currently in their junior year of undergraduate studies who are interested in pursuing a career in philosophy and who identify with a traditionally underrepresented group in the field are invited to apply. (These groups include women, students of color, and disabled persons.) SIPP will also take applications from students who are in their senior year, or who already have a degree, as long as they have not yet applied to graduate school. Applicants must complete an application form and provide a transcript and writing sample.
  • About the Institute:
    SIPP@Brown is a two week residential program. Students attend two daily seminars and participated in regular evening activities arranged by the Brown Department of Philosophy. Admitted students are housed in Brown University dorms and receive a stipend and travel costs.
  • Additional Information: SIPP@Brown Website

UCSD Summer Program for Women in Philosophy

The UCSD Summer Program for Women in Philosophy held its first institute in 2014. It is hosted and supported by the University of California at San Diego.

  • Dates: June 25 - July 8, 2017.  
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Application Information:
    Applications are normally due in early spring (March 1, 2017). Participants must be women who are US or Canadian citizens and enrolled in an accredited 4-year college or university. Preference is given to students in their junior year, but sophomores are also eligible. While academic ability and philosophical promise are the main criteria for selection, the selection committee will also give some weight to applicants who come from colleges or universities with smaller or more limited resources, and also applicants who have encountered factors that present hardships to their pursuit of higher education (including financial and cultural factors).
  • About the Institute:
    The two-week program features two intensive courses and a variety of workshops, all geared towards providing an engaging philosophical learning experience and preparation for applying to graduate school in philosophy. Participants will be provided with housing and meals, will have transportation costs covered, will have all course and workshop materials provided, and will receive a stipend.
  • Additional Information: UCSD Summer Program Website