Major in Philosophy

Students enrolled in the Philosophy program explore the historical trajectory of philosophical thought and its current applications in many professional and academic fields. Philosophy is a critical and reflective discipline, the study of which strengthens students' evaluative and moral reasoning skills and prepares students to succeed in future endeavors such as law school, seminary, medicine, business, computer science, and education. Students may earn a major or minor in Philosophy.

Bachelor of Arts Degree


CIP 38.0101




University Studies Requirements

(See Academic Degrees and Programs.)



44-47 hours


Required Courses

20 hours

PHI 099 Transitions


PHI 201 Introduction to Philosophy*


PHI 202 Ethics*


PHI 203 Symbolic Logic


PHI 304 History of Philosophy I: Ancient and Medieval


PHI 305 History of Philosophy II: Modern/19th Century


PHI 392 Professional Engagement   

PHI 498 Major Figures





Philosophy majors have the option to pursue four distinct tracks within the discipline. The chosen track determines the required electives. See p. 151-152 of the 2013-14 academic bulletin for a listing of track-specific electives.





Aesthetics and Media Writing

24 hours

History and Contemporary Thought

18 hours

Political Thought

18 hours 

Religious Thought

18 hours 


Required Minor

21 hours


Unrestricted Electives

8-17 hours


Total Curriculum Requirements

120 hours



* Required for major whether or not taken as University Studies elective.  

“A feeling of wonder is what marks the philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.”
– Socrates, from Plato’s Theaetus

Plato and Aristotle
Plato and Aristotle, Greek philosophers



“Empathy is not simply a matter of trying to imagine what others are going through, but having the will to muster enough courage to do something about it. In a way, empathy is predicated upon hope.”

– Cornel West

Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West, contemporary philosopher

Murray State University Department of English and Philosophy



The requirements listed above are an example of what is applicable to most students entering Murray State University under the 2013-14 academic bulletin. Criteria as they may relate to individual students may vary. The primary source is the MSU bulletin applicable at the time of the student enrollment; if you enrolled prior to the 2013-14 academic year, consult the registrar's listing for your applicable bulletin. 




Dr. Cynthia Gayman

7C Faculty Hall

Murray State University

Murray KY 42071-3341

270-809-2396 phone

270-809-4545 fax