New York University
Department of Philosophy
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Program of Study (CAS Bulletin)

Major
A major in Philosophy requires ten 4-point courses (40 points) in the department. These ten courses must include the following:
  • One and only one introductory course (PHIL-UA 1, PHIL-UA 2, PHIL-UA 3, PHIL-UA 4, or PHIL-UA 5)
  • Logic (PHIL-UA 70)
  • History of Ancient Philosophy (PHIL-UA 20)
  • History of Modern Philosophy (PHIL-UA 21)
  • Ethics (PHIL-UA 40) or Nature of Values (PHIL-UA 41) or Political Philosophy (PHIL-UA 45)
  • Epistemology (PHIL-UA 76) or Metaphysics (PHIL-UA 78) or Philosophy of Science (PHIL-UA 90)
  • Philosophy of Mind (PHIL-UA 80) or Consciousness (PHIL-UA 81) or Philosophy of Language (PHIL-UA 85)
  • One Topics course (PHIL-UA 101, PHIL-UA 102, PHIL-UA 103, or PHIL-UA 104)
  • The remaining two courses (electives) may be chosen from any departmental offerings, except introductory courses.
All students should begin with one of the introductory courses. Satisfactory completion of any one course at the introductory level is a prerequisite for all of the other courses required for the major, except Logic. It is recommended that those considering a major also take Logic as soon as possible.

No credit toward the major is awarded for a course with a grade lower than C.

Joint Major in Language and Mind
This major, intended as an introduction to cognitive science, is administered by the Departments of Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology. Ten courses (40 points) are required (four in Linguistics, one in Philosophy, four in Psychology, and one additional course).

The Linguistics component consists of these four courses (16 points):
  • Language and Mind (LING-UA 28)
  • Two more courses, chosen from the following:
    • Introduction to Semantics (LING-UA 4)
    • Phonological Analysis (LING-UA 12)
    • Grammatical Analysis (LING-UA 13)
  • One course, chosen from the following:
    • Introduction to Semantics (LING-UA 4)
    • Psycholinguistics (LING-UA 5)
    • Sound and Language (LING-UA 11)
    • Computational Principles of Sentence Construction (LING-UA 24)
    • Form, Meaning, and the Mind (LING-UA 31)
    • Propositional Attitudes (LING-UA 35)
    • Neural Bases of Language (LING-UA 43 or PSYCH-UA 300)
    • Linguistics as Cognitive Science (LING-UA 48)
    • Learning to Speak (LING-UA 54)
    • Introduction to Morphology at an Advanced Level (LING-UA 55)
The Philosophy component is a choice of one of the following three courses (4 points):
  • Minds and Machines (PHIL-UA 5)
  • Philosophy of Language (PHIL-UA 85)
  • Logic (PHIL-UA 70)
The Psychology component consists of four courses (16 points):
  • Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (PSYCH-UA 10)
  • Cognition (PSYCH-UA 29)
  • One course chosen from:
    • The Psychology of Language (PSYCH-UA 56)
    • Neural Bases of Language (PSYCH-UA 300)
    • Speech: A Window into the Developing Mind (PSYCH-UA 300)
  • One course chosen from:
    • Perception (PSYCH-UA 22)
    • Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (PSYCH-UA 25)
    • Laboratory in Perception (PSYCH-UA 44)
    • Laboratory in Human Cognition (PSYCH-UA 46)
    • The Psychology of Language (PSYCH-UA 56)
    • Neural Bases of Language (PSYCH-UA 300)
The tenth course (4 points) will be one of the above-listed courses that has not already been chosen to satisfy the departmental components.

For advisement, language and mind majors should consult with the Directors of Undergraduate Studies of the contributing departments.
Minor
A minor in Philosophy requires four 4-point courses (16 points) in the department. These four courses must include one (and only one) introductory course (PHIL-UA 1-5), and one course from each of the department's three groups of courses:
  • Group 1: History of Philosophy
  • Group 2: Ethics, Values, and Society
  • Group 3: Logic, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Mind and Language
No credit toward the minor is awarded for a course with a grade lower than C.

Independent Study
A student may register for an independent study course (PHIL-UA 301, 302) if he or she obtains the consent of a faculty member who approves the study project and agrees to serve as adviser. The student must also obtain the approval of either the department chair or the Directors of Undergraduate Studies. The student may take no more than one such course in any given semester and no more than two such courses in total, unless granted special permission by either the department Chair or the Directors of Undergraduate Studies.

Honors Program
Honors in philosophy will be awarded to majors who (1) have an overall GPA of 3.65 and an average in philosophy courses of 3.65 and (2) successfully complete the honors program. This program consists of the following three courses. (Note: of these courses, only the first two may be counted toward the ten courses required for the major.)

The Junior Honors Proseminar (PHIL-UA 200) should be taken in the spring semester of junior year. This course will play the dual roles of introducing students to core readings in some of the main areas of current philosophy and of giving them an intensive training in writing philosophy. Admission to this course usually requires a GPA, both overall and in philosophy courses, of at least 3.65, as well as the permission of the Directors of Undergraduate Studies. The department will try to make alternative arrangements for students who wish to participate in the honors program but who will be studying abroad in this semester of their junior year.

Next, the Senior Honors Seminar (PHIL-UA 201) should be taken in the fall semester of senior year. Here, students begin to develop their thesis projects, meeting weekly as a group under the direction of a faculty member and presenting and discussing their thesis arguments. Students will also select, and begin to meet separately with, their individual thesis advisers—faculty who work in the areas of students' thesis projects. Entry to this seminar depends on satisfactory completion of the Junior Honors Proseminar—or on the special approval of the Directors of Undergraduate Studies. It also usually requires a GPA of at least 3.65.

Finally, Senior Honors Research (PHIL-UA 202) should be taken in the spring semester of senior year. The seminar no longer meets, but each student continues to meet separately with his or her individual thesis adviser, producing and discussing a series of rough drafts of the thesis. The final version must be submitted by a deadline to be determined, in April. It must be approved by the thesis adviser, as well as by a second faculty reader, for honors to be awarded. The student must also finish with a GPA of at least 3.65 both overall and in the major—and here no exceptions will be made. In addition, the thesis advisers will meet after the decisions by the readers have been made and award some students highest or high honors, based on thesis quality and other factors (including GPA in philosophy courses).

Course Prerequisites
The department treats its course prerequisites seriously. Students not satisfying a course's prerequisites must seek the permission of the instructor to register.