USA Philosophy Program
Philosophy is a discipline that relies upon reason, logic, and experience to formulate, analyze, and answer many of life’s most important questions:
- What is ultimately real?
- What is good and right in human affairs?
- Do we really know anything? If so, how do we know?
- Are persons distinct from our physical bodies?
- Is there purpose, perhaps even meaning, to life?
The world’s philosophical traditions have deep insights to offer in response to each of these questions, and the Philosophy Department at the University of South Alabama consists of knowledgeable, experienced, and friendly faculty members who love discussing and exploring these issues with interested students.
But is studying philosophy helpful to a career? Yes it is!
Below, please find our courses and major requirements. If you are interested in our program, we encourage you to visit our department and talk personally with one of our faculty members. We would love to meet you!
DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
Chair: Dr. Meeker (251) 460-6248
Full Professor: Dr. Meeker
Associate Professors: Dr. Loomis and Dr. Hillman
Assistant Professors: Dr. Baker and Dr. Krile Thornton
Through reasoned reflection, philosophy seeks to understand human experience in all its various aspects. Courses examine the moral, social, political, aesthetic, and religious dimensions of human existence, topics in special fields such as science, and the historical development of philosophy. In these courses students can develop skills in the presentation, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation of differing viewpoints, and refine their own beliefs about deeply important issues.
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PHILOSOPHY MAJORS
General Education Requirements for Philosophy are specified on the College of Arts and Sciences section.
All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MAJOR IN PHILOSOPHY
All majors in Philosophy, whether concentrating in Philosophy, or in Classics, or in Religion, must complete 30 semester credit hours of course work, of which 15 hours must be in the common core. In addition, all majors in Philosophy, whether concentrating in Philosophy, Religion and Classics, must complete 15 semester hours of course work in the major at the 300 and/or 400 level. All majors in Philosophy, whether concentrating in Classics, Philosophy, or in Religion, must either 1) minor in another discipline, or 2) minor in a different concentration offered by the Department of Philosophy.
The Common Core
- PHL 120 (Critical Thinking)
- PHL 240 (Western Philosophy: Classical and Medieval)
- PHL 245 (Western Philosophy: Renaissance/Enlightenment)
- PHL 321 (Symbolic Logic) or PHL/REL/CLA 310: (Classical Mythology)
- PHL/REL/CLA 461: (Metaphysics)
Note: PHL 240 and 245 do not have to be taken in sequence and should be taken early in the major. Credit for PHL 499, Honors Thesis, only counts towards the hours required for the major.
The following further courses are required for the Religion Concentration:
- 3 additional Religion (REL) courses at the 300 or 400 level
- 2 additional Religion (REL ) courses at any level
The following further courses are required for the Philosophy Concentration:
- 2 additional PHL courses at any level
- 3 additional Philosophy (PHL) courses at the 300/400 level, with at least one being either PHL 431 (Advanced Ethical Theory) or PHL 441 (Theory Knowledge)
- PHL 321
- 2 CLA, PHL, or REL courses at the 300 or 400 level
The following further courses are required for the Classics Concentration:
- 3 additional Classics (CLA) courses at the 300 or 400 level
- 2 additional Classics (CLA) courses at any level
- Fulfill Foreign Language Requirement by taking 1 year of Latin or 1 year of Ancient Greek
No more than nine hours at the 100-level may be counted toward the hours required for the major; however, additional hours taken at this level can be counted toward the total number of hours required for graduation. Fifteen hours must be taken at the 300/400-level. PHL 240 and 245 do not have to be taken in sequence and should be taken early in the major. Credit for PHL 499, Honors Thesis, is only given as an addition to the hours required for the major. Credit for PHL 499, Honors Thesis, is only given as an addition to the hours required for the major.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN PHILOSOPHY
A minimum of 18 semester hours in Philosophy, to include a logic course (PHL 121 or 321). At least nine hours must be taken in residence. No more than two 100-level courses may be counted toward the minor.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN CLASSICS
A minimum of 18 hours must be taken in Classics (CLA) courses. No more than two 100-level courses may be counted toward the Classics minor. Students minoring in Classics must fulfill the Foreign Language requirement by taking either 2 semesters of Latin or 2 semester of Ancient Greek.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN PHILOSOPHY AND MEDICINE
All Philosophy and Medicine minors must take 18 credit hours, including the following three courses (9 credit hours), in no particular order:
- PHL 220: Medical Reasoning
- PHL 240: Classical Philosophy
- PHL 333: Biomedical Ethics
Philosophy and Medicine minors must take an additional 9 hours in Philosophy, with at least 2 courses at the 300/400 level. Students are especially recommended to take some of the following: PHL 245 Renaissance/Enlightenment; PHL 321 Symbolic Logic; PHL 327 Philosophy of Science; PHL 431 Advanced Ethical Theory; PHL 441 Theory of Knowledge.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN RELIGION
A minimum of 18 semester hours in Religion. No more than two 100 level may be counted toward the minor. 9 hours of coursework must be taken as REL courses. 9 hours of coursework must be taken at the 300 and/or 400 level at the University of South Alabama.
Philosophy Majors can now fulfill the Minor requirement by taking one of the other concentrations offered.
Majors concentrating in Classics can fulfill the Minor requirement by using Philosophy or Religion concentration.
Majors concentrating in Philosophy can fulfill the Minor requirement by using Religion or Classics concentration.
Majors concentrating in Religion can fulfill the Minor requirement by using Philosophy or Classics concentration.
If a minor is required in your degree program, at least 9 (lower and/or upper-division) hours of courses in the minor must be completed at the University.
Although the Department of Philosophy has no graduate program, graduate-level courses are offered for those students who need such work.