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The BA Honours Degree in Philosophy

Submitted by nnreimer on Tue, 08/23/2016 - 5:10pm

The BA Honours degree in Philosophy requires at least 10 full-course equivalents in Philosophy (and no more than 12).  It includes all the requirements for the BA degree in Philosophy and a course in intermediate logic (PHIL 379).  In addition, all Honours Program students must complete 2 courses at the 500 level:  PHIL 590 (the Honours Thesis Course) and PHIL 597 (the Honours Seminar).  PHIL 590 and 597 are the culmination of the Honours Program.  They offer the opportunity to work one-on-one with a professor in an area of your interest.

Summary of Requirements for the BA Honours Degree in Philosophy

  1. Logic:  One of Philosophy 279 or 377; and Philosophy 379.
  2. Majors Classes:  Both Philosophy 395 and Philosophy 397.
  3. Honours Thesis:  Philosophy 590
  4. Honours Seminar:  Philosophy 597
  5. Core Classes:  5 additional full-course equivalents in Philosophy at the 400 or 500 level.
  6. Other:  1.5 additional full-course equivalents in Philosophy

Students must choose their courses carefully in years one and two in order to ensure that they have the prerequisites for the 400/500 level courses.  Optimally, Philosophy majors should:

(a)  take either 201 or 249 in their first year

(b)  take both 395 and 397 in their second year

(c)  take 279 in their first or second year

(d)  take one of 301, 303, 305, 307, 309 or 311 in their second year

Requirements for BA Honours - Elaborations

  1. Formal Logic:  You must take two courses in formal logic.  Formal logic is the study of symbolic representations of reasoning.  Students may fulfill this requirement by taking one of PHIL 279 and PHIL 377, followed by PHIL 379. 
  2. Majors Classes:  PHIL 395 and PHIL 397 are classes reserved for philosophy majors, and are writing intensive.  They should be taken during the student's second year.
  3. Honours Thesis:  In the final year of the Honours program you must take PHIL 590 (Honours Thesis).  You will work one-on-one with a professor to prepare an Honours Thesis of 12,000-15,000 words (excluding bibliography).  You then have an oral defense of the thesis before a three-member committee which will assign the grade.  The Honours Thesis grade must be at last "A" or "A-" if the Department is to recommend you for First Class Honours, and must be at least "B-" if you are to be recommended for Honours.  Students planning to write their honours thesis should make arrangements with a supervision in the Spring before they enroll in PHIL 590. 
  4. Honours Seminar:  In the Fall semester of the year in which you write your honours thesis, you will take PHIL 597 (Honours Seminar) in which you get some instruction on thesis writing and will present your ideas to the other members of the class. 
  5. Core Classes:  The core classes intended to teach philosophy majors the professional skills of a philosopher are the courses offered at the 400/500 level.  Here students will be exposed to intense discussion of ideas and historical figures, often in a seminar style format.  While students are given the freedom to choose the courses that interest them, we strongly encourage they take courses from across a range of philosophical areas.  Students bear the responsibility of ensuring that they take the appropriate classes at the 200/300 level to ensure that they have the prerequisites for the upper level core classes. 
  6. Other:  The remaining 1.5 FCEs will largely be taken in the student's first two years and will vary with the interests of the student.  Students are encouraged to take either PHIL 201 or PHIL 249 in their first year.  Students are also strongly encouraged to take at least 1 course in the History of Philosophy during their second year (one of 301, 303, 305, 307, 309, 311).
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