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Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy Major Requirements

The philosophy curriculum is designed for maximum flexibility to allow majors to pursue their particular interests in philosophy and other fields. The required course of study in Philosophy consists of the basic curriculum and either the standard Philosophy major or the Philosophy major with a Law, Liberty, and Justice Emphasis Area. All Philosophy majors must meet the requirements of the School of Humanities plus HIST 1720 and 1730 and 12 hours of 3000–4000-level coursework in one of the following areas: humanities (other than philosophy), math, science, or social science. Some courses may meet more than one requirement. All Philosophy majors must take PHIL 3990 in the junior year. Preparation of the portfolio should begin as soon as the major is declared. Specific requirements for the 2023-2024 catalog year are as follows:

Standard Philosophy Major Requirements

  • PHIL 1000 - Introduction to the Philosophy Major 
  • PHIL 3150 - Ancient Philosophy or PHIL 3160 - Modern Philosophy 
  • One course selected from CHIN 3120, CHIN 3130, CHIN 4140, PHIL 3050, PHIL 3120, PHIL 3130, PHIL 3150, PHIL 3160, PHIL 3170, PHIL 3180, or PHIL 4140.
  • One course selected from 
     PHIL 3040, PHIL 3200, PHIL 3260, PHIL 3400, PHIL 3440, PHIL 3450, PHIL 3460, PHIL 3470, or PHIL 3480.
  • One course selected from PHIL 3230, PHIL 3240, PHIL 3250, PHIL 3270, PHIL 3330, PHIL 3490, PHIL 3510, PHIL 3550, PHIL 3600, PHIL 3750, or WS 3490.
  • PHIL 4500 - Senior Seminar 
  • HIST 1720 and HIST 1730 
  • Eighteen additional credits of major requirements selected from any PHIL course. Six of these credits may be at the 1000 level.
  • Twelve credits selected from any 3000-level or higher course in a subject other than PHIL. Minor courses at the 3000 or 4000 level may be counted towards this requirement

Pre-law and Pre-medicine students majoring in Philosophy should consult the departmental advisor for help in tailoring the program to their needs. More information for Pre-law majorsMore information for Pre-med majors.

Major Engagement: Megan Schwendinger ('17)


As a student at Clemson, Megan decided on a career in student affairs in higher education, and she chose philosophy as the path to this. One reason was the Philosophy major's flexibility and the level of customization it provides, so that she could take the courses she was most interested in and tailor her curriculum based on her plans for the future. In addition, she found the classes in the major to be both interesting and valuable in the way that they are structured allow for a large amount of discussion and interaction between the students and professors. She observes that her coursework forced her to challenge assumptions and see the world through a different lens, providing her with a new, broader perspective. "Working in a field like student affairs requires someone to be open to learning new things from all kinds of people at any given time. Philosophy really opened up my eyes to what it was like to do that on a consistent basis - to be able to learn not just from course materials and the professors, but also from other students in the room." Among her favorite courses were American Pragmatism, Ancient Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, and the Philosophy of Animal Minds. Megan exhibits the engagement on and beyond campus that characterizes many of our majors, and she was very involved in campus life and activities. She put the skills she mentions to work working as the inaugural student leader of the mentoring program for new Philosophy students, as well as serving as President of the Clemson University Residence Halls association and organizing a residence halls conference on the Clemson campus that brought in schools from throughout the southeastern United States! After graduating she entered her first-choice graduate program for higher education and student affairs leadership and is well-set to reach her goals for the future.

Department of Philosophy and Religion
Department of Philosophy and Religion | 126D Hardin Hall, Clemson, SC 29634