BA in Philosophy, Public Affairs Focus

Professor Michele Friend writes on a white board

Students who wish to major in philosophy while exploring issues concerning contemporary ethics and political philosophy may be interested in the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Public Affairs Focus. This degree shares core material with the more traditional BA in Philosophy, but students also delve into social and political topics including wealth inequality, political correctness, business ethics and the relationship between technological progress and sustainability.

Exceptional students are encouraged to apply for departmental honors and may consider the combined BA/MA program.


Visit the GW Bulletin for a complete list of Philosophy course descriptions.


Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

PHIL 1051Introduction to Philosophy
or PHIL 1051W
PHIL 2045Introduction to Logic (3 credits)
One course from the following (3 credits):
PHIL 2111History of Ancient Philosophy
or PHIL 2111W History of Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 2112History of Modern Philosophy
Two courses from the following (6 credits):
PHIL 2131Ethics: Theory and Applications
PHIL 2132Social and Political Philosophy
or PHIL 2132W Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 2136Contemporary Issues in Ethics
Four additional philosophy (PHIL) courses numbered 2000 or above (12 credits)
One of the following options:
A: Two Proseminar Courses
PHIL 4198Proseminar (6 credits)
B: Honors Thesis option (requires departmental approval and a senior thesis)
PHIL 4198Proseminar (3 credits)
or PHIL 4198W Proseminar in Philosophy
PHIL 4199Readings and Research (3 credits)