Frequently Asked Questions

The Philosophy Department offers two options for majors: the traditional option and the public affairs option. The department offers minors in:

For more information, see the University Bulletin.

Fill out the Major/Minor Declaration Form, also available in Philips Hall 508, and in conjunction with a departmental advisor. Immediately after the advisor has signed the form, ask the office staff to make a copy for you and another for your file in the department. Submit the original to the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Phillips Hall 107.  View changes to the Philosophy Major, to become effective Fall 2015.

If you are declaring a Philosophy major now, you need to use the new requirements. If you have any questions please speak with your advisor.

Any full-time faculty member may assume the role of advisor. You should approach a faculty member and ask him or her to be your advisor.

For transfer credit questions, contact Professor Venner. Be ready to show a syllabus of the course from which the credits are being transferred.

A student qualifies for Honors in the Philosophy Major if he or she:

  • maintains a 3.7 GPA in philosophy courses;
  • maintains a 3.25 cumulative GPA; and
  • submits a Thesis that is approved for Honors (see next item)

Students who expect to meet these requirements should meet with the department chair or with their advisors for further guidance. Any full-time faculty member may assume the role of advisor. You should approach a faculty member and ask him or her to be your advisor.

Read Applying for Departmental Honors for more information.

An Honors Thesis is an extended paper of 20-30 pages required for Departmental Honors. The paper is drafted under the supervision of a faculty member who is selected by the student and who agrees to serve in that capacity. The Thesis is evaluated by a Thesis Committee of three full-time faculty members selected by the department chair.

Approach a faculty member who works in the area in which you are interested. A faculty member is under no obligation to agree to supervise your thesis.


The Philosophy Club is an undergraduate organization run by philosophy majors. It is awarded a budget by the University and administered by a President, a Vice President, and a Treasurer. The club organizes events such as a speaker series, an annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, and a program for teaching philosophy in DC high schools. To join, contact the faculty liaison for the Philosophy Club, Michael Sigrist.  The 2015-16 club president is Harry Rosenberg.  The e-mail address for the club is [email protected].

  • The department offers courses in the summer term. The list of courses is posted at the Schedule of Classes early in the spring semester.
  • Other institutions also offer summer courses. Notices for the latter are posted on the bulletin board outside Phillips Hall 525.
  • The department awards the Thacher/Reynolds Fellowship to support summer research by undergraduates.
  • For other summer research opportunities visit the GW Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research.

Contact the Undergraduate Studies Advisor, currently Chris Venner. Supply him with copy of the syllabus for the course, or at least a course description, as well as the grade you obtained in the course.

Graduate Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Assistance offers financial aid in the form of Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, and private alternative loans to students who have been admitted to one of our graduate degree or approved graduate certificate programs. Visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance in the ground floor of the Marvin Center to learn more.