Explore your interests in philosophy at Lawrence.

Academic advising at Lawrence seeks to empower each student to craft and pursue a transformative liberal arts experience that prepares them for impactful and personally fulfilling lives. Faculty advisors support students in planning and achieving their educational goals, facilitate connections to campus resources and communities, and guide students to make informed decisions as they pursue their academic interests and aspirations. 

Course Planning for New and Exploring Students

Students interested in philosophy can get a sense of the discipline by taking one of our introductory classes, tailored to their individual interests: 

  • PHIL 100: Introduction to Problems in Philosophy
  • PHIL 102: Introduction to Ethics
  • PHIL 103: Philosophy in the 21st Century (3 credits)
  • PHIL 105: Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • PHIL 115: Food Ethics
  • PHIL 120: Introduction to Biomedical Ethics

A good, additional choice for a student’s first year in the program is PHIL 150: Symbolic Logic, since it satisfies a requirement for the major and introduces students to a variety of tools for assessing arguments, which are foundational for more advanced coursework. Symbolic Logic also meets Lawrence University’s Quantitative (Q) General Education Requirement for the Bachelor’s degree.

In addition to the logic requirement, students must take two courses in the history of philosophy and one course each in the distribution areas of epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics. Courses in the history of philosophy are particularly good gateways to more advanced coursework, since philosophy has a long history and these courses will serve to familiarize students with some of the discipline’s ongoing debates.

Because philosophy consists in a variety of methods of analysis that—in true liberal arts fashion—can be and have been fruitfully applied to a variety of other academic disciplines, our major requirements count up to two courses in a second major towards the philosophy degree.

Declare a Major/Minor

All students are expected to declare a major before the end of sophomore year. Ideally, sophomore students will declare a major (and switch to an advisor in the major) before advance registration advising begins in spring term.

Major Advising

All students will transition to a major advisor upon declaration. The major advisor will help students plan their coursework to satisfy requirements for the major, select courses in other areas to complement the major or satisfy personal interests, and prepare for their Senior Experience. Prospective philosophy majors can consult with any of the following philosophy faculty about serving as a major advisor:

Add a Major Advisor

Need help identifying an advisor in the major? Students can contact advising@lawrence.edu for assistance with advisor matching.

Minor Advising

Students do not need an official advisor for the philosophy minor. Instead, philosophy minors are encouraged to consult with the department chair or other philosophy faculty for advice on course selection and satisfying minor requirements.

Additional Student Resources

If you still have questions about advising support related to the philosophy program, we invite you to contact the department chair.