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George Mason University
    George Mason University
  Sep 21, 2017
2016-2017 University Catalog


Phone: 703-993-1290


Professors: De Nys, Light, Sagoff

Professors emeriti: Bergoffen, Fletcher, McDermott, Skousgaard

Associate professors: Angner, Cherubin, Eckenwiler, Froman, Holman, Kinnaman (chair), Paden

Assistant professors: DiTeresi, Jones

Term professor:  Boyd

Adjunct professors: Faruggia, D. Gregory, Sander, Sojka,

Affiliate: Rothbart


This department offers all courses designated PHIL in the Courses  section of this catalog.

Undergraduate Programs

The department offers a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, which covers the major issues and areas in philosophy. It is intended to serve the needs of students who wish to pursue graduate studies in philosophy or emphasize philosophy while acquiring a broad liberal arts education. Majors in philosophy take courses in a variety of philosophical traditions and study logic, ethics, and social and political philosophy. With the skills of critical thinking, clear writing, and analytical reasoning that are the hallmark of philosophy majors, students are well-prepared for a wide range of careers including law, government service, or graduate study. 

The philosophy program can complement other interests of students when they complete a second major in another field. Students who plan to pursue more than one undergraduate major should work out a program of study in consultation with advisors from both majors and be familiar with the relevant policies for completing more than one major. See Undergraduate Policies .

In addition to the general degree in philosophy, students can choose a concentration in philosophy and law. This concentration offers philosophy majors the opportunity to focus their study of philosophy in a way that prepares them for the study of the law.

Honors in the Major

Highly qualified students may apply to the honors program in the major.  Students can apply in their second semester as a junior, before they have completed 90 credits and should have a minimum GPA of 3.50 in the major. Eligible students should submit a transcript, one letter of recommendation from a member of the philosophy faculty, and one writing sample, a paper from one of the student’s courses in philosophy.

Students pursuing honors in the major complete 6 credits of honors course work chosen from PHIL 422  or 425 . To graduate with honors in philosophy, students must complete these courses with a minimum GPA of 3.50.


The department offers a minor in philosophy and a minor in philosophy and law.  These minors are available to students in any major. The department, in cooperation with the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, coordinates the interdisciplinary minor in political philosophy . See Minors and Interdisciplinary Minors  in this section.

Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Program

The department offers highly qualified undergraduate majors in philosophy the opportunity to apply to an accelerated master’s degree program in philosophy. If accepted, students will be able to earn both the undergraduate and graduate degrees after satisfactory completion of 145 credits, generally within five years.

Graduate Programs

The department offers a master’s degree in traditional and contemporary philosophy as well as specialized concentrations in philosophy and cultural theory, ethics and public affairs, and philosophy and public affairs. The degree is designed for students who want to further their professional goals or foster their intellectual development. It provides a solid preparation for advanced work in philosophy or other fields such as women and gender studies, cultural studies, or law. The degree provides grounding in the history of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, contemporary continental thought, contemporary analytic philosophy, and philosophy of science.

The focus on traditional and contemporary philosophy of the master’s degree program provides students with a historical and pluralistic approach to philosophical questions. The concentration in ethics and public affairs gives students the opportunity to explore the ethical and philosophical issues that arise in such fields of study and work as business, health care, scientific research, biomedical technology, and public policy. The concentration in philosophy and cultural theory provides students with a distinctive and important theoretical foundation for doctoral work in cultural studies. The concentration in philosophy and public affairs allows students in the graduate program in philosophy at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics to also earn a degree from George Mason.

Students are encouraged to pursue opportunities beyond the classroom such as study abroad, professional internships, and research with faculty members.


    Undergraduate Degree(s)Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Minor(s)Undergraduate Minor(s)Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Program(s)Master’s Degree(s)