Philosophy Minor

The minor in philosophy requires students to be well-grounded in the history of philosophy, especially ancient and early modern, covering the major texts of ethical and political theory as well as the major texts of epistemology and metaphysics. The emphasis on argument and logical structure in philosophy requires familiarity with contemporary logic, at least up to the level of the first-order predicate calculus. Beyond this foundational requirement, students take 4 courses tailored to their individual interests and, typically, to complement work being done in their major. To provide the greatest latitude, only 3 of the 4 remaining courses need be at the 300 or 400 level.

Course Title
Minor Requirements (8 units)
4 core courses: 1
PHIL 150-0Elementary Logic I
or PHIL 250-0 Elementary Logic II
PHIL 210-1History of Philosophy - Ancient
PHIL 210-3History of Philosophy - Early Modern
PHIL 260-0Introduction to Moral Philosophy
or PHIL 261-0 Introduction to Political Philosophy
4 additional courses: 2
At least 3 must be at the 300 or 400 level. A student who is admitted to and completes 1 or more 400-level courses may apply such courses toward this requirement.
Only 1 from the following courses offered by the Brady Scholars Program in Ethics and Civic Life may be counted: 3
PHIL 273-1The Brady Scholars Program: The Good Life
or PHIL 273-2 The Brady Scholars Program: The Moral Life
or PHIL 273-3 The Brady Scholars Program: The Good Society
Only in exceptional cases and upon petition to the director of undergraduate studies may 1 eligible PHIL 399-0 (no more) count toward the minor. See department website for criteria. Approval must be obtained in advance from both the instructor and the director of undergraduate studies. Neither online-courses nor non-PHIL credits may be petitioned to count for the minor.

NOTE: Core requirements for the minor cannot be replaced by courses taken outside the specified offerings of the Philosophy Department. This includes courses completed on study abroad programs, online courses, courses transferred from other institutions, and courses offered by other departments at Northwestern. Only in cases of established exceptional hardship will the Philosophy Department undergraduate committee be able to consider a request to substitute a core credit (see department website FAQ for further details). A student who might be facing such circumstances needs to immediately contact the department advisor or the director of undergraduate studies to find out more about the possibilities.


None may be a first-year seminar, the ISEN course PHIL 270-0, the Brady Scholars courses  PHIL 373-1 and PHIL 373-2, or senior tutorial courses PHIL 398-1 and PHIL 398-2.


For more about the Brady Program in Ethics and Civic Life see the relevant section of this catalog.