Brown University ~ Department of Philosophy

For Undergraduates

This page describes the "standard" concentration in Philosophy. There is also a related but separate concentration in Physics and Philosophy. More information on that program is available from the Physics department and from the Registar's office.


The Philosophy concentration offers courses covering subjects from the philosophy of religion to the philosophies of science and literature. It also provides survey courses on various periods in the history of philosophy. Concentrators can expect to strengthen their knowledge of and skills in ancient philosophy, early modern philosophy, logic, epistemology and metaphysics. Students are required to identify an area of specialization.

Student Goals

Students in philosophy will:

Concentration Requirements

New concentration requirements became effective in January 2013. Students who declared their concentration prior to that date are still subject to the old requirements, which can be found in the University Bulletin.

The current requirement is ten courses total of which no more than one may be below Phil 0350, and at least three of which must be at or above Phil 0990.

Distribution Requirements

Each philosophy concentrator must take:


Each student must also have a "specialization", consisting of three related courses from a single area of philosphy, for example: logic and language; philosphy of science; epistemology; philosophy of mind; moral philosophy; political philosophy; ancient philosophy; and so forth. At most one course from the specialization can als be counted for one of the five area requirements.


Each philosophy concentrator must complete a "capstone". For more information, see the page on the senior year.


Philosophy concentrators have the option of writing an Honor's Thesis, which is typically researched and written over the course of the entire senior year. Interested students should consult with the concentration advisor during the sixth semester concerning procedures and requirements.