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 asked to identify an area of specialization. There is also a related, but separate concentration in physics and philosophy. 

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Learn to think analytically and creatively about philosophical texts and issues
  • Understand the work of major figures in the history of philosophy, including Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Kant
  • Become familiar with arguments and approaches in metaphysics or epistemology, and a selection of other areas of philosophy, such as philosophy of mind and philosophy of language; as well as topics in ethics and political philosophy
  • Know how to carry out logical proofs and derivations within a formal system
  • Produce a significant body of written work


Click here for a list of the Philosophy concentration requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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All concentrators must complete a capstone in the senior year. Capstone options include a reading course, a senior seminar (PHIL 0990), a graduate seminar (PHIL 2000-level), or an Honor's Thesis, 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. Please visit the concentration website for additional information.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Enhance your aesthetic sensibility
  • Expand your reading skills
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201335 28 
201417 17 
201517 17 
201619 19 
201723 23 

Alumni Pathways

Alumni who concentrated in Philosophy have pursued a wide range of careers, including as journalists, attorneys, research scientists, investment bankers, bioethicists, business executives, and university professors.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Willa Tracy

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.