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What Program Is For Me?

Philosophy is the study of fundamental questions such as: Is there objective truth, or is everything just relative? Do we have free will? Is the mind or soul more than the brain? Is morality a matter of opinion? Philosophers examine such questions systematically and critically. Studying philosophy is a great way to develop marketable skills in critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and effective writing.

The study of Religion examines ideas through which cultures explore the meaning of life and phenomena which societies consider sacred, such as narratives, rituals, and institutional practices.  Its analysis includes historical, anthropological, sociological, and textual approaches.  It regards religion as an integral component of human societies, whose study is essential to a balanced education.



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At CMU, you can take a wide variety of courses in Religion and in Philosophy.  Many students take one or several of our courses for general education or electives:

University Program Subgroups

  • I-A: Human Events and Ideas
  • II-B: Quantitative and Mathematical Sciences
  • IV-A: Studies in Discrimination
  • IV-B: Studies in Cultures Outside of the Anglo-American Tradition
  • IV-C: Studies in Racism and Cultural Diversity in the United States

Competencies

  • Writing Intensive (many offerings)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (PHL 141, 145)

Students interested in deeper study can pursue one of our of majors, minors, or certificates:

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Choosing Your Courses

Registration for Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022 courses is open!  We have posted course preview guides for all of the Philosophy and Religion courses available.

Questions? Ask a Program Advisor

Religion advisors and Philosophy advisors are happy to talk with you about any of your courses.  Are you currently in a class with a philosophy or religion professor?  Feel free to ask them about courses that interest you.  The program coordinators are also available to help you:

Recommended Courses for Philosophy Students

Note: Many courses listed have both regular and Writing Intensive (WI) options available.

Fall 2021

Major requirements: Introductory

PHL 100: Introduction to Philosophy
PHL 140: Introduction to Symbolic Logic

Major requirements: Intermediate

PHL 218: Ethical Theories

Recommended Electives

PHL 145QR: Chances, Choices, and Everyday Reasoning
PHL 230: Philosophy of Religion
PHL 325: Philosophy of Mind
PHL 338: Medical Ethics
PHL 426: Feminist Theory

Additional Electives

PHL 118: Moral Problems
PHL 318: Business Ethics

Capstone Options (see below)

A. Take REL 505 Seminar in Spring 2022
B. Substitute an Elective + arranged research paper
C. Arrange an Independent Study

Spring 2022

Major requirements: Introductory

PHL 100: Introduction to Philosophy
PHL 140: Introduction to Symbolic Logic

Major requirements: Intermediate

PHL 218: Ethical Theories
PHL 302: History of Philosophy: Early Modern Period
PHL 320: Theory of Knowledge

Recommended Electives

PHL 418: Advanced Moral Philosophy

Additional Electives

PHL 118: Moral Problems
PHL 318: Business Ethics

Capstone Options (see below)

A. Take REL 505 Seminar in Spring 2022
B. Substitute an Elective + arranged research paper
C. Arrange an Independent Study

Advice for Philosophy Majors: Choosing Courses

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  • Take note of when the required courses for the Philosophy major will be offered.  Most of the required major courses are offered in rotation, so courses offered only in Spring will be offered again the following Spring.
  • PHL 200: History of Philosophy, Classical Period is not offered this year but will be scheduled for Fall 2022.  If your graduation date is coming up before then and you have not taken this course, please speak with a Philosophy faculty advisor for options.
  • There are electives at all levels that can satisfy your major.  Intermediate electives such as PHL 230 (Philosophy of Religion), PHL 325 (Philosophy of Mind), and PHL 338 (Medical Ethics) are recommended for majors at all levels.  These courses will expand your breadth of study on philosophical topics.  Advanced electives such as PHL 426 (Feminist Theory) and PHL 418 (Advanced Ethical Theories) are highly recommended for advanced majors.
  • Seniors: If your graduation date is coming up before May 2022, you need to complete a capstone experience in Philosophy this coming year.  Please see options below.

We highly recommend making an appointment with a philosophy faculty advisor as you are making plans for next year.  Discussions with a faculty advisor can help to identify flexible options and keep you on track to complete your requirements on schedule.

Advice for Philosophy Majors: Capstone

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Seniors whose expected graduation is coming up before May 2022 need to complete a capstone experience in Philosophy this year.  In place of the senior seminar (PHL 490), which will not be offered this coming year, senior majors have several options to satisfy the capstone requirement:

A. Participate in a multi-disciplinary capstone course in Spring 2022.  Take REL 505: Research Seminar with senior students majoring in either Religion or Philosophy. The seminar fosters a scholarly community among senior students working on guided research in their major.  Dr. Kelly Murphy teaches the research seminar, and each student will be paired with a faculty mentor in their area of focus.  To register, use the "Ask" button during registration and indicate that you are a senior student in Philosophy.

B. Substitute a Philosophy elective and complete a research paper.  In consultation with your philosophy faculty advisor, select an elective that will count in place of the PHL 490 requirement.  This elective will then be substituted for the senior seminar. (Because it will take the place of senior seminar, it will not count toward the total number of electives required.) By arrangement with the course instructor, you will complete a research paper assignment as part of the course that will satisfy your capstone writing.

C. Arrange an independent study.  Reach out to a philosophy faculty member who works in your area of research interest to request an independent study.  Together you will develop a plan for a guided research project that will satisfy your capstone writing.  

All senior philosophy majors should make an appointment with a philosophy faculty advisor to make a plan for the capstone.

Meet with a Philosophy Faculty Advisor

Questions? Join us for a virtual meeting. The following philosophy faculty advisors have set up office hours for advising:   

Advisor
Office hours open for advising
Andy Blom

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00-3:00 PM

Or email to arrange an appointment: blom1a@cmich.edu

Meet via WebEx
Hadley Cooney

Tuesdays, 1:00-3:00 PM

Meet via Webex
Gary Fuller

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00-12:15 PM

Meet via WebEx
Hope May

Email to arrange appointment time via Zoom: may1he@cmich.edu

Robert Noggle

Mondays and Wednesdays by appointment

Email to arrange an appointment: noggl1r@cmich.edu

Meet via WebEx
Joshua Smith

Wednesday 11:30AM-12:30PM and Thursday 2:00-3:00 PM

Or email to arrange and appointment: smith45j@cmich.edu

Meet via WebEx

Recommended Courses for Religion Students

Note: Many courses listed have both regular and Writing Intensive (WI) options available.

Fall 2021

Major Requirements: Study in Religion and Contemporary Society

REL 140: Religion, Race, and Discrimination in America
REL 207: Women and Religion 
REL 334: Death and Dying 

Major Requirements: Traditions

REL 320: The Buddhist Tradition 

Major Requirements: Electives

REL 101: World Religions
REL 102: The Meaning of Life
REL 302WI: Witchcraft, Magic, and Occult Phenomena 

Capstone for Majors/Minors*

REL 501WI: Seminar in the Study of Religion

* Required for ALL majors/minors and ONLY offered in the fall semester of 2021-2022.


Spring 2022

Major Requirements: Study in Religion and Contemporary Society

REL 140: Religion, Race, and Discrimination in America
REL 207: Women and Religion 
REL 334: Death and Dying 

Major Requirements: Area Studies

REL 221: Religious Traditions of Japan

Major Requirements: Bible or Christianity

REL 260: From Gospel to Apocalypse - Introduction to the New Testament

Major Requirements: Electives

REL 101: World Religions
REL 102: The Meaning of Life
REL 240: African American Religion in the United States
REL 302WI: Witchcraft, Magic, and Occult Phenomena 
REL 303WI: Goddesses 

Capstone for Majors/Minors*

REL 505WI: Research Seminar

* Required for ALL majors and ONLY offered in the spring semester of 2021-2022.


Advice for Religion Majors: Choosing Courses

  • For the 2021-2022 academic year, please note that there is only one course that will fulfill the requirements for each of the following: Area Studies (REL 221: Traditions of Japan in Spring 2022); Traditions (REL 320: The Buddhist Tradition in Fall 2021); Bible or Christianity (REL 260: From Gospel to Apocalypse: Introduction to The New Testament in Spring 2022). 
  • There are electives at all levels that can satisfy your major, including REL 101: World Religions (Fall 2021 and Spring 2022); REL 102: The Meaning of Life (Fall 2021 and Spring 2022); REL 240: African American Religion in the United States (Spring 2022); REL 302WI: Witchcraft, Magic, and Occult Phenomenon (Fall 2021 and Spring 2022); REL 303WI: Goddesses (Spring 2022); and REL 334: Death and Dying (Fall 2021). 
  • Seniors: If your graduation date is coming up before May 2022, you need to complete REL 501WI: Research Seminar in Religion (Fall 2021) and REL 505WI: Research Seminar (Spring 2022) during 2021-2022. Plan accordingly!

We highly recommend making an appointment with a religion faculty advisor as you are making plans for next year. Discussions with a faculty advisor can help to identify flexible options and keep you on track to complete your requirements on schedule.

Questions? Ask a Program Advisor

Religion advisors are happy to talk with you about any of your courses.  Are you currently in a class with a religion professor?  Feel free to ask them about courses that interest you!  And the program coordinator is also available to help you: Dr. Kelly Murphy, kelly.murphy@cmich.edu

Transferring to CMU?

Transfer students are encouraged to contact the Department of Philosophy and Religion to connect with an advisor as soon as you are interested in transferring to CMU. Our advisors are available to connect with you via phone, email and/or a web-based meeting. 

Advising Appointments 

Just send an email with your name, phone number and availability to one of our program coordinators to request an appointment or request information about our program:

Undergraduate Admissions Office 

Students interested in transferring will find it helpful to also contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for information on applying to CMU and determining what credits will transfer.