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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


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

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


Choosing Your Courses

Registration for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 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:

New and Highlighted Courses

In addition to some of our popular offerings, there are new courses available in the coming year.

The Meaning of Life - REL 102, PHL 102

How have traditions of wisdom and philosophy addressed questions of life's meaning? How are you searching for meaning, purpose, and value in life? Cross-listed sections are offered by faculty in both Religion (REL 102) and Philosophy (PHL 102).

Courses in Philosophy and Environmentalism! 

  • PHL 158: Introduction to Environmental Ethics and Justice (NEW!)
  • PHL 328: Animal Ethics

PHL Environmentalism [PDF]

Philosophy Courses in University Program IV-A: Studies in Discrimination

  • PHL 128: Philosophical Perspectives on Poverty and Economic Injustice (NEW!)
  • PHL 158: Introduction to Environmental Ethics and Justice (NEW!)

PHL IV-A Courses [PDF]

PHL 145QR: Chances, Choices, and Everyday Reasoning

  • Satisfies UP Subgroup II-B
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
Offered Spring 2021

PHL145QR Infosheet [PDF]

"This course was great preparation for my major's course in statistics and methods!  Everyone else is struggling with probabilities, and I already know how to think this way."

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How did it all begin?  Explore the "Old Testament" with our very own scholar of the Hebrew bible, Dr. Kelly Murphy.  Students can take the course as WI or non-WI, and both satisfy the UP Subgroup I-A.

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Who was Abraham? Who was Moses?  Come learn about this important religion with over 15 million adherents worldwide!  Students can take the course as WI or non-WI, and both satisfy the UP Subgroup I-A.

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.