- Total Credit Hours: 120
- Degree Format: Online, Traditional
About this field
The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is a diverse department with a dual track major program that leads to a B. A. degree with a major in Philosophy and Religious Studies and a concentration in either Philosophy or Religious Studies. We also offer minor programs in philosophy, religious studies, and professional and applied ethics. The Environmental Studies minor is also housed in the department. Students who concentrate in Philosophy study a broad spectrum of ideas, thinkers, issues and arguments. Philosophy challenges students to think critically and express themselves effectively. The philosophy curriculum addresses the key questions from a variety of areas: the history of philosophy, reasoning and argumentation, ethics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, social and political theory, and aesthetics. The department also offers a variety of special topics courses that address issues of interest to philosophers. Our special topics courses are concerned with a range of issues; previous courses have addressed the work of one particular figure in the history of philosophy, or a philosophical interpretation of modern cultural trends. All philosophy track students are encouraged to develop an appreciation for lifelong learning and the richness of culture and intellectual history. Philosophy also provides a foundation for students to become positive contributors to our society.
The Valdosta State Difference
The main strength of the department is its diverse and productive faculty, housed in Ashley Hall, an award-winning, multi-million dollar historic renovation which was completed in 2012. This experienced group is dedicated to teaching and is characterized by a wide-range of interests, teaching styles, and specialties. The department is active in Study Abroad including recent programs in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Japan, and China. A second major strength of the department is the innovative, dual-track curriculum which is integrated through core requirements. This approach is unique but the dual track involving both philosophy and religious studies courses allows for cross-listing of classes which helps students to customize degree programs and to achieve individual goals. A third major strength of the department is its student orientation, and the record of success established by students within the department, and after graduation. The relatively small nature of the department means that faculty can get to know students, and to attempt to meet student needs. Classes and assignments can be personalized thereby helping students better prepare for work or graduate school. The department offers a Philosophy and Religious Studies Club and honor societies for both tracks. Relationships are continued with students after they graduate and take on the status of alumni.
What You'll Learn
Students will learn analytical skills through the explanation and analysis of issues and topics from the history of philosophy; gain the ability to write and speak critically and logically; learn to explain ideas and values in context; and to create independent research by synthesizing a variety of sources.
Many in the current generation of college students find that philosophy offers skills that can be used to make sense of the world in which they live—from the morality of war to the latest political scandal. Many students tend to double major and go on to careers in the professions and business. For other students, philosophy is a pre-law track, and for still others, it is an intellectual base to look at a range of issues important for today’s student. Likewise, religion persists as perhaps the primary expression of the human need for a life of purpose and meaning. It is found in cultures all around the world—in the popular cultural media of film, television, and music, but also in the towns and neighborhoods of every continent. Religion is likewise found in important global issues, and cultural conflict. Religion continues to thrive with power and persistence, and calls for greater understanding. Consequently, the study of religion requires critical thinking skills as well as cross-cultural understanding. These skills are in demand in many professional areas such as law, business, education, medicine, and the ministry.
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Ashley Hall 1202
1500 N. Patterson St. Valdosta, Georgia 31698