Information for philosophy majors

All philosophy majors are required to complete ONE (and only one) capstone course. There are three options and you should pick just one to complete this requirement. Please consider your choice of option carefully. It would be advisable to discuss your choice with your academic adviser.

In order to enroll successfully for PHIL3920 and PHIL4920, you will need to obtain a confirmed acceptance from your proposed supervisor at least ONE MONTH before the beginning of the semester in question. Please do not assume that just because you have contacted a proposed supervisor that s/he has accepted you.

PHIL3920. Senior essay (capstone experience) (6 credits)

This is a one-semester capstone course for third- and fourth-year Philosophy majors. Each student will be required to audit and attend a 2000-level philosophy course (on top of the 54 credits of level 2000/3000/4000-level courses), and to write a substantial philosophy essay on a topic related to the course under the supervision of an adviser of the student’s choosing. The student must obtain the approval of the course teacher and supervisor before the semester. (The supervisor may be the teacher for the audited course, but need not be.) The essay is expected not to exceed 5,000 words, and should be submitted in accordance with a schedule agreed upon with the supervisor. Assessment will be based entirely on the completed thesis.

IMPORTANT: You should pick a course that you have not completed before. If you want to choose a course which you have studied before, you need to get the approval of the teacher of the course. Also, you SHOULD NOT register for the course you are auditing. You are also not expected to complete the normal coursework for registered students in that course, unless otherwise instructed by the teacher. But you are expected to attend the lectures.

PHIL4810. Senior seminar (capstone experience) (6 credits)

This is a one-semester capstone course for fourth-year Philosophy majors. The course will focus on readings tailored to students’ interests. Students will be required to give a presentation and to complete a 2,500 word essay on a topic approved by the course teacher.

PHIL4920. Senior thesis (capstone experience) (12 credits)

This is a full-year capstone course only for fourth-year Philosophy majors. Each student will write a substantial philosophy thesis based on independent research, supervised by a teacher in the Philosophy Department. A student must obtain prior approval in the third year from a teacher, who would agree to supervise the project, and approve the thesis topic by June 15. Approval will only be given to students with exceptionally good grades. The student will then have to work on the thesis over the summer and be able to demonstrate progress made. If the progress is adequate, work on the thesis may continue; if not, the student will have to take two other courses instead. The length of the thesis is expected to be around 10,000 words, to be confirmed by the supervisor. It should normally be submitted not later than the last day of classes of the second semester of the final year.

Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programme (URFP)

The URFP is a special programme for outstanding students in their final year. Students can apply to complete PHIL4920 Senior Thesis as part of the programme. Please consult the faculty office for further details.