and Religion major is a department within the College
of Arts & Letters.
Philosophy and Religion
Admission and Progression Standards for this major:
Click on the link to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major: http://www.jmu.edu/advising/snapshots/SSPHIL_REL.shtml
Philosophy and Religion is offered as a combined major with a concentration in either Philosophy or Religion. Minors are offered in both. Students may choose one of the four concentrations: either philosophy, religion, philosophy with an interdisciplinary focus or religion with an interdisciplinary focus. Students completing a major with a concentration in philosophy are expected to know the major movements, problems, writings, concepts and terms in the history of Western philosophy. The program concentrates on major figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant; on problems arising in contemporary movements such as analytic philosophy, existentialism and American philosophy and on the major subdivisions of philosophy, including logic, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, philosophy and law, philosophy of science and philosophy of religion. Students completing a major with a concentration in religion take courses in Western Religious Traditions, Eastern Religious Traditions and Comparative Studies, and specialize within one or two religions traditions (for example, Buddhism; Islam) or a topic area (for example, religious ethics; biblical studies). Students who plan to attend law school should seriously consider philosophy as a major. Philosophy courses emphasize the kinds of skills that prepare students for the LSAT and the law school curriculum. Students who plan to attend seminary should consult the pre-seminary advisor who can help design an academic plan as preparation for further study in theological seminaries and university divinity schools. Fundamental skills that follow will be acquired by students in this major: the ability to think critically; increased capabilities for problem solving and argument analysis; the ability to express one's views clearly and concisely, orally and in writing; and global awareness.
me more about this field of study.
Philosophy involves examining and questioning
our most basic beliefs about the constituents of reality,
the course of action that is right and just for individuals
and societies, what can we know about the world with
certainty, what beauty is, and what makes for a sound
argument. Philosophy touches upon almost every aspect
of human life. Philosophy provides perspective on science,
art, medicine, religion, politics and technology. Many
Philosophy majors pursue careers in academics, however,
these graduates also work in a broad range of non-academic
fields. For example: business, computers and technology,
consulting, finance, government (local, state and federal),
law, marketing, media, publishing and religious ministry.
Religion, as an area of academic study, involves the objective study of one's own and other people's religions. Besides learning about major historical developments in the world's great religions, there is analysis of religious beliefs, comparison of the different traditions, and study of the social, cultural, and political significance of religion in American and global contexts.
me more about specializations in this major.
Most students would not specialize to any degree at
the undergraduate level. But it is recognized that a
student will want to emphasize some offerings over others.
Therefore, concentrations are offered in either Philosophy
or Religion. The interdisciplinary options allow students
to combine either Philosophy or Religion with 12 hours
of related course work in another department.
common major or minor combinations from other departments
complement this major?
Many students combine this major with a second major
or minor from another department. The Philosophy
concentration could be enhanced with the following:
Anthropology, Art History, Computer Science, Communication
Studies, Creative Writing, Criminal Justice, Economics,
English, Environmental Studies,
Justice Studies, Management, Management Science, Mathematics,
Pre Law, Political Communication, Political Science,
Psychology, Public Policy and Administration, Sociology, Technical
and Scientific Communication, Womens Studies or
Writing and Rhetoric. The Religion concentration
could be enhanced by any of the following: Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Art History,
Communication Studies, Conflict Analysis and Intervention,
Creative Writing, Criminal Justice, Family Issues, Gerontology,
Health Communication, Historical Archaeology, History,
Human Science, Humanitarian Affairs, Latin American Studies, Modern Foreign
Language, Political Science, Pre Theology, Psychology,
Russian Studies, Social Work, Sociology, Substance Abuse
Intervention, Womens Studies or Writing and Rhetoric.
OF SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS
Many employers are now looking for students with that
something extra, a quality that sets them apart from
the run of the mill major in one of the pre professional
areas. This quality is often found in Humanities majors
in the fields of Philosophy, Religion, English,
Foreign Languages or History where the student gains
broad knowledge about life, develops the skill of writing
effectively, and learns to think analytically and creatively.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated
with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated
careers that utilize skills and experiences developed
during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some
fields will require graduate study or further training.
The listing below offers examples of possible career
paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.