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How do I declare my major or minor in Philosophy & Religion?

Welcome to the department! You can declare (or change) your major or minor online:

  1. Log into MyMadison; select "Student Center."
  2. Select Major/Minor Change from the "Other Academic…" dropdown menu.
  3. To add a program of study, select "Add Major/Minor." To narrow your search, select the plan type, change the criteria of plan description to "Contains," and enter the beginning letters of the plan. (Hint: type the word "philosophy" for a philosophy major, "religion" for a religion major, "ethics" for an ethics minor, etc.)
  4. If this is your first major, you should use the major with a degree (ie. Philosophy and Religion B.A.) If this is your second major, select the major, but choose the option listed with no degree (i.e. Philosophy and Religion).
  5. To change your concentration for an existing program of study, select "Add/Change Concentration."
  6. Select "Submit Request."

How do I apply for graduation with a major in Philosophy and Religion?

Pay attention to the graduation application deadlines set by the Registrar. You should obtain an "Application for a Bachelor's Degree" form from the Registrar's office. You will fill out the form with your adviser, who will meet with you to review your transcript and confirm that you have fulfilled the requirements for the major. After your adviser signs the form, the Department Head must sign the form. You will return the form to the Registrar's office.

How do I apply for graduation with a minor in Philosophy and Religion?

You must obtain the signatures of your minor advisor and our Department Head on your "Application for a Bachelor's Degree" form, available at the Registrar's office. Make sure to finish this paperwork before the Registrar's deadline.

I am majoring/minoring in Philosophy and Religion. Do I need to take another philosophy course (besides the one required for the major or minor) to fulfill the B.A. requirement?


Can a course in another department that deals with the work of philosophers be used for the B.A. philosophy requirement?


Do PHIL 101 (Introduction to Philosophy), PHIL 120 (Critical Thinking), or PHIL 150 (Ethical Reasoning) count toward the philosophy requirement for the B.A.?

PHIL 101 does count, but PHIL 120 and PHIL 150 do not count toward the philosophy requirement for the B.A.

I see a course in the catalog that I'm interested in. When will it be offered next?

If you contact a member of the department, we can find out who teaches the course and when that faculty member plans to teach it again. Typically, courses for General Education credit are offered every semester but other courses are taught every 1-3 years.

Who decides whether a course that I took at another school can substitute for a general education requirement?

The General Education coordinators, who sometimes contact the Department Head for approval.

Who approves departmental credit for courses taken at other universities?

The Department Head, in conjunction with the relevant faculty in the area in question.

Who approves courses to be taken internationally?

The Department Head, in conjunction with the relevant faculty in the area in question.

Which Phil/Rel courses are offered online?

Most of the department's online courses are offered in the summer. These include REL 101 Religions of the World, PHIL 101 Introduction to Philosophy, PHIL 120 Critical Thinking, and PHIL 150 Ethical Reasoning.

Which courses will be offered in the summer?

Click here to access the JMU summer school website

Are there any Phil/Rel courses that I can test out of?


What should I do if I am having a problem with a course or professor?

If your problem is about the professor's teaching methods, assignments, or grading process, your first step is to discuss the problem with the professor directly by making an appointment to see him or her during office hours. We care deeply about the effectiveness and fairness of our teaching, and we take your concerns seriously. If the outcome of a meeting with your professor does not resolve the problem, you should then contact the Department Head to seek further resolution.

If you are struggling with a writing assignment, a digital assignment, an oral presentation, or English as a foreign language, you can get additional support from the JMU Learning Centers.

If the nature of your problem involves harassment or discrimination, please seek immediate help from the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Disability Services, or JMU's Title IX Office. Harrassment and discrimination are not tolerated at JMU.

What can I do with a major in philosophy/religion?

You will learn critical thinking, speaking, writing, and intercultural skills that will prepare you for any number of careers. Our Philosophy and Religion graduates pursue a wide variety of careers and professions, including law, psychology, pharmacology, business, social work, K-12 teaching, college teaching, religious service, and employment in government agencies. For more information, see Careers & Impact.


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