What follows are the details of various requirements and components of the various degree types offered by the philosophy programme. Each degree has certain combination of distribution requirements, which require that a student pursuing that degree must take a certain number of courses in certain areas of study within philosophy, in particular, Indian & Non-Western, Western Historical, and Contemporary Core. See below for a list of course descriptions organized by category. Click here for an archive of philosophy courses offered with details about requirements they satisfy.
An elective is a philosophy course a student takes that does not fulfill a distribution requirement (either because it is from Everything Else or because the requirements have been or will be met with other courses). Any course other than Intro to Philosophy and Symbolic Logic can in principle count as an elective.
3-Year Major Requirements
A 3-year major must take twelve philosophy courses, including the two Required courses, two courses from Indian & Non-Western, two from Western Historical, three from Contemporary Core, and three electives.
4-Year Major Requirements
A 4-year major must take sixteen philosophy courses, including the two Required courses, two courses from Indian & Non-Western, two from Western Historical, three from Contemporary Core, and seven electives. During their 4th year, he or she must take at least four courses in philosophy, preferably all at the 300- and 400-level. A student may elect to write a 4th-year thesis to replace one 4-credit philosophy course during the spring semester of their 4th year. To do so, he or she must obtain approval from a faculty member that that faculty member will act as their thesis supervisor, and must enroll in the 400-level course 4th-Year Thesis Research for 4 credits during the spring semester during their 4th year.
A minor must take six philosophy courses, including the two Required courses, one course from Indian & Non-Western, one from Western Historical, one from Contemporary Core, and one elective.
A concentration must take four philosophy courses, including the two Required courses, and two courses in different categories among Indian & Non-Western, Western Historical, and Contemporary Core.
PPE Major Requirements
A PPE major must take at least four philosophy courses. Those taking four must take the two Required courses, and two courses in different categories among the categories Indian & Non-Western, Western Historical, and Contemporary Core. Those taking five must take one elective in addition. The requirements for those taking six or more are the same as those for the philosophy minor. Note that a student cannot both major in PPE and minor in philosophy. A student may, however, major in PPE with a specialization in philosophy by taking eight philosophy courses. See the PPE page for more details about the major.
Critical Thinking Seminars
Critical Thinking Seminars offered by the philosophy programme may count towards the philosophy major, minor, concentration, or PPE major. Such a course may fall under one of the categories Indian & Non-Western, Western Historical, or Contemporary Core, in which case it can count towards the distribution requirement for that category. Otherwise it will count as an elective, if it counts toward the degree at all. These things are determined by the programme coordinator in consultation with the instructor on a case-by-case basis.
A student may pass a logic exam administered by the philosophy department instead of taking Symbolic Logic only if that student has taken a college-level course covering the majority of the content covered in Symbolic Logic. Such a student must take an extra elective toward the philosophy degree. The eligibility of each student is determined by the programme coordinator in consulation with the student's academic advisor on a case-by-case basis.
In order to pass the 4th-Year Thesis Research course, a 4-year philosophy major must defend that thesis orally before the end of the spring semester in front a committee of at least three philosophy faculty, at least two of which must be faculty in Ashoka’s philosophy programme. The student must submit a defense draft of her thesis to that committee at least one week prior to the scheduled defense date, and submit a revised draft (if applicable) no more than one week after the defense occurs. The student is responsible for forming his or her thesis committee, arranging a defense date that will work for every member of that committee, and adhering to all deadlines related to the 4th-year thesis.