Track 2: Senior Essay


In order to pursue the Track 2 honors designation in philosophy, students must have:

  1. Completed at least eight courses in philosophy. (After completing eight courses, students will be eligible to enroll in a 200-level course. Permission of the instructor is required in some cases.)
  2. Earned at least a 3.3 GPA overall and a 3.5 GPA in philosophy courses.


In order to earn the Track 2 honors designation in philosophy, a student must have:

  1. Satisfactorily completed 11 courses in philosophy.
  2. Satisfied all distribution requirements for the regular major.
  3. Satisfactorily completed the one-semester Honors Essay course (PHIL97a).
  4. Satisfactorily completed an honors essay.


  1. Graduate programs in philosophy give great weight to an applicant’s writing sample. It is important that this be as polished and sophisticated a philosophy paper as the student can produce. In the required Honors Essay class (PHIL 97a), students will have an opportunity to carefully select a suitable topic, be guided to the appropriate background materials and extensively revise their work under the close supervision of a faculty member. 
  2. The model for an honors essay is that of a philosophy journal article; in most cases, the length and style of the honors essay should follow that model.
  3. The honors essay is due on or before the last day of classes of whichever semester the student has registered for PHIL 97a.