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Senior Course Study (SCS) S'18

The Philosophy department has set the following deadlines and requirements for
Senior Course Study for Spring 2018.

1.  Students must submit to Professor Lorraine by November 3, 2017, the two topics from different areas of philosophy on which they wish to write their essays.  After receipt, all topics will be shared with all SCS students.  

In case you do not have it ready to hand, here is the relevant passage about SCS from our departmental handout:

            Course Major:

            A student will complete a course major in philosophy by registering for a single credit of Senior Course Study in the Spring term of the senior year.  Senior Course Study does not count toward fulfilling the eight credit requirement for the major. Under this heading, the student will produce two independent essays, each of no more than 4,000 words, based on problems or texts considered in seminars or courses that they have already completed, and in response to questions set by the department faculty.    

            These two independent essays must fall in two different areas of philosophy from the following list:

            A) History of Philosophy: Ancient Philosophy; Modern Philosophy; Nineteenth Century Philosophy; Existentialism and Phenomenology; and Contemporary Philosophy;

            B) Value Theory: Moral Philosophy; Social and Political Philosophy; Aesthetics; Feminist Theory; Philosophy of Law

            C) Logic, Metaphysics, and Epistemology: Logic, Theory of Knowledge, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Psychology, Philosophy of Language

            Students should inform the Chair about the general areas in which they wish to write their essays by the 10th week of the Fall term. The faculty of the Philosophy Department will then set questions and specify additional readings (1-3 articles or book chapters) for each area. These questions will be available to students by the end of the Fall term.

            It is expected that these essays will demonstrate initiative in engaging with problems and texts and that they will develop lines of argumentation beyond what is normally expected of course or seminar papers. Conversation among students who are preparing these essays is encouraged, but each student must produce an independent, original essay. After completing these essays, each course major will be examined orally on both essays by two members of the department.

2.  Following your requests, the faculty members of the department will then formulate specific topics for you.  The more detailed and specific you can be in formulating your requests, the more likely it is that you will do well on something you really want to do.  Faculty members will have specific topics prepared for you by December 8, 2017.

3.  All SCS students and a faculty advisor will meet on February 2, 2018, to discuss the questions given to students in December and how they are thinking about their topics.  (Time and location TBA) 

4.  Students must submit to the appropriate instructors a summary or précis of at least 500 words of the assigned reading for each topic/question by February 16, 2018. 

5.  All SCS students and a faculty advisor will meet on March 2, 2018, to discuss comments/feedback on summaries. (Time and location TBA)  

6.  All SCS students and a faculty advisor will meet on March 23, 2018, to discuss drafts in progress. (Time and location TBA) 

7.  Students must submit drafts of each of their SCS papers to the appropriate instructors by March 30, 2018.   

8. All SCS students and a faculty advisor will meet April 20, 2018, to discuss comments/feedback on drafts. (Time and location TBA)  

9. Final versions of all SCS papers must be submitted to the appropriate instructors by April 27, 2018.

NOTE:  If you miss the deadline for the submission of your SCS essays, you must inform the department chair as soon as possible, typically on the day of the deadline. If you are late, the examining professors may take 1/3 of a grade off for every day you are late.

10. Oral examinations will be administered jointly by two members of the department.  These examinations will take place during the weeks of April 30 and May 7, 2018.


November 3 – Topics due
December 8 – Questions from instructors
February 2 – Meeting with Professor Raff (time & location TBA)
February 16 – Summary due
March 2 – Meeting with Professor Thomason (time & location TBA)
March 23 – Meeting with Professor Baumann (time & location TBA)
March 30 – Drafts due
April 20 – Meeting with Professor Baker (time & location TBA)
April 27 – Final papers due