Sep 25, 2021  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog




Steven Yalowitz

Associate Professor

Jerome Nance
B.A., Hendrix College, 2004; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2011

Jessica Pfeifer
B.A., Wesleyan University, 1991; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1999

Whitney Schwab
B.A., Cornell University, 2005; Ph.D., Princeton University, 2013

Steven Yalowitz
B.A., Oberlin College, 1983; Ph.D., Columbia University, 1991

Assistant Professor

Eric Campbell
B.A., University of Texas, Austin, 2000; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2012

Lisa Cassell
B.Comm., Concordia University (Canada), 2007; M.A., The University of Western Ontario (Canada), 2008; Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2017


Greg Ealick
B.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1989; M.A., Rice University, 2000

James Thomas
B.A., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 1992; M.A., University of Washington, Seattle, 1996

Professor Emeritu

Evelyn M. Barker (1927-2003)
B.A. Wheaton College, 1948; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1956

Stephen E. Braude
B.A., Oberlin College, 1967; M.A., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1970; Ph.D., 1971

John Titchener
B.A. Kenyon College, 1958; Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1966

Courses in this program are listed under PHIL.

The Philosophy, B.A.  and Philosophy Minor  emphasize critical analysis, problem-solving and the formulation and evaluation of arguments in oral and written contexts. Philosophy students learn to think logically and critically. The major also introduces students to a range of traditional philosophical issues and provides an opportunity to read carefully the works of some of the greatest thinkers in history.

Career and Academic Paths

The discipline provides a solid foundation for graduate study and work in professions requiring analytic, conceptual and expository skills. Philosophy majors tend to do very well in these areas and perform substantially better than average on graduate admissions tests. In recent years, graduates of the philosophy program have been admitted for graduate study in a variety of disciplines, including law, medicine and philosophy.

Academic Advising

All students in the department are advised by full-time members of the philosophy faculty. Normally, the advising coordinator assists the student in the selection of a faculty advisor whose interests are similar to those of the student.

Honors Program

The Honors Program in Philosophy enables philosophy majors to receive the B.A. in Philosophy with Honors by successfully completing a two-semester independent study (PHIL 405-406) of an approved topic during the senior year, culminating in the production of a research paper of roughly 30-50 pages. The point of the Honors Program is to provide an opportunity for eligible students to pursue the study of a philosophical topic in depth and engage in original research. Typically this topic will be in an area in which the student has done upper division Philosophy course work, and will develop a paper that they have written in such a course.

In the first semester of the program (PHIL 405), students will read and discuss material related to the project with their faculty advisor, and also engage in regular, short writing assignments. By the end of the first semester, they will produce a 10-15 page paper containing a detailed description of the project as well as sketches of critical directions that the project will take. The faculty advisor, together with the Honors Coordinator, will decide whether this paper is of sufficient quality and promise to warrant continuing to the second semester of the Honors program (PHIL 406), in which a much longer and more detailed paper is produced. If the paper doesn't meet this standard, the student will receive a grade for a one-semester independent study (PHIL 405) and the project will end.

Eligibility Requirements: 

Applicants must have earned a grade point average of 3.6 or above in all upper division Philosophy courses, including those in which they are enrolled in the semester in which they apply. They must also have completed two upper division Philosophy courses (at least one of which must be at the 400 level, and excluding PHIL 400) by the semester in which they apply, and four upper division Philosophy courses (at least two of which must be at the 400 level) prior to beginning the Honors project. Students who do not meet all the eligibility requirements may petition the Honors Coordinator for admission to the Program by filling out the Honors Application Form, which is available on the Philosophy Department website:

Application Procedure:

Students applying for admission to the Honors Program in Philosophy must declare their interest by filling out and submitting to the Honors Coordinator the Honors Application Form. The deadline for submitting this application is in the second semester of the applicant's junior year, by the end of September (Fall semester) or end of February (Spring semester).

If the applicant meets the basic requirements for the Honors program (see above), and has an adequate background in the field of the project, the Honors Coordinator will then direct the applicant to an appropriate faculty advisor. The applicant will then develop, in consultation with this advisor, a 4 page proposal for the project, including a preliminary bibliography, which is due to the Honors Coordinator by the end of November (Fall semester) or end of April (Spring semester). If the project is approved, the applicant will be given permission to enroll in PHIL 405 for the following semester (the first semester of their senior year).

The Honors Coordinator: Dr. Steve Yalowitz (

Special Opportunities

Independent studies at the 400 level, taught by faculty in their areas of expertise and research, are available to students with appropriate interests and preparation.

Student Organizations

Philosophers Anonymous Council of Majors Philosophers Anonymous is the undergraduate philosophy society that is organized as a student club with the support of the Student Government Association and the Department of Philosophy. The group encourages membership from all those interested in philosophy and supports student receptions, lectures by philosophers from UMBC and other institutions, as well as student discussion groups and debates between and among students and members of the faculty on various topics of contemporary interest. Philosophers Anonymous acts as a council of majors and represents the interests of the students to the department.


    Bachelor of ArtsCertificateNon-DegreeDepartmental Honors