Core Requirements

Georgetown, with its commitment to the Jesuit tradition, believes that men and women should
consider reflectively their relationship to the world, their fellow humans, and God. Because of
this, all Georgetown students are required to take two courses in Philosophy as part of their
humanistic education.


In general, all students take one course in Ethics and one course in General Philosophy. Specific course requirements vary by school. Please consult the Undergraduate Bulletin for information about the requirements in your program.

Courses taught outside the Philosophy Department do not satisfy either of these requirements unless they are cross-listed in philosophy. Requests to cross-list courses can be made only by the faculty member teaching the course and must be made before the beginning of the semester. Courses taken at other institutions must be approved by the Dean’s office or the Department in order to count for credit toward the Core Requirements.

For all students outside the SFS, the first course in Philosophy will be PHIL 1100 (Introduction to
Ethics) or PHIL 1500 (Introduction to Philosophy). SFS students will take PHIL 1900 (Social and
Political Philosophy) for their first course. Students may not enroll in a 2000-level course without
first having taken a course in the PHIL 1000-1999 range. The exception is seniors who have not yet taken any philosophy. Seniors cannot register for PHIL 1100 or 1500 and should enroll directly in a 2000-level course for their first philosophy course.

If a student’s first course is PHIL 1100, the second course must be a 2000-level course in General Philosophy (PHIL 2500-2999). If the first course is PHIL 1500, the second course must be a 2000-level course in Ethics (PHIL 2000-2499.) Students in the SFS may take any 2000-level course for their second philosophy. For students in the MSB, Ethical Values of Business fulfills the second course requirement in Ethics.

Please note: students may not take two introductory-level courses. In other words, students may not take both PHIL 1100  and PHIL 1500, or both PHIL 1900 and PHIL 1100/PHIL 1500.

Paths through the Core Requirement will standardly be one of these:

  1. PHIL 1100 and a course from PHIL 2500-2999
  2. PHIL 1500 and a course from PHIL 2000-2499 (MSB: Ethical Values in Business)
  3. PHIL 1900 and a course from PHIL 2000-2999 (for SFS students only)

Upper-Level Courses

No PHIL course numbered 3000 or 4000 fulfills the University Core Requirement in Philosophy.
Courses at the 3000-level have a prerequisite of two courses at the 1000-2999 level. Courses at the 4000-level (with the exception of PHIL 4000: Symbolic Logic) have a prerequisite of one 3000-level course.

Other students with strong philosophy backgrounds and aptitude may enroll, but only with
permission of the instructor and the Department.