College of Arts and Letters2021-2022

Department of Philosophy

Philosophy, Politics and Law, Bachelor of Arts

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement
The Philosophy, Politics and Law degree is an interdisciplinary study of the intersection of political, legal and economic institutions and the theoretical frameworks within which these institutions are formed and evaluated.  The degree develops and applies logical, mathematical/statistical and economic analytic skills through close examination of philosophical, political, and historical work to study the human condition as manifest in these social institutions.  From the interdisciplinary conceptual foundations combining substance and analytic methods, students may pursue more broadly or in greater depth answers to questions of one or more of these disciplines.  Students completing this degree are better prepared to understand the human condition and the challenges that characterize their various roles in contemporary society.  (This degree is especially suited to students aiming to pursue the juris doctorate, graduate work in philosophy or political theory, or public service.)
Student Learning Outcomes (General)
To the end described above, we articulate four general categories of student learning outcomes cultivated by the required curriculum and subject to assessment. 

1. Substantive interdisciplinary work dealing with law and legal philosophy, politics and political authority, and economics, rationality and moral philosophy:
  • graduates of the program must acquire both breadth and depth in the study of philosophy, politics, economics and history, especially as these are brought to bear on fundamental theoretical questions about law, politics, and economics. The emphasis here is on theoretical and conceptual structures rather than the mastery of empirical data.
2. Interdisciplinary methodological and analytic tools
  • graduates of the program must demonstrate a facility with analytic tools from a variety of disciplines, including economics, math and statistics, and philosophy.  The facility specified here is general and acquired in a context broader than application of the specific skills in the domains of politics, law and economics.
3. Logic and critical thinking, expressed especially in argumentative writing:
  • graduates of the program must demonstrate a developed capacity for extended writing, especially exegetical, analytic and argumentative in nature.
4. Fourth semester proficiency in a foreign language:
  • graduates of the program must demonstrate fourth semester proficiency in reading, speaking and writing in a foreign language. 

While these skills and the disciplinary subject matter specified above in (1) through (3) are acquired in some degree of isolation, graduates of the program should develop an ability and disposition to integrate the substance and skills in appropriate circumstances, and manifest in a culminating experience.

See the full list of Student Learning Outcomes

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