The Minor in Philosophy

The minor in philosophy is a coherent and challenging course of study that allows students to master a core body of knowledge across different philosophical traditions, positions, and arguments. Designed specifically for students who might lack the time in their schedule to pursue the full major in philosophy, the minor also covers the entire range of philosophical traditions, from Ancient Greece to the present, from ethics and metaphysics to philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Recently, we have also added new courses on non-European philosophical traditions, such as Chinese philosophy.

The minor in philosophy is an ideal addition to a range of majors across the university, from the humanities and social sciences to various STEM fields. Like our faculty, students who take either the minor or the major are also often involved in a number of interdisciplinary programs, such as Politics, Law & Social ThoughtMedical Humanities, the Study of Women, Gender & SexualityCognitive Sciences, and Neuroscience.


The detailed requirements for the philosophy undergraduate program are outlined in Rice University’s General Announcements.

Philosophy minors must complete a total of 6 courses (18 credit hours) in Philosophy. At least three courses must be at the 300-level or above.

Philosophy minors must complete the following courses: 

  • PHIL 281 History of Philosophy I or PHIL 283 History of Philosophy II
  • One course from a group of courses covering metaphysics, theory of knowledge, philosophy of art, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language
  • One course from a group of courses covering ethics, metaethics, philosophy of law, and social and political philosophy
  • Three elective courses

Minors are also encouraged to enroll in Undergraduate Research Seminars (PHIL 400 level courses). These are organized around varying themes aimed at deepening awareness of current work in philosophy, developing advanced research skills and fostering intellectual community.

Transfer Credits

No more than 2 courses (6 credit hours) of transfer credit from U.S. or international universities of similar standing as Rice may apply towards the major. Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies on an individual basis.

Further questions?

Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Charles Siewert, the Robert and Kathryn Hayes Professor of Humanities and Professor of Philosophy, at