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 Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Introduction
  • Philosophy and the World
  • Course Transfer Equivalencies
  • Courses
​The department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers classes in both distinct disciplines: philosophy, and religious studies. All courses are transferrable to Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona. (refer to tab 3)


Philosophy is perhaps the oldest academic discipline, and many other disciplines that have since emerged (e.g. physics, biology, psychology, political science, sociology, economics, computer science, and others) were generated from within philosophy. Philosophy is also at once the most open and the most rigorous of all disciplines: the content of all other disciplines in some way still falls within the purview of philosophy; and no other discipline carries out its investigations in as deep and thoroughgoing a way as philosophy does. Whereas other disciplines begin by taking a certain object or idea for granted (for example, “matter,” “motion,” “life,” “change,” “society,” “behavior,” etc.), philosophy takes nothing for granted, and undertakes to prove absolutely everything which will be admitted as true—including what “truth” is, and what counts as a “proof.”

Why Study Philosophy?

The best reason to study philosophy is because it involves the most supreme effort of the highest faculties of the mind. As such, studying philosophy is the highest vocation for a human being, and is the center of a human life as it is best lived.

Religious Studies

Religious Studies has several course offerings. World Religions is the development of various religions from the prehistoric to modern times. Topics include political, economic, social, and geographic relationships among world religions. Eastern and Western religions are studied.

​Philosophy in the World 

If your concerns are more practical, studying philosophy is also the best way to change the world. As the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) has recently recognized, the discipline of philosophy is “essential” to responding to global problems such as ecological catastrophe, war, and political injustice generally.  UN News Centre
If you need further proof, just look at the effect these philosophy majors have had in various fields:

​ Politics

Political activists:
  • Angela Davis
  • Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Turé)
  • Subcommandante Marcos

Nobel Peace Prize laureates:

  • Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Vaclav Havel
  • Elie Wiesel
  • John R. Mott
  • Albert Schweitzer
  • 14th Dalai Lama
  • Georges Pire

Political Leaders:

  • Aung San Suu Kyi (leader of democracy movement in Myanmar)
  • Vaclav Havel (president of the Czech Republic)
  • Al Gore (U.S. Senator, Vice President)
  • Gary Hart (U.S. Senator, Vice Presidential Candidate)
  • Tomas Masaryk (first president of Czechoslovakia)
  • Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (president of India)
  • Zoran Djindjic (prime minister of Serbia)
  • Mohammad Khatami (president of Iran)
  • Daniel Oduber Quiros (president of Costa Rica)


Religious leaders:

  • Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Benedict XVI
  • 14th Dalai Lama

​The Arts

Nobel Prize for Literature laureates:

  • T.S. Eliot
  • Henri Bergson
  • Albert Camus
  • Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Naguib Mahfouz
  • Bertrand Russell
  • Pearl Buck
  • Rudolf Eucken
  • Ivo Andric
Film and Music:
  • Kim Thayil
    (of Soundgarden)
  • Elliott Smith
  • Claude Lanzmann
  • Steve Allen
  • Ricky Gervais
    comedian, actor)
  • Terrence Malik
  • Ethan Coen
  • Bill Condon
    (Academy Award-winning filmmaker)
  • Wes Anderson
    (Academy Award-winning filmmaker)
  • Jesus Lopez
    (Conductor, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra)
  • Gene Siskel
    (film critic)
  • Philip Glass
  • Robert Shaw
    (Conductor, Atlanta Symphony)
  • Elizabeth W. Grant
    (a.k.a. Lana Del Rey, musician).
Novelists and Poets:
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Fyodor
  • Dostoevsky
  • Iris Murdoch
  • Susan Sontag
  • David Foster
  • Wallace
    Umberto Eco
  • Miguel de Unamuno
  • Robert Musil
  • Stefan Zweig
  • Osip Mandelstam
  • Chaim Potok
  • Peter Hoeg
  • Rebecca Goldstein
  • Ken Follett
    Umberto Eco
  • Terry Southern
  • Michael Frayn
  • Delmore Schwartz
  • Claribel Alegria
  • Adonis (aka Ali Ahmed Said)
  • Zbigniew Herbert
  • Louis Zukofsky
  • Anne Enright
  • Ira Levin
  • Edward Abbey
  • Yann Martel
  • Elmore Leonard
  • Hanif Kureishi
  • Carol Ann Duffy
  • Rohinton Mistry
  • Ingeborg Bachmann
  • Douglas Glover
  • Ellen Gilchrist
  • E. L. Doctorow
  • Joshua Ferris
  • Louis de Bernières
  • Daniel Kehlmann
  • Li Ang
  • John Scalzi
  • Samantha Harvey
  • William Boyd
  • Oksana Zabuzhko
  • Jean-Marie Blas de Robles
  • Marsha Norman
  • Sarah Crossan
  • Campbell Armstrong
  • Gregor Podlogar
  • Mel Bradshaw
  • Pierre Alféri
  • Christoph Hein

Law and Business

Supreme Court Justices:
  • David Souter
  • Stephen Breyer
Business leaders:
  • George Soros
  • Peter Lynch
  • Gerald Levin
  • Ahmet Ertegun
  • Peter Thiel
  • Robert F. Greenhill
  • William H. Miller III
  • Bruce Bodaken
  • Eva Chen
  • Herbert M. Allison Jr.
  • and Sheila Bair.


Pulitzer Prize winners:
  • Mark Schoofs (2000)
  • Lowell Bergman (2004)
  • Amy Ellis Nutt (2011)
  • Philip Kennicott (2013)
  • Jeffrey Gettleman (2012)
  • Narcisco Contreras (2013)
Other luminaries:
  • Spencer Ackerman (senior correspondent at the American Prospect)
  • Robert Pollock (senior editorial page writer, Wall Street Journal)
  • Stephen Ward (Director of the Centre for Journalism Ethics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver)
  • Jon Entine (Emmy-winning TV producer and author)
  • Robert Menard (Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders)
  • Jim Bellows (newspaper editor, executive director of ABC News)


Nobel Prize for Chemistry laureates:
  • Jean-Marie Lehn
Nobel Prize for Physics laureates:
  • Anthony J. Leggett
​Last but not least, studying philosophy is also a very prudent decision and a good career-move. Many employers are especially eager to hire philosophy majors, Why Philosophy Majors Are Changing the World of Business, perhaps because philosophy majors routinely score the very highest on both the verbal and the analytic portions of the GRE, GRE Guide.  In fact, philosophy majors earn more than many other majors often considered more practical, such as business, nursing, and psychology, and biology, College Salary Report, and philosophy majors earn more than any other major in the humanities, Salaries of Philosophy Majors Over Time. If you are considering law school, your best preparation is to study philosophy: philosophy majors score the highest on the LSAT, and in law school acceptance rate, Philosophy Graduate School Preparation.  

​Equivalencies for Course Transfer


PHI 101 - ​Introduction to Philosophy  ​3 credits

Equivalency at ASU - ​PHI 101, Humanities, Arts & Design (HU)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - PHI 101, satisfies Aesthetic & Humanities Inquiry [AHI]
​Equivalency at  UA  - PHI 111

PHI 103 - Introduction to Logic  3 credits
​ ​ ​ ​ ​
Equivalency at ASU - ​PHI 103, Humanities, Arts & Design (HU) Literacy & Critical Inquiry (L)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - PHI 103, satisfies Sciences and Applied Sciences [SAS]
​Equivalency at  UA  - PHI 110

PHI 104 - World Philosophy ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​3 credits

Equivalency at ASU - PHI Dept. Elective, Humanities, Arts & Design (HU), Global Awareness (G)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - Aesthetic & Humanistic Inquiry [AHI]
​Equivalency at  UA  - Elective Credit

PHI 105 - Introduction to Ethics  3 credits​ ​

Equivalency at ASU - PHI 105, Humanities, Arts & Design (HU)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - Aesthetic & Humanistic Inquiry [AHI]
​Equivalency at  UA  - PHI 113

PHI 216 - Environmental Ethics  3 Credits​

Equivalency at ASU - ​PHI Department Elective, Humanities, Arts & Design (HU)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - Aesthetic & Humanities Inquiry [AHI]
​Equivalency at  UA  - PHI  Department Elective, T1 Traditions & Cultures/T2 Hum (TH)

PHI 218 - Philosophy of Sexuality  3 credits

Equivalency at ASU - ​IAS DEC PHI Dept. Elective, Humanities, Arts & Design (HU),
                               Literacy and Critical Inquiry (L)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - PHI Department Elective, also satisfies Social & Political Worlds (SPW)
​Equivalency at  UA  - Elective Credit

​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

 Religious Studies

REL 101 - ​World Religions  3 credits

Equivalency at ASU - ​REL 100, PHI Dept. Elective, Humanities, Arts & Design (HU), 
                               Global Awareness (G)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - REL 150, also satisfies Cultural Understanding & Global [CUG]
​Equivalency at  UA  - RELI or RELV Dept. Elective

REL 203 - American Indian Religions  3 credits
​ ​ ​ ​ ​
Equivalency at ASU - REL Dept. Elective, AIS Dept. Elective, Humanities, Arts & Design (HU), 
                               Literacy & Critical Inquiry (L), Cultural Diversity (C)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - REL Dept. Elective also satisfies Cultural Understanding and Ethnic [CUE]
​Equivalency at  UA  - RELI 212 also satisfies: Tier 2 Humanities (HUM) or RELI 212 
                               also satisfies Gen Ed Div Emphasis [DE]also satisfies Gen Ed Div Emphasis [DE]

REL 205 - Religion and the Modern World  3 credits

Equivalency at ASU - REL 201, Humanities, Arts & Design (HU), Literacy & Critical Inquiry (L)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - REL Dept. Elective, also satisfies Social and Political Worlds [SPW]
​Equivalency at  UA  - RELI or RELV Dept. Elective, T1 Trads & Cultures/ T2 Hum (TH)

REL 206 Religion in America   3 credits​ ​

Equivalency at ASU - REL Dept. Elective, Humanities, Arts & Design (HU)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - REL Dept. Elective
​Equivalency at  UA  - RELI 210 also satisfies: Tier 2 Humanities (HUM) or RELI 210 
                               also satisfies Gen Ed Div Emphasis [DE]

REL 270 - Introduction to Christianity  3 Credits​

Equivalency at ASU - ​REL 270 Humanities, Arts & Design (HU)
​Equivalency at NAU​ - REL Dept. Elective, also satisfies Cultural Understanding [CU]
​Equivalency at  UA  - RELI or RELV Dept. Elective, T1 Trads & Cultures/ T2 Hum (TH)