Summer Research

As part of Holy Cross’ Summer Research in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Fine Arts, students can apply to do summer research on a philosophical topic with a philosophy professor. Contact the director of the program, Anthony Cashman.

Mitchell Baker '22, a philosophy and political science major with a minor in Asian Studies, spent summer 2020 conducting research with May Sim, professor of philosophy and director of Asian Studies. He writes about his positive experience in his blog. Read the blog entry »

Double Major

The philosophy major (which requires 10 courses) makes an excellent second major. Almost half of current philosophy majors are in fact double majors. You can work with your philosophy advisor to tailor your philosophy electives to complement your other major (e.g., economics, psychology, political science, the natural sciences and mathematics, literature, or the arts, etc.).

Student Prizes

The philosophy department awards two prizes each year, one specifically for junior philosophy majors, the other for the best philosophy paper written by any student, major or non-major, each submitted in early April. 

The Strain Gold Medal is awarded annually “for the best essay submitted during the academic year, by any student, on a subject taken from the field of Philosophy.” Essays should be at least 3,000 words in length, submitted pseudonymously. Winners are notified by the Provost’s Office. For information contact the administrative assistant or chair of the philosophy department.

The Markham Memorial Scholarship, which carries a $5,000 prize applied to academic expenses, is awarded to a junior philosophy major who “demonstrates the highest aptitude for philosophical inquiry and whose commitment to his or her studies best exemplifies the belief that critical examination of fundamental religious and philosophical questions is integral to a liberal arts education.” Selection is based on academic record, two letters of recommendation, and an essay related to the description above. For information contact the administrative assistant or chair of the philosophy department.

The Father Flatley Medal is awarded to a fourth-year student with the highest G.PA in Philosophy courses.    

Philosophy Club

The Philosophy Club is open to everyone and meets twice a month. Members discuss philosophical themes in literature, movies and their daily lives, with club members and the faculty advisor. The meetings are informal, informative and fun.

For Philosophy Club meetings, please contact:

Professor Andrew Jussaume
Smith Hall 517
Phone: 508-793-3717
E-mail:  ajussaum@holycross.edu

Phi Sigma Tau

The philosophy department is a member of Phi Sigma Tau, the National Honor Society in philosophy. Students who are initiated participate in a special awards ceremony.

For information on Phi Sigma Tau, the International Honor Society for Philosophy, please contact:

Professor Devin Gouvea 
Smith Hall 506
Phone: 508-793-3392
Email: dgouvea@holycross.edu

Honors Program

The departmental honors program is designed to provide outstanding majors in philosophy the opportunity for independent research and the incentive for sustained and enhanced philosophical reflection during their senior year.

Under the supervision of their advisors, students admitted into the program will engage in a yearlong thesis project cumulating in a polished piece of philosophical writing and in an oral presentation. For that purpose, they will enroll in an honors tutorial with full course credit in each semester of their senior year. Only one of those credits can however be counted toward the minimum of 10 courses required for the philosophy major (and should not replace any of the required upper level seminars). Eligible students can apply to the honors program in their second semester of their junior year. (Students are allowed to be both members of the departmental honors program and the College Honors Program.)

  1. Students are expected to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 overall and a cumulative grade point average of 3.6 in the department. In case they fall somewhat short of these requirements a special nomination for the honors program by a professor in the department would be required.
  2. By the end of junior year, students should have completed at least six courses in philosophy including one advanced seminar (300 level).

At the beginning of their second semester junior year, the chair of the department will contact eligible students so that they consider applying for the departmental honors program. He or she will also solicit nominations of students for the honors program from his or her colleagues in the department. The deadline for the application is April 1. The honors committee of the department (consisting of at least three professors from the department) will determine the merit of the student’s application. The student will be informed about its decision by the chair of the honors committee at the latest by the last day of classes. For information, contact the administrative assistant or chair of the philosophy department.