Program  Information

Michael Taber, Chair
240 895 4900
mstaber@smcm.edu

Penny Shissler, Office Clerk
240 895 2159

Program Highlight

The department offers a major and minor in Philosophy and a major and minor in Religious Studies. As an active and energetic department, we are committed towards an intercultural, international and interdisciplinary understanding of the world. We teach across the traditional fields of philosophy and religious studies, and beyond the cultural divides of East and West. Departmental faculty likes to teach in a variety of venues (Nitze Program; Women, Gender and Sexuality; Environmental Studies; Asian Studies; African and African Diaspora Studies), to take students on study tours (Greece, Germany/Poland, India, Thailand, and, in the future, England and Israel), and to bring questions of global relevance to the campus communities through scheduling events with renowned speakers and activists.

Grants and Awards

The William James Award (est. 1986) is a book award given to a student who shows superior understanding of philosophical discourse, as evidenced by the quality of the student's written and oral work in Philosophy courses.

The Religious Studies Award (est. 1993) is a book award given to a student who demonstrates a superior understanding of the sources and themes of Religious Studies, as revealed by the quality of the student's written and oral work in Religious Studies courses.

Henry Rosemont, Jr. Peace and Justice Award provides a junior or senior full-time student in the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, who has earned credits from at least two courses in Philosophy or Religious Studies, an award for demonstrated commitment to social justice and peace issues through his or her academic work or practical engagement, or a combination of both.  There is no application process and self-nominations will not be accepted.

The Alexander Fraser Memorial Fund was set up by the family of Alexander Fraser, a philosophy major of the class of 1994 who died in a rock-climbing accident at Seneca Falls State Park. The purpose of the fund is to provide about $250 annually to support summer travel for students in Philosophy or Religious Studies who can demonstrate "how their trip will contribute to the generation of excellent and innovative thought." Applicants should submit a proposal to the department chair in the spring semester. Final selection is made by the family of Alexander Fraser.

The Philosophy and Religious Studies Enhancement Fund
The purpose of this endowed fund is to enrich student activities. When used as an award, it is not limited to summer travel and can encompass a number of creative projects that serve to enhance the education and intellectual life of students. Proposals for specific activities (i.e. organization of student conferences, student attendance at professional conferences, summer travel plans, student publication opportunity, etc) can be made to the department chair at any time during the academic year. The department chair will solicit proposals in the spring semester.