Perspectives Program

The Perspectives Program is a multi-year core program that offers courses for students who want to develop integrated answers to life’s enduring questions. Inspired by the Jesuit tradition of providing a humanist context for professional and scientific education, Perspectives courses seek to educate the whole person, and to help students develop skills in critical thinking and practical living. 

Course assignments and requirements are tailored and assessed according to the traditional liberal arts of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric: students will be expected to read closely, think critically, and write and speak clearly and persuasively.

The Perspectives Program currently offers core courses that fulfill core philosophy and another core area of study: theology, arts and literature, social science or natural science.

Most of the students in the program are first year students from across the colleges who take Perspectives on Western Culture, the course that pairs philosophy and theology. The other three Perspectives Program courses are Modernism and the Arts (philosophy, art and literature cores), Horizon of the New Social Sciences (philosophy and social science cores), and New Scientific Visions (philosophy and natural science cores). 

Perspectives Concentration

By taking more than one Perspectives course, students can pursue a Perspectives Concentration towards either a major or a minor in Philosophy. Students who complete three Perspectives courses will fulfill requirements for a minor in Philosophy, as well as various core requirements. Students who complete four Perspective Courses, plus two philosophy elective courses, fulfill the requirements for a major in Philosophy. 

Admission to the Perspectives concentration in philosophy comes at the end of the sophomore year. A minimum GPA of 3.50 will be required for admission. 

Any questions concerning the requirements for the concentration, or other opportunities and possibilities within the Perspectives Program, should contact Professor Kerry Cronin, Associate Director of Perspectives.

Program Details

1 Year

All Perspective Courses are year-long

12 Credits

The program offers 12-credit courses that study core and foundational texts

25 Students

All sections are limited to 25 or fewer students. Class meetings often require small and large group discussions.

Living & Learning Community

Interested in a more immersive experience? The Perspectives Living & Learning Community gives first year students an opportunity to participate in specialized programming which links to the Perspectives curriculum. We aim to create deeper relationships between students, faculty, and administrators, to develop a strong peer cohort.

Frequently Asked Questions

question match your criteria

Can I take only one semester of a Perspectives course?
<p>No. Perspectives courses are designed to be year-long courses, and to earn core credits in literature, art and mathematics, you must complete both semesters of the course, preferably with the same professor. However, after consultation with the leadership of the program, it may be possible to take semesters out of order, or have a gap year between the parts of a course. In the case of New Scientific Visions, however, the semesters must be taken in order. Students who are forced to drop the course halfway through the year will have their credits distributed, after consultation with the Perspectives Program administration and the relevant department(s).<br> </p>
Can Perspectives credits count as electives in other majors?
<p>That decision rests with the department in question. Please direct all inquiries to the relevant department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS).<br> </p>
Can sophomores take Perspectives on Western Culture?
<p>In 2021-22, there will be one section of P1 open to sophomores (PHIL1090/THEO1090 28).<br> </p>
How do I declare a Perspectives philosophy major?
<p>Contact the <a href="/content/bc-web/schools/morrissey/departments/philosophy/about/contact.html">Administrator of Undergraduate Studies</a> in the Philosophy Department.</p>
I fulfilled my philosophy and theology core with other core courses. Can I still take Perspectives courses?
<p>Perspectives Program philosophy credits count towards a major or a minor in philosophy.</p>
I have already fulfilled my philosophy core with Perspectives on Western Culture. What happens to the core philosophy credits in the other Perspectives Program courses?
<p>Perspectives Program philosophy credits count towards a major or a minor in philosophy.<br> </p>
Perspectives courses are year-long, 12 credit courses. Is it possible to add another major or minor?
<p>Most Perspectives majors have other majors or minors in other disciplines. This becomes difficult only with plans to study abroad, particularly for a full year, but usually we can work out an accommodation.</p>
What are the Perspectives Program courses?
<ul> <li>Perspectives on Western Culture: 6 credits theology core, 6 credits philosophy core (First-year students; some sophomores) (PHIL 1090/THEO 1090)</li> <li>Modernism and the Arts: 3 credits literature core, 3 credits arts core, 6 credits philosophy core (Closed to first-year students) (UNAS 1104/1105)</li> <li>Horizons of the New Social Sciences (6 credits social sciences core, six credits philosophy core (Closed to first-year students) (UNAS 1109/1110)</li> <li>New Scientific Visions: 6 credits natural science core (or 3 credits natural science, 3 credits mathematics core), 6 credits philosophy core. (Closed to first-year students) (UNAS 1119/1120)</li> </ul>
What is the Perspectives Major?
<p>The Perspectives Major is a major track in the philosophy department. Students in the Perspectives Program declare a philosophy major, which they complete, partially or in whole, by taking courses in the Perspectives Program. Perspectives Program majors who have completed 3 courses in the Program are eligible for senior capstone experiences: senior seminars, a senior essay, and a senior retreat (though these are not required).<br> </p>
Why take more Perspectives Program courses?
<p>You appreciate an integrated, philosophical approach to enduring questions about intellectual, spiritual, and moral life. In the rest of the Perspectives Program, we take the same, year-long, 12-credit approach with the social science, fine arts, literature, natural science and/or math core.</p>


For specific questions about the Perspectives Program please contact the Director of the Perspectives Program, Chris Constas.