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Bachelor of Philosophy Program FAQ

Which College offers the Bachelor of Philosophy degree?

The Bachelor of Philosophy is an intercollege degree program administered by faculty from across the University. It is conducted by the Office of the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education.

Whom would I work with?

Students select a Penn State University faculty member to serve as a mentor. They take courses from across the university and meet occasionally with the Bachelor of Philosophy faculty degree committee.

Who are the mentors?

Mentors are Penn State faculty and need not be members of the Bachelor of Philosophy faculty. They help students to plan their academic programs and serve as academic advisers. Mentors must certify to the Bachelor of Philosophy faculty that their students have achieved their academic goals, including the satisfactory completion of coursework and the fulfillment of the capstone project.

What is the Capstone Seminar?

Each Bachelor of Philosophy candidate participates in a seminar with Bachelor of Philosophy faculty after completion of the capstone thesis or project. Here, accompanied by the mentor, students have the opportunity to share their work, to explain the ways in which their scholarship contributes to the larger academic community, and to respond to faculty questions. This should be covered in a brief presentation. Faculty may offer suggestions for revisions and may accept the thesis or project, or suggest continued work and a future reconsideration. The project or thesis must be submitted at least two weeks before the seminar to allow faculty sufficient time for reading and reflection.

The seminar is also an opportunity to reflect on the larger undergraduate experience. Students should be prepared to offer an opening presentation of five to ten minutes during which they cover the ways in which the elements of their Bachelor of Philosophy curriculum have added up to a cohesive approach to knowledge, the relation of that work to General Education, and the place of their educational experience in the large civic and social community beyond the university.