Course Substitution Policy
Philosophy Department, Gonzaga University
In general, courses approved as substitutes for Gonzaga University philosophy core requirements should be significantly similar in content (topics and materials covered) and level (freshman, sophomore, etc., including having similar prerequisites) to the Gonzaga courses for which they substitute. Further, courses should be taught by qualified philosophy faculty at accredited institutions, and students must earn a grade of "C" or better. Within the framework of these basic principles, the policies for approving course substitutions for incoming transfer students and for Gonzaga students seeking substitutions after matriculation at Gonzaga are slightly different.
In all cases, students are responsible for providing the necessary documentation (official transcripts, syllabi, course descriptions, catalogue descriptions, etc.) to the Chair of the Gonzaga Philosophy Department to justify the course substitution request.
Incoming Transfer Students
Course substitution policy for incoming transfer students is constrained by two assumptions. First, Gonzaga has formal agreements with a number of institutions (most importantly, a number of local and regional community colleges) that specify the courses offered by those institutions that satisfy Gonzaga core requirements. Second, it is in our interest to make transfer to Gonzaga attractive to prospective students. This means that we should lean toward generosity in granting substitutions to incoming transfer students in marginal cases. In the light of these assumptions, course substitutions will be granted on these principles:
PHIL 101: substitution will be granted for lower-division courses in Critical Thinking, Reasoning, or Logic/Informal Logic.
PHIL 201: substitution will be granted for lower-division introductory courses in philosophy, especially those that treat issues of mind and body, personhood, and freedom, but also more generally focused introductory courses.
PHIL 301: substitution will be granted for ethics courses at an introductory to intermediate level; the course content must treat major ethical theories (character, deontological, utilitarian, etc.) and typically should also include some application of ethical theory to specific moral problems.
400-level elective: Ideally, the 400-level elective should be an advanced course in philosophy that treats some specific set of philosophical figures or problems, and that presumes a student population with some experience in studying and doing philosophy. Since many incoming transfer students come to Gonzaga from two-year colleges, advanced courses with prerequisites are simply not always available. For this reason, some philosophy courses devoted to specific topics or figures (such as Philosophy of Religion) will be accepted as substitutes. If the incoming transfer student has not taken an introductory philosophy class, however, lower-division courses will be counted as substitutes for PHIL 201 or 301, depending on the content of the course.
Current Gonzaga Students
Once they have been accepted as undergraduates at Gonzaga, students should normally take their philosophy core courses from the Gonzaga Philosophy Department. This is especially true of the lower-division philosophy core requirements. However, in recognition of the fact that students often seek to complete some of their credits--including core requirements--at other institutions during summer or as part of special overseas programs, substitutions for Gonzaga philosophy core courses are sometimes appropriate. In any case, requests for course substitutions must be approved prior to taking the courses at other institutions. Under no circumstances will the Gonzaga Philosophy Department or the Gonzaga University Registrar have any obligation to approve for substitution courses taken without prior approval.
PHIL 101: except in exceptional circumstances, no substitutions will be approved.
PHIL 201: except in exceptional circumstances, no substitutions will be approved.
PHIL 301: substitution will be granted for ethics courses that have at least an introductory philosophy prerequisite and are designated as upper-division; the course content must treat both major ethical theories (character, deontological, utilitarian, etc.) and some application of ethical theory to specific moral problems.
400-level elective: substitution will be granted for an advanced course in philosophy that treats some specific set of philosophical figures or problems, and that presumes a student population with some experience in studying and doing philosophy, typically by requiring some philosophy prerequisite courses. Under no circumstances will courses with material significantly similar to any other Gonzaga core philosophy courses (Critical Thinking, introduction to philosophy or introduction to human nature, or intermediate-level ethical theory survey courses) be allowed to substitute for the Gonzaga 400-level philosophy elective.
November 11, 1998