“Traveling accelerates the progress of nature, and completes the man for good or evil. When someone returns from traveling about the world, he is what he will be all his life. In the course of their travels, ill-raised and ill-behaved young people adopt all the vices of the nations among whom they have lived, and none of the virtues with which those vices are combined; but those whose good nature has been well cultivated, who travel with a real desire to learn, return better and wiser than they went.”  - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Off-Campus Studies can help Philosophy students…

  • Improve foreign language skills
  • Take specialized philosophy courses and graduate-level courses that are not available at Whitman
  • Gain awareness of the major discipline from a different scholarly tradition
  • Develop a global perspective
  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Philosophy prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • Improving language ability and/or exposure to different ways of doing philosophy
  • Exposing students to specialized philosophy courses and/or graduate level courses
  • Developing connections with faculty elsewhere with an eye toward  graduate school admission
  • Helping students successfully compete for teaching and research Fulbright awards, DAAD Fellowships, and other post-graduate awards

As a general rule of thumb, the Philosophy Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • Students should take the following courses before studying off campus: PHIL 201 Readings in the Western Philosophical Tradition: Ancient and PHIL 202 Readings in the Western Philosophical Tradition: Modern
  • Philosophy students are encouraged to study off-campus in the Fall semester, as opposed to the Spring, because honors thesis proposals are due before the end of the Spring semester of the junior year.  We recommend that students meet with their philosophy major adviser when planning for off-campus studies and keep in mind when courses are offered at Whitman.

Which requirements can Philosophy majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Elective major credit, especially courses in philosophical areas that are not available at Whitman
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Major Credit Limitations

  • The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the Philosophy major from off campus studies (including AP credit, IB credit and credits from other U.S. institutions) is 8 credits with the approval of your major adviser.
  • Business courses typically cannot be transferred to Whitman because they are vocational in nature and not considered liberal arts.

Minor Credit Limitations

  • A minimum of three-fifths of the specific course and credit requirements for the minor must be completed in the on-campus program of the college.

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Philosophy department?

  • Programs that offer direct enrollment at universities abroad that have rigorous philosophy courses
  • Programs that are immersed in another language and will increase foreign language competence especially French and German

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Philosophy department?

  • University of St Andrews (St Andrews, Scotland)
  • IES: Freiburg Language and Area Studies (Germany)
  • IFSA-Butler: University of Oxford (England)

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.