Political and Legal Philosophy Cognate

Political and Legal Philosophy Cognate

students in class

New Cognate!

What is the political and legal philosophy cognate?

The political and legal philosophy cognate in the philosophy department is designed for students who are interested in specializing in the systematic study of fundamental philosophical questions regarding politics, law and justice and how they apply to contemporary issues. This three-course cognate allows you to study topics such as the nature of justice, limits of state power, balancing liberty and equality, capitalism vs. socialism, authoritarian challenges to democracy, fascism and antifascism, privacy, freedom of expression and other issues at the interface of ethics, justice, law and states. Cognates appear on your transcript and can be listed on your resume.

Why study political and legal philosophy at UNH?

Our internationally renowned professors emphasize discussion, debate and writing. As a lively and nurturing faculty personally invested in the success of our high achieving students, we take pride in watching our graduates go on to excel in top law schools, elite graduate programs and prestigious positions from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Wrestling with big questions prepares our students exceptionally well for highly successful careers. We train you how to think clearly, argue, write and respond collegially to counterarguments. Philosophy is one of the highest scoring majors for the LSAT and GMAT as well as for career earnings.

Potential careers
  • Business professional
  • Ethicist
  • Healthcare professional
  • Lawyer
  • Policy professional
  • Politician
  • Professor
  • Teacher
  • Technology professional
  • Writer



Philosophy Department
Hamilton Smith Hall Room 250E
95 Main Street
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824

Phone (603) 862-2060
TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH)


Curriculum & Requirements

For students unable to major or minor in philosophy, students may select the three-course cognate in political and legal philosophy (for a total of 12 credits). This option provides official recognition for those who choose to emphasize the study of political and legal philosophy.

Select THREE courses (12 credits) from the following list:  
PHIL 405 Critical Thinking 4
PHIL 419 Race, Gender and Social Justice 4
PHIL 420 Introduction to Philosophy of Law and Justice 4
PHIL 424 The Future of Humanity: Science, Technology, and Society 4
PHIL 430 Ethics and Society 4
PHIL 431 Business Ethics 4
PHIL 436 Social and Political Philosophy 4
PHIL #440 Just Business: The Ethics of Markets and Money 4
PHIL 444 Remaking Nature/The Ethics and Politics of Genetic Engineering 4
PHIL 450 Environmental Ethics 4
PHIL 510 Philosophy and Feminism 4
PHIL 531 Topics in Professional and Business Ethics 4
PHIL #620 20th Century European Philosophy 4
PHIL 630 Neuroscience and Philosophy 4
PHIL #635 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Law and Justice 4
PHIL 660 Law, Medicine, and Ethics 4
Approved PHIL seminars, including seminars in neuroscience, happiness, economic philosophy, race and others 4

You do not need to declare a cognate; however, we recommend that you meet with a faculty member from the Philosophy Department to discuss your plan. At the beginning of your final semester of study, you should complete a certification of completion of cognate form, obtain the necessary signatures, and submit it to your Dean's Office.

Credit toward the cognate will only be given for courses passed with C- or better, and a 2.00 grade-point average must be maintained in courses for the cognate. Courses taken on the pass/fail basis may not be used for the cognate.