Political and Legal Philosophy (Cognate)

Political and Legal Philosophy (Cognate)

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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 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. This option provides official recognition for students who choose to emphasize the study of political and legal philosophy.

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. 

Select THREE courses (12 credits) from the following list:
PHIL 405Critical Thinking4
PHIL 419Race, Gender and Social Justice4
PHIL 420Introduction to Philosophy of Law and Justice4
PHIL 424The Future of Humanity: Science, Technology, and Society4
PHIL 430Ethics and Society4
PHIL 431Business Ethics4
PHIL 436Social and Political Philosophy4
PHIL #440Just Business: The Ethics of Markets and Money4
PHIL #444Remaking Nature/The Ethics and Politics of Genetic Engineering4
PHIL 450Environmental Ethics4
PHIL 510Philosophy and Feminism4
PHIL 531Topics in Professional and Business Ethics4
PHIL 62020th Century European Philosophy4
PHIL 630Neuroscience and Philosophy4
PHIL 660Law, Medicine, and Ethics4
Approved PHIL seminars, including seminars in neuroscience, happiness, economic philosophy, race and others4

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