Philosophy Tutorial Guidelines


The Philosophy Tutorial is an opportunity for a major to assist in the teaching of an elementary philosophy course, such as Introduction to Philosophy, Reasoning, Ancient or Modern Philosophy.  A philosophy tutor submits a proposal for this course, which includes what s/he will contribute to the course (more details on this below).  The philosophy tutorial is not the only option available to students to mentor other majors.  Any student who has taken a philosophy course and earned a good grade can apply to be a peer tutor  for Academic Advising.  Academic Advising pays Peer Tutors for their services.  Philosophy tutors receive course credit.

 In order to enroll in the Philosophy Tutorial, a student needs to identify a particular course, prepare a proposal and submit it to the appropriate professor (i.e., the professor teaching the course for which one wishes to tutor), and if the proposal is accepted, s/he will be given permission to enroll in PHIL 402.  This option is available for both fall and spring Semesters.

 The faculty member to whom they made the proposal supervises students enrolled in PHIL 402; however, the work they contribute to the course is independently developed and implemented.

Is the Philosophy Tutorial Right for Me?

 Students express interest in PHIL 402 for a variety of good reasons. Among these are:

  •  A future interest in graduate school:  students who are interested in pursuing a M.A. or Ph.D. in Philosophy would benefit from serving as a philosophy tutor because it would give a student a window on the teaching of Philosophy.
  • Deepen understanding of course material: students who enjoyed a particular course, such as Introduction to Philosophy or Reasoning, would benefit from going through the course again to deepen his or her understanding of the material. Furthermore, one advantage of being responsible for teaching material to one's peers is that one better masters his or her understanding of the texts or arguments or skills involved.

What are the Requirements?

  • A declared major in Philosophy
  • A minimum of a 3.5 GPA in the Philosophy Major
  • You have already taken the course to which you are applying to serve as a tutor
  • A proposal
  • Approval from appropriate faculty member

How Do I Prepare a Proposal?

Preparing a proposal for serving as a Philosophy tutor is the most important pre-requisite for being approved to enroll in PHIL 402.  Below are the guidelines for preparing a successful proposal:

  • Your name, your GPA, and a list of all of the courses you have already taken in Philosophy along with the grades you earned in those courses.
  • Course are you applying to tutor for.
  • A statement of whether you can attend all class sessions (i.e., your other courses do not conflict with the scheduled time of the course to which you are applying).
  •  A letter of support from your advisor or another faculty member in the Philosophy department who can speak to your abilities and commitment.
  • What do you propose to contribute to the course?  In this section you want to be fairly detailed.  Will you propose to teach a few class sessions or design modules that can either be implemented inside or outside of class to deepen student understanding?  Will you hold regular office hours (and if so, where)?  Will you hold independent tutorial sessions with students either singly or in groups?  Will you provide valuable feedback to students on written work?  (In many cases, the faculty member to whom you are making the proposal will have a syllabus you can use to help you prepare your proposal.  In the cases where the course syllabus is being revised or newly developed, you should arrange a meeting with the faculty member to discuss ideas.)

When Do I Submit a Proposal?

Proposals are due by the last week of the semester prior to the semester for which you would like to serve as a tutor.  Earlier proposals are welcomed.