University Catalog 2023-2024

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

The disciplines of Philosophy and Religious Studies tackle important questions with rigorous standards, relying on over two millennia of accumulated wisdom.

Philosophy seeks to advance our understanding of ourselves and the nature of reality, mind, knowledge and morality. It is concerned with fundamental questions and critically investigates what other disciplines and other human activities take for granted. Philosophy students at NC State study the writings of great philosophers and recent work on topics such as the relationship between mind and brain, the demands of morality, the justification of political and legal institutions, the relationship between knowledge and reality, and the nature of the logic that structures human language and thought.

Religious Studies does not seek to advance the practice of religion or any particular religion, but to understand religion as a complex and significant human phenomenon. Students majoring in Religious Studies at NC State study the history, texts and practices of both well-known and lesser-known religious traditions as well as a range of theoretical and comparative issues concerning religion, such as the meaning of ritual, the role of gender, the impact of religion in the modern world, and the relationship between religion and conflict.

Both Philosophy and Religious Studies help students to develop their capacity to think critically, constructively and independently, to analyze and solve problems, and to elaborate their ideas and present them in a clear, cogent and well-organized way.

For more information about our department, including contact information, visit our website.

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
340 Withers Hall
Campus Box 8103
Raleigh, NC 27695-8103
Phone: 919.515.3214
Fax: 919.513.4351

Contact Person

Dr. Catherine Driscoll (Philosophy)
Director of Undergraduate Advising 
434B Withers Hall
Dr. Jason Bivins (Religious Studies)
Director of Religious Studies
447 Withers Hall



  • M. J. Pendlebury

Associate Head

  • S. M. Puryear

Director of Religious Studies and Senior Religious Studies Advisor

  • J. C. Bivins

Director of Undergraduate Advising

  • C. M. Driscoll

Senior Philosophy Adviser

  • R. Mabrito

Distinguished University Professor

  • W. Adler


  • J. C. Bivins
  • M. F. Bykova
  • J. W. Carroll
  • G. L. Comstock
  • C. M. Driscoll
  • T. J. Hinton
  • M. J. Pendlebury

Professor Emeritus

  • B. B. Levenbook
  • A. D. VanDeVeer

Associate Professors

  • M. K. Cunningham
  • V. Dubljevic
  • R. P. Endicott
  • K. A. Harwood
  • S. C. Ferguson II
  • R. A. Mabrito
  • L. McLaughlin
  • S. M. Puryear
  • S. Soyarslan

Associate Professor Emeritus

  • D. F. Austin
  • H. D. Levin

Assistant Professors

  • K. Foody
  • X. Pickett

Assistant Professor Emeritus

  • D. D. Auerbach

Associate Teaching Professor

  • W. Bauer

Assistant Teaching Professor

  • E. Carter
  • A. Glaser
  • M. R. Hettche
  • B. T. Rancourt
  • J. A. Staples
  • J. S. Sturdevant

Postdoctoral Fellow

  • B. Bryan


Philosophy Honors Program

The honors program in Philosophy offers an enriched and challenging educational experience to qualified majors. Admission to the program requires completion of nine credits in the major, a 3.66 GPA in the major, and a 3.25 GPA overall. To graduate with Honors in Philosophy, a student must complete a degree in philosophy and in doing so complete the following courses:

LOG/MA 335Symbolic Logic3
PHI 300Ancient Philosophy3
PHI 301Early Modern Philosophy3
PHI 498Special Topics in Philosophy (taken for the honors thesis, to be evaluated by an honors committee)3
At least one other course in the history of philosophy:3
19th Century Philosophy
History of Ethics
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
Complete one 3 credit, 400-level PHI course 13
Total Hours18

 other than PHI 498 Special Topics in Philosophy

Graduation requires a 3.66 GPA in the major and 3.25 GPA overall. Successful completion of the program is noted on the student’s transcript and in the commencement and honors convocation programs.

Religious Studies Honors Program

The honors program in Religious Studies guides outstanding majors in independent, critical inquiry of the academic study of religion. Admission to the program requires junior standing, completion of nine hours in the major, and a 3.25 GPA overall and in the major. Honors students must complete at least nine credit hours of honors option course work in Religious Studies (including at least one 400 level course) and write an honors paper as part of an independent study course (REL 498 Special Topics in Religious Studies) which is evaluated by an honors committee.

Graduation requires a 3.25 GPA overall and in the major. Successful completion of the program is noted on the student’s transcript and in the commencement and honors convocation programs.