Harvard Shield

Department of Philosophy

Harvard University

    Harvard.edu | FAS | GSAS | HCL
Home | News & Events | Links | Site Map | Contact


Undergraduate Program:

Tutorials are small seminars of four to ten students taught by faculty or advanced graduate students. They are intended to provide an opportunity for intimate and sustained discussion of philosophical topics, and to give students an opportunity to receive close commentary on their written work. A variety of different tutorial topics is offered each semester.

Concentrators take three semester-long tutorials. (Joint concentrators need only take two; students taking a secondary in philosophy take only one.) The first is at an introductory level (it’s called the "sophomore" tutorial, or Tutorial I, though its members aren't always sophomores; this is the one tutorial you will take if you are a philosophy secondary); the two others are at a more advanced level (the "junior" tutorial, or Tutorial II, whose members are almost always juniors).

Tutorials meet once a week for 1.5 to 2 hours: The sophomore tutorial is a normal half course, while the junior tutorials are "quarter courses", counting for half  the credit of a normal semester course. When two junior tutorials are completed, their grades are averaged, and the student receives one "half" course credit (as Harvard counts, that's credit for a semester course). Junior concentrators usually take four courses plus one (junior) tutorial one term, and three courses plus a tutorial the other, totaling eight semester courses, or four "full" courses, for the year.

At the beginning of each semester, descriptions of tutorials to be offered are made available below. Students then email us giving us their preferences. We do the best we can to match tutorial assignments to students' interests.

Tutorials begin meeting the first week of the semester.  Meeting times and locations are posted in the descriptions below, and they will be emailed to students as well.

Please note:  students interested in taking tutorials should sign up by email before the semester starts. Those who wait longer may find that the groups have filled to capacity. 

This site is best viewed in a Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Google Chrome browser.

© 2011-2013 President and Fellows of Harvard College, Harvard University