Welcome to the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies

CoronaVirus FAQ for Philosophy & Religious Studies


Latest Update: 8 April 2020, 1:45 pm

In the wake of Coronavirus, what do I need to know for the extended Spring Break?

We are currently sorting out how to cope with the unprecedented events of recent weeks and to keep classes proceeding apace, though the manner of presentation will require some changes, for at least the foreseeable future. We will be in contact once we become aware of any changes. As for individual classes, your instuctors will be in contact with you by the end of this week (March 20, 2020), So, please check MTSU email, D2L, or whatever sources your instructor may use. 

What can I expect after extended Spring Break?

At this point all on-ground courses will be delivered remotely until the end of March. However, in all likelihood no on-ground classes will be meeting through the end of this semester. Each of your instructors will instruct you on how to proceed with your course. If you are not contacted by 20 March 2020, contact either Dr. Bombardi or Dr. Magada-Ward.

Update 17 March 2020: As expected, the University "will complete the spring semester remotely".

I am a Philosophy or Religious Studies Major expecting to graduate in May, what should I do?

Contact your College Advisor first, either Nichole Poe or Brad Baumgartner. Be sure that your Upper Division form and Intent to Graduate forms are completed and submitted. The Upper Division form (for the BA and for the BS) will also need signatures for approval. We've recently learned that the upper division forms have a new approval process, at least for now. MTSU no longer requires the Upper Division Forms to have a signature from the Minor Advisor.  Major Advisors may approve forms via affirmative e-mail; it is not necessary to print and sign the forms during this time.  Please submit approved Upper Division Forms and Intent to Graduate Forms to Peggy Slater via email.  Any questions should be directed to Peggy Slater and Brad Baumgardner

What if I don't have Internet Access or a Computer?

The University Provost has provided the following information

Internet Access
 If you do not have internet access, MTSU's Division of Information Technology (ITD) has laptops, Chromebooks, and Wi-Fi hotspots available to lend students. While the University will cover the cost of the hotspot access fees, it is expected that students will return the equipment in good condition once the University returns to normal operations. 
If needed, you should contact ITD’s Robin Jones (Robin.Jones@mtsu.edu or 615-898-2214) to secure equipment.  
Accessibility for Students with Approved ADA Accommodations
 Students with disabilities who need accommodations in order to fully participate in courses must register with the Disability and Access Center (DAC). If you have issues accessing the redesigned courses because of disabilities, please contact the DAC for assistance.
What do I do if I've rented textbooks from Phillips Bookstore?


  • All books rented from Phillips Bookstore may be returned to Phillips anytime between April 6 through the end of the semester.
  • All students who rented books from MTSU’s Phillips Bookstore will receive an email, sent to their MTSU email account, with a FREE shipping label to return their books to the bookstore. The reminder emails with the label will generate mid-April. 
  • In addition, it is our understanding that our new Philips bookstore provider, Barnes and Noble College, is taking extra efforts to help ensure students are equipped to learn wherever they are as we move forward in this unprecedented circumstance.  Barnes and Noble has joined VitalSource and leading publishers in providing free access to eTextbooks through the remainder of the Spring term. More information about this initiative can be found at this site: https://support.vitalsource.com/hc/en-us/categories/360003328673?utm_campaign=2020%20VitalSource%20Helps&utm_source=VitalSource%20Helps%20&utm_medium=landing%20page
  • Specific questions may be directed to Natalie Karousatossm8348@bncollege.com, with name, email, and phone number, and she will work with you directly.
 Can I change my classes to Pass/Fail?
The University has provided this FAQ concerning the Pass/Fail Option

About the Department...

The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers Bachelors of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Philosophy and Religious Studies. Minors are offered in philosophy and religious studies and courses contribute to a variety of interdisciplinary programs. Coursework in both programs is intended to acquaint students with the methods, systems, and problems germane to the discipline, supply a background for graduate study in philosophy, religious studies, or related areas, and help prepare students for a range of careers in, including but not limited to, law, art, education, healthcare, business, ministry, counseling, and non-profit agencies.

About Philosophy...

Philosophy is unique amongst academic disciplines, having given birth to many of these disciplines as well as providing tools and methods for critical reflection on all areas of human knowledge and practice. Philosophy fervently examines our fundamental ideas regarding our lives, the universe, religion, morality, politics, history, and more. Students of philosophy develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, not just through reading and writing, but also through philosophical dialogue inside and outside the classroom. The study of philosophy can profoundly affect how one thinks and what kind of person one becomes.

About Religious Studies...

Religious literacy is an invaluable resource that prepares students to succeed in an increasingly diverse and multicultural society and workforce. The academic study of religion explores the histories, practices, and experiences within different religious traditions and challenges students to describe, analyze, and critique that material in light of influential ideas about how religions actually work in human life. Religious Studies provides students with an invaluable foundation for a wide range of careers in which reading, writing, understanding, and analysis are essential.


The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offices are located on the third floor of the James Union Building. We welcome opportunities to share information about our department. Feel free to contact us with comments and questions about our programs, lyceum and lecture series, and department activities.

The Philosophy Department Foundation Account...

If you would like to make a financial contribution to the Philosophy Department's Foundation Account, you can do so on the College of Liberal Arts Giving Page