Overview of Logic Degree Programs
From the fictional world of Vulcan from 'Star Trek', Spock's motivation of an existence using pure logic now is a major study program in universities around the United States. While the area of logic may not be new as a class or course, degree programs are relatively new. Several graduate degree programs in logic can be found through philosophy or mathematics departments.
Coursework in this field, depending on whether the degree is from the philosophy or mathematics departments, will include the likes of introduction and history of philosophy, human nature, modal logic, ethics and more. Below are details describing a few of the necessary courses and degree requirements, along with some careers that could be available after completion of the program.
Admissions Requirements for Logic Degree Programs
Since these degrees are all graduate level, getting into these programs can be quite competitive. In some cases graduate admissions may simply be the requirements according to the department they apply to such as mathematics. In other cases, applicants may be required to finish a preliminary program of classes before applying. Many programs require that if the degree is a Ph.D., you'll have to earn your master's somewhere else. In all cases letters of recommendation will be required as well as transcripts, original work, research and GRE scores.
Logic Program Coursework
Since logic degree programs are advanced, undergraduate and graduate degree work need to be completed in related areas like philosophy, education or mathematics. Logic programs from a mathematics department will include advanced classes in math theory and probabilities. Philosophy programs will stress courses in philosophical theories, law, ethics, and morality. Below are some of the more common courses in a logic program:
Probability courses may include discussions of theory, math, random variables, distribution functions, combinatorial analysis and more. The most common courses in probability will use statistics and the calculus of probability. These courses will encompass deductive systems and properties including natural deduction and sequent calculi, along with metamathematical properties and conservation theorems.
Classes pertaining to the philosophy of law will include regular classroom study as well as workshops with professors from various disciplines like economics, political science, journalism and sociology. These courses expose students to how law and theory are affected by manmade laws as they stand concerning speech, drugs, self-defense, criminal procedures and over-criminalization.
Ethics courses may be presented as core ethical examinations and influences or combined with a related subject like psychology. For example, a core class may examine the impact of Western philosophies including utilitarianism, virtue theory, hedonism and consequentialism. The course may then delve into contemporary problems. It will be these classes that will help to establish which philosophies best answer new questions pertaining to things like new technologies, resentment, gender and racial identity, anger, environment questions, compassion and tranquility.
Some courses in math logic will include work in basic model theory and basic recursion theory using mathematical structures including groups, graphs, partial order, and fields. Early focus will center around courses involving logic and the foundations of mathematics as well as the philosophy of science and its methodology. A lot of time will be spent with the most important tools of math logic using the theorems of Godel Completeness and Compactness, the infinite Ramsey theorem, the Lefschetz Principle, as well as the theorems of van der Waerden's or Szemeredi's.
Philosophy questions pertaining to existence and logic may be answered with the history of philosophy or introductory courses. Most of the intro courses for philosophy will discuss the use of deductive reasoning and logic, the power of language in arguments, and how language is used to implicate and validate. The classes work to answer five questions dealing with God, self, freedom, reality and ambition. This course gives students the tools to find and use basic logic to find answers to these questions.
How to Choose a Degree Program in Logic
Since there are only a few schools offering this degree in the U.S., you may have to decide if you will be able relocate to one of these universities; if so, you may want to consider what opportunities may be offered where the school is located. For example, schools near other major universities may offer further education opportunities and chances for post-secondary employment. It might be important to consider the strength of the school's philosophy or math department as well.
Career Options with a Logic Degree
Normally graduates with this degree find work teaching at the college level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment of postsecondary philosophy and religions teachers would grow by 12% between 2014-2024, while the median salary for philosophy teachers in 2016 was $68,360. Other careers philosophy or logic graduates might consider are listed below.