BA Program Description

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The principal emphasis of the department in its undergraduate programs is on a liberal arts education. Philosophy is fundamentally an adventure of the mind. Philosophy majors read and discuss the ideas generated by some of the greatest thinkers in history. The student will also learn to look at contemporary theoretical problems from a philosophical perspective. Because the study of philosophy develops a student's ability to analyze ideas and arguments, to think critically, and to write well, a major in philosophy provides appropriate pre-professional preparation for various fields, including law, medicine, psychology and theology. Additionally, the major provides preparation for students interested in obtaining a background for graduate work in philosophy.

The philosophy major is made up of three parts: three lower-division courses consisting of a year-long sequence in the history of philosophy and a logic course; six upper-division courses that offer deeper exposure to different areas in philosophy; and two upper-level seminars that provide an opportunity to engage the works of a philosopher or a tradition in great depth.

Course Requirements (120 units)

Requirements in the Major (33 units)

PHIL 009, PHIL 057 or PHIL 157 (with permission of advisor) (3); PHIL 070A and either PHIL 070B or PHIL 070C (6); Eight upper division courses: one of which must be from the Phil 190 or Phil 290 series.

General Education Requirements (48 units)

Of the 51 units required by the university, 3 may be satisfied by specified major and support requirements. Consult major advisor for details.

American Institutions (6 units)

Of the 6 units required by the university, all may be satisfied within general education requirements as specified in the schedule of classes.

Physical Education (2 units)


Electives 37 units


Total upper division, major and non-major courses, required for graduation (40 units)

Of your total units, 40 must be upper division, made up of major and non-majors courses.