The Regular Major

The philosophy major is designed to provide students with a breadth of knowledge and a depth of engagement with the history and current practice of philosophy. The requirements for the major build on the study of the history of philosophy and branch out to explore an array of contemporary philosophical problems, as well as areas of specialty that students may wish to explore in greater detail. To help plan your class schedule, consult the Course Rotation Guidelines. Be certain to consult an advisor early in your major program (visit the Advising pages for more information).

Students are required to complete 39 units for the major. The course requirements for the major are:

Category 1 - Core Classes (12 units required)

A. Argumentation and Writing

PHIL 315: Philosophical Argument and Writing

B. History of Philosophy (Before 1900)

PHIL 290: Greek Philosophy

PHIL 300: Rationalism and Empiricism

PHIL 301: Kant and the Nineteenth Century 

Category 2 - Additional History of Philosophy (6 units required)

PHIL 291: Medieval Philosophy

PHIL 323: Existentialism

PHIL 350: Asian Philosophy

PHIL 379: American Philosophy

PHIL 380: Analytic Philosophy 1900-1950

PHIL 382: Marx and Marxism

PHIL 383: Postmodernism

Category 3 - Contemporary Philosophy (9 units required: 3 minimum from each A & B)


PHIL 343: Philosophy of Feminism (WMST 343)

PHIL 345: Social & Political Philosophy

PHIL 377: Philosophical Approaches to Race, Class and Gender

PHIL 410: Ethical Theory


PHIL 420: Metaphysics

PHIL 425: Phenomenology

PHIL 430: Epistemology

PHIL 435: Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Language

PHIL 440: Philosophy of Mind


PHIL 368: Symbolic Logic (MATH 368)

Category 4 - Seminar Requirement (3 units required)

PHIL 447T: Seminar in Selected Problems

PHIL 455: Seminar in Values

PHIL 460: Seminar in Logic & Language

PHIL 470: Seminar in Metaphysics & Epistemology

PHIL 480: Seminar in History of Philosophy

PHIL 490: Seminar in Contemporary Philosophy

Category 5 - Electives (9 units required: 6 maximum from A)


PHIL 100: Introduction to Philosophy

PHIL 101: Meaning, Purpose & the Good Life

PHIL 105: Critical Thinking

PHIL 106: Introduction to Logic

PHIL 110: Religions of the World (CPRL 110)

PHIL 120: Introduction to Ethics


PHIL 302: Introduction to Women's Studies (WMST 302)

PHIL 303: Introduction to Philosophy of Science

PHIL 311: Aesthetics: Philosophy of Art & Beauty

PHIL 312: Business and Professional Ethics

PHIL 313: Environmental Ethics

PHIL 314: Medical Ethics

PHIL 316: Research Ethics

PHIL 320: Contemporary Moral Issues

PHIL 324: Existential Group

PHIL 325: Philosophy of Sex & Love       

PHIL 333: Evolution & Creation (LBST 333)

PHIL 341: Assumptions of Psychotherapy

PHIL 348: Philosophy of Religion (CPRL 348)

PHIL 349: Philosophy, Literature & Cinema

PHIL 352: Philosophy of Martial Arts

PHIL 354T: Topics in Buddhism (CPRL 354T)

PHIL 355: Philosophy of Law

PHIL 375: Introduction to Philosophy of Language (LING 375)

Note: Philosophy majors may not "double count" philosophy courses for fulfillment of both the major and GE requirements, with the following exceptions: (1) All philosophy majors may count either PHIL 105 or PHIL 106 for both the major and for GE Requirement IC A.3. (2) Double majors who list philosophy as their second major may double count a total of 9 units in philosophy.


Recommendations for Philosophy Majors Considering Advanced Degree Programs

Students who are planning to attend graduate school in philosophy are urged (a) to consult with faculty early on about their planned program of study, (b) to acquire proficiency in a foreign language, (c) to take a wide variety of upper division courses offered by tenure-track faculty, and (d) to include in their program of study as many as possible of the following:

PHIL 303: Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

PHIL 345: Social and Political Philosophy

PHIL 368: Symbolic Logic

PHIL 375: Introduction to the Philosophy of Language

PHIL 380: Analytic Philosophy

PHIL 383: Postmodernism

PHIL 410: Ethical Theory

PHIL 420: Metaphysics

PHIL 425: Phenomenology

PHIL 430: Epistemology

PHIL 440: Philosophy of Mind

Students interested in pursuing admission to law school are advised (a) to consider a Major in Philosophy with a Concentration in Moral, Legal, and Social Philosophy for the Professions, (b) contact Professor John Davis, the advisor to the Concentration, and (c) to include in their major program as many as possible of the following:

PHIL 345: Social and Political Philosophy

PHIL 355: Philosophy of Law

PHIL 368: First Course in Symbolic Logic

PHIL 405: Advanced Topics in Applied Legal Reasoning

PHIL 410: Ethical Theory

PHIL 455: Seminar in Values

PHIL 493: Senior Internship in Ethics and Society

Double Major

The Philosophy major complements many others majors, and we encourage our students to seriously consider a double major. Double majoring will greatly enhance your undergraduate learning experience. An additional advantage of a double major is that, for the major that is listed second, you can take up to 9 units of courses that both satisfy the General Education requirements and meet the requirements of the second major. Please consult a full-time Philosophy faculty member in Humanities 311/313 for further information.

For help planning your courses, check the Course Rotation Guidelines and the Advising pages. Check the Academic Catalog for a complete list of Philosophy courses that meet GE requirements.