Looking for Advice on Majoring or Minoring in Philosophy?
First, please read these helpful links on the benefits of majoring in philosophy:
- Is Philosophy the Most Practical Major?
- 5 Reasons to Major in Philosophy
- On the Benefits of a Philosophy Major
- Career Opportunities for Majors in Philosophy
- Top Jobs for Philosophy Majors
- For the love of wisdom, philosophy majors grow in number at UC Berkeley
Please seek information from an advisor early in your academic career. Advisors can provide useful information about upcoming courses, course selections, and special courses such as seminars and internships. Advisors also have helpful perspectives on graduate school, employment after graduation, and career choices for philosophy majors. Students are encouraged to attend the Department of Philosophy's annual convocation in the Fall semester for more advising information.
While students may go to any faculty member for advising, the designated advisors for the Philosophy Major are:
Heather Battaly (Hum 311G)
Shari Starrett (Hum 311C)
Students considering the Concentration for Moral, Legal, and Social Philosophy for the Professions should contact:
John Davis (Hum 311F)
Initial Advice for Philosophy Majors
1. All majors should take Phil 315 (Philosophical Argument and Writing) as soon as possible after their freshman year. It is typically offered every semester and should not be taken later than the beginning of one's junior year.
2. Faculty recommend that majors take the following required classes early in their career: Phil 290 (Greek Philosophy) and then 300 (Rationalism and Empiricism). Save 301 (Kant and the Nineteenth Century) until you have completed 300.
3. Classes required for the major might be offered as evening classes every few years or so, but not every year.
4. Consider taking courses from full-time faculty in their area of expertise, including the following:
- Battaly: Epistemology (430); Logic (368); Ethical Theory (410)
- Calarco: Existentialism (323); Marx and Marxism (382); Postmodernism (383)
- Davis: Medical Ethics (314); Philosophy of Law (355); Ethical Theory (410)
- Coplan: Greek Philosophy (290); Literature and Cinema (349); Philosophy of Sex and Love (325)
- Heiner: Social and Political Philosophy (345); Ethical Theory (410); Phenomenology (425)
- Howat: American Philosophy (379); Metaphysics (420); Analytic Philosophy (381)
- Ihara (Emeritus): Asian Philosophy (350); Philosophy of Asian Martial Arts (352)
- Lee: Phenomenology (425); Philosophy of Feminism (343); Philosophy of the Body (384)
- Liu: Philosophy of Mind (440); Metaphysics (420); Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Language (435)
- Nichols: Rationalism and Empiricism (300); Philosophy of Religion (348); Asian Philosophy (350)
- Starrett: Kant and the Nineteenth Century (301); Philosophical Approaches to Race, Class and Gender (377); Philosophy of Feminism (343)
- Russell (Emeritus): Existentialism (323); Assumptions of Psychotherapy (341)
5. Faculty strongly recommend that philosophy majors take Critical Thinking (105) or Introduction to Logic (106) to meet a GE requirement, because only 105 or 106 may be counted to fulfill both the elective units for the major and a GE requirement. (These courses fulfill GE 1.C.A.3.) We also recommend that philosophy majors consider taking Symbolic Logic (368); this course will improve your performance on the GRE and LSAT.
6. Entering Freshman wishing to explore philosophy should consider taking Introduction to Philosophy (100), Meaning, Purpose and the Good Life (101), Critical Thinking (105), Introduction to Logic (106), Introduction to Ethics (120) or Greek Philosophy (290).
7. Check the Course Rotation Guidelines for expected course offerings. If you need a particular course, contact an advisor for detailed information.
8. Students taking the Concentration on Moral, Legal, and Social Philosophy for the Professions should check the Concentration Page for additional information on course offerings, internships, and advising.
9. All students should join the CSUF Philosophy Club email distribution list at groups.yahoo.com for information and news from the department and Philosophy Club. Visit the Yahoo!Newsgroup link for more information.
10. Get a sense for the department's Mission and Learning Outcomes.