Major in Philosophy

Our goal is to have students think philosophically on the meaning of one’s life, the conceptual foundations of belief, and the nature of self and responsibility.

To accomplish this goal our students read, discuss, and analyze in writing (1) philosophical problems (ontology of self and other; metaphysics of action; possibility of knowledge; origin and value of ethical systems; and concern for social justice), and (2) major figures and eras in historical and contemporary philosophy (ancient, medieval, modern, post-modern, etc.).

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • identify primary philosophical themes found in the writings of major ancient, medieval, modern, and moral philosophers
  • write historical and argumentative essays on central philosophical issues
  • develop philosophical arguments using formal and informal methods originated by historical and contemporary philosophers


44 units

All incoming students are advised to immediately enroll in PHIL 310 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, which will also satisfy the Core D1 Philosophy requirement. PHIL 315 Ethics for Majors, also required, will satisfy the Core D3 Ethics requirement.

Required (4 courses)

  • PHIL 310 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
  • PHIL 312 Modern Philosophy
  • PHIL 315 Ethics for Majors
  • PHIL 319 Logic


Lower Division (2 courses)

100 or 200-level

  • One Philosophy lower or upper division course
  • One Philosophy lower or upper division course

Upper Division (5 courses)

300 or 400-level

  • PHIL upper division course
  • PHIL upper division course
  • PHIL upper division course
  • PHIL upper division course
  • PHIL upper division course

Honors Thesis in Philosophy

Open to senior philosophy majors with a 3.3 cumulative GPA and a 3.75 GPA in Philosophy together with departmental approval of a prospectus, which must be submitted to the Department at the end of the semester prior to its being written. Philosophy students produce an Undergraduate Honors Thesis.

Contact Info

Department of Philosophy

Mon-Fri, 7:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Kalmanovitz Hall 113 (415) 422-6543 (415) 422-3180