Undergraduate Philosophy Major Requirements
This page explains the requirements for the B.A. in Philosophy at UC San Diego.
There are many reasons to consider a major in philosophy. Some students with a primary major in philosophy pursue graduate studies and ultimately go on to an academic career as professors. Others go to professional schools that prepare them for careers in the private or public sector. Many students find that undergraduate work in philosophy is an especially good preparation for law school (one study showed that the mean LSAT score for philosophy majors was higher than it was for both pre-law and political science majors). Other students combine a major (or minor) in philosophy with another primary major. We have majors who are also majoring in history, political science, psychology, cognitive science, computer science, economics, mathematics, and biology. Sometimes this can be a strategic choice to enhance a professional school application, but more often it reflects students discovering a passion for philosophy in the course of pursuing another major.
A major in philosophy requires a total of 15 courses. Majors may choose to structure their electives according to the Optional Areas of Emphasis described here.
- the B.A. in Philosophy requires a total of 15 courses; at least 12 must be upper-division courses
- all courses applied toward the major must be taken for a letter grade
- all courses applied toward the major must be passed with a grade of C- or better
- a GPA of 2.0 must be maintained for all courses applied toward the major
- courses numbered 191-199 (Honors and Directed Studies Courses) do not apply toward the requisite 15 courses
- courses repeated for credit can be applied toward the major by petition only
The major in Philosophy must satisfy the 6 core requirements (8 courses total). These requirements are described in the General Catalog. To satisfy the core requirements, the major must take 8courses from the table below.
The History of Philosophy Sequence must be completed in order. For Moral and Political Philosophy, Metaphysics and Epistemology, and Philosophy of Science, choose 1 course from the course boxes. Each course can satisfy only one requirement.
|Requirement||Course No.||Course Title|
|I. Lower-Division Logic||Phil 10||Introduction to Logic|
|II. Upper-Division Logic||Phil 120||Symbolic Logic I|
|III. History of Philosophy Sequence
(must be completed in order)
|History of Philosophy: Ancient
History of Philosophy: Early Modern
History of Philosophy: Late Modern
|IV. Moral and Political Philosophy
Topics in the History of Ehtics
Classics in Political Philosophy
Contemporary Political Philosophy
|V. Metaphysics & Epistemology
Topics in Metaphysics
|VI. Philosophy of Science
|Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Physics
Philosophy of Biology
Philosophy of Psychology
Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Philosophy of Neuroscience
Philosophy of Social Science
In addition to the core requirements, 7 philosophy electives are required. Some students may wish to take a sampling of philosophy courses to complete their electives while others may want to choose a particular focus for their elective classes. If you wish to have a focus for your electives, see Optional Areas of Emphasis.
Use the attached worksheet for tracking your courses toward fulfillment of the major.
NOTE: Of the 15 courses required for the major, at least 12 must be upper-division courses.