Apr 22, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalog [Current] 
2023-2024 General Catalog [Current]

Philosophy (B.A., B.S.)

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Program Summary

Philosophy is for everyone. Philosophy is the oldest of the academic disciplines, and aims at examining fundamental principles and assumptions that underlie other academic disciplines as well as our day-to-day lives in the hope of identifying what it means to live well. In the philosophy program, we study classical and contemporary philosophical texts, reconstruct and evaluate the arguments philosophers make, emphasizing the use of tools such as formal and informal logic, analysis, careful reading, and interpretive charity. Some of the central questions to be found in philosophy include: What is the nature of knowledge? What sorts of things exist? What is the nature of value, morality, and justice? What is the nature of a political state, and what makes it legitimate? What is a good life, and how do we ensure we are living it?

We aim to cultivate intellectual virtues and skills necessary to read difficult texts closely, communicate clearly and with precision, and to adopt reasonable positions on life’s most difficult questions, all while remaining open to new or alternative perspectives. The nature of philosophy lends itself to pairing naturally with just about any other discipline. Since the major is 36 credits, picking up philosophy as a first or second major is a great way to set yourself up for success!

Program Information

Six Philosophy Requirements

  1. Language Emphasis Requirement:
    Each B.A. student is required to work with a philosophical text in the language that fulfills the B.A. language requirement. The B.S. majors must work in a formal language: math, logic, or a computer language. The major must coordinate with a philosophy faculty member and when necessary with a relevant language (or science) faculty member. The major will produce a three-to-five page paper that demonstrates the language ability grounded in a philosophical text. This requirement will usually function as part of the Senior Seminar.
    Emphasis I B.S. Analytic Minor in Mathematics - Pure Mathematics Emphasis (Minor) , Computer Science (Minor) , or Economics (Minor)  
    Emphasis II B.A. Ancient or Medieval Arabic, Chinese, Greek, or Latin
    Emphasis III B.A. Modern or Contemporary Arabic, Chinese, Greek, or Latin
    Emphasis IV B.A. Topics - Ethics, Political Philosophy, Metaphysics, or Epistemology Any language
    1. Area Requirement:
      There are 24 units required to fulfill the area requirements. All philosophy majors must fulfill all areas:
      Area I Logic PHIL 1250  and PHIL 3200  
      Area II Ethics and Politics PHIL 3500  and PHIL 3700  
      Area III Being and Knowledge PHIL 3300  and PHIL 3400  
      Area IV History of Philosophy PHIL 4110  and PHIL 4120  

  2. Senior Seminar Requirement:
    All philosophy majors must take PHIL 4010 - Senior Seminar . The course is open to all philosophy majors, not just seniors. Prerequisite: Successful completion of one (1) course in each area of the major. This course is offered every other year in the spring.
  3. Elective Units:
    There are 27 credit hours required in the core for the B.A. in philosophy. The remaining nine (9) credit hours may be selected from any remaining philosophy course.
  4. Grade Requirement:
    Only philosophy courses with letter grades count. Only courses with a grade of “C-” or better may count for the major. The overall GPA in philosophy courses must be at least 2.0.
  5. Residence Requirement:
    Some of the requirements fulfilled elsewhere may transfer to SUU and count toward the major. Such cases require the approval of the Chair of the Department of Languages and Philosophy . The senior seminar must be completed at SUU.

General Education Requirement (30-35 Credits)

See General Education  for course options.

  • Core Course Requirements (12-15 Credits)
  • Knowledge Area Requirements (16-20 Credits)

Please note: All students must complete a minimum of 30 credits between the Core and Knowledge Area requirements.

Bachelor’s Degree Type: Arts or Science Requirement (12* or 16** Credits)

Select one degree type from either Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science:

Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree Requirement (12 Credits*)

  • Bachelor of Science Degree - Math or Science minimum requirement 12 Credits

* Note: A portion of the B.S. requirements may be met by fulfilling the General Education  Core and Knowledge Areas. Because of this, these credits are typically not counted in the degree total at the bottom of page. Some students majoring in non-science fields may need additional math/science courses to reach the minimum 12 credits. Consult your Student Success Advisor for details. 


Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree Requirement (16 Credits**)

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree - Foreign Language Requirement 16 Credits

** Note: One semester of a foreign language may also fulfill the General Education  Humanities requirement. The 16 credits may be fulfilled by taking four semesters of a foreign language or by testing out of a language and purchasing the credits. These credits are typically counted in the degree total at the bottom of the page. Consult your Student Success Advisor for details. 

Philosophy Curriculum (36 Credits)

Minor Requirements (for B.S. degrees) (18-19 Credits)

Select from one of the following minors (ONLY for students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Philosophy):

Free Electives (33-39 Credits)

Total elective credit is determined by General Education courses taken, degree type selected, additional credits earned, and any additional math or other prerequisite courses needed. For a bachelor’s degree, students must earn a minimum of 40 upper-division credits (courses numbered 3000-4999). Students may need to select additional upper-division courses not included in their major requirements in order to reach this minimum. Please consult your Student Success Advisor for details.

Total Credits, B.A./B.S. Degree: 120

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