Undergraduate Program Information
The philosophy student explores and seeks to understand values
and the nature of reality. Through the study of philosophy, questions
are asked about existence and experience: What is truth? What is
morally right? What kind of life is best? What kind of society? Is there
an ultimate reality? Philosophy studies the types of questions that most
other subject areas are unable to address fully.
There are three different ways these questions are characteristically
investigated in the philosophy student at San Diego State
University. They are approached historically, by studying the history of
philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present; analytically, by
carefully examining the meanings and interrelationships of ideas; and
critically, by training students in the art of evaluating various claims
and the arguments for and against them.
While the analytical and critical approach are part of every course
in philosophy, the philosophy curriculum at San Diego State University
emphasizes the historical approach. The aim is to provide the philosophy
student with a thorough grounding in the development of philosophy
so that the student is well prepared to participate in the discussion of
The education of a philosophy student, along with providing the satisfaction of dealing with fundamental issues which have concerned
serious thinkers for any centuries, also provides the student with
skills that may be used in a variety of careers. Some students begin
graduate work after their B.A., either in philosophy, with the expectation
of teaching or writing in the field, or in law, education, or ther
professional programs. Some enter new fields of research, working on
computer problems or artificial intelligence. Other students find that
the special skills they have developed as philosophy majors - the
ability to read complex material with comprehension, to analyze
problems, to find relevant sources, to evaluate evidence, to propose
solutions and to examine them self-critically, and to report the results
of their inquiries with clarity and coherence - are valued by employers
in many different fields. Such students may find career opportunities in
government, industry, finance, and social services.
With the B.A. Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences
(Major Code: 15091) (SIMS Code: 115301)
All candidates for a degree in liberal arts and sciences must
complete the graduation requirements listed in the section of this
catalog on “Graduation Requirements.” No more than 48 units in philosophy
courses can apply to the degree.
A minor is not required with this major.
Preparation for the Major. Six lower division units in philosophy to
include Philosophy 110 or 120. Philosophy 120 is preferred as preparation for Philosophy 521.
Language Requirement. Competency (successfully completing
the third college semester or fifth college quarter) is required in one
foreign language to fulfill the graduation requirement. Refer to section
of catalog on “Graduation Requirements.”
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement. Passing the
Writing Placement Assessment with a score of 10 or completing one of
the approved upper division writing courses (W) with a grade of C
(2.0) or better. See “Graduation Requirements” section for a complete
listing of requirements.
Major. A minimum of 30 upper division units in philosophy to
include Philosophy 521 and at least six units selected from each of the
following three main areas of philosophy. No more than six units of
300-level philosophy courses will count toward the major.
- History of Philosophy: Philosophy 411, 412, 413, 414, 506, 508, 575.
- Metaphysics and Epistemology: Philosophy 310, 351, 353, 523,
525, 531, 535, 536, 537, 565.
- Ethics: Philosophy 329, 330, 332, 334, 340, 510, 512, 528, 542.
(SIMS Code: 115301)
SDSU Philosophy Department
The minor in philosophy consists of 24 units in philosophy. Six
lower division units to include Philosophy 110 or 120, and 18 upper
division units. No more than six units of 300-level philosophy courses
will count toward the minor.
Courses in the minor may not be counted toward the major, but
may be used to satisfy preparation for the major and general
education requirements, if applicable. A minimum of six upper division
units must be completed in residence at San Diego State University.