Raphael's painting of Philosophers: The School of Athens

About Us 

Our Mission

The San Diego State Department of Philosophy is committed to excellence in teaching and research in both Western and non-Western traditions and contemporary approaches to philosophy as is befitting of truly accomplished faculty members. The department extends the role of philosophy beyond the university through publications by both faculty and students and its standing in the profession through the application of philosophy to social, political, global, environmental, ecological, scientific, and other real-world contexts often but not only through its Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs, which engages community members and alumni. The department fosters a climate of mutual respect and support among diverse faculty and students engaged in scholarship, learning, and service that embraces diversity, respect for historical traditions (both Western and non-Western), and the pursuit of knowledge in traditional and contemporary approaches to philosophy. Because of this, and because of the University's resources and location, the department has the potential to become one of the premier undergraduate philosophy departments in California. It continuously strives in fulfilling this potential and in sustaining a reputation that enhances the visibility of San Diego State University.

Learning outcomes (DLOs) for undergraduate philosophy majors/minors:

  1. give an account of the history of philosophy and relate this history to philosophical study;
  2. correctly and appropriately apply logical principles (both analytically and constructively) in oral and written venues;
  3. present multiple viewpoints and their justifications within at least one major thematic area within the discipline (e.g., metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, logic, or aesthetics);
  4. explicate, analyze, and defend a philosophic position; and
  5. apply philosophical theories to social, political, global, environmental, ecological, scientific, or other real-world contexts.

Learning outcomes (DLOs) master of arts philosophy students:

  1. are prepared for entry into a PhD program, teaching at the community college level, or entry into other professional programs (e.g., law school).
  2. outline, stake, present counterarguments to and overcome them, and defend an original position (thesis) concerning some specialized area (e.g., history, metaphysics, science, aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, etc.)
  3. present their research in a public forum;
  4. write at the professional level;
  5. correctly apply and use deductive logic symbolization and argumentation.

Download our course matrix


Statement on Diversity

The Department of Philosophy fully endorses San Diego State University’s commitment to provide an atmosphere where all human potential is valued. It strives to fulfill the University’s historic promise to recognize and nurture merit, talent, and achievement by supporting diversity and equal opportunity in its education, services, and administration, as well as research and creative activity. The Department particularly acknowledges the special need to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of talented students, faculty, and staff from historically excluded populations who are currently underrepresented and/or historically discriminated against, and to promote a campus committed to diversity, inclusion, and social justice for all.