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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Philosophy

Degree Programs

Areas of Study

Bachelor of Arts Major

Our philosophy major introduces you to the Western philosophical tradition while teaching you to be at home in contemporary philosophical thought.

While majoring in philosophy, you'll take a wide variety of courses that reflect the various areas of specialization within contemporary philosophy and the major epochs of the history of Western philosophy.

The program also provides opportunities for coursework in non-Western traditions.

Every philosophy major must:

  • Take 40-60 hours of philosophy courses above the 1000 level. At least 16 of these hours must be at or above the 3000 level. These hours must include the courses specified below.
  • Take 4 hours of Symbolic Logic or Practical Logic. We recommend you take this course as early as possible.
  • Take at least 4 hours of ancient and/or medieval philosophy. Eligible courses are: Greek Philosophy; Great Thinkers: Plato, Aristotle, or Maimonides; and other appropriate courses as offered, if approved by your undergraduate adviser.
  • Take at least 4 hours of modern and/or contemporary philosophy. Eligible courses are: Early Modern Philosophy, Kant to Nietzsche; Existentialism; Twentieth Century Philosophy; and Great Thinkers: Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Kant, Hegel.
  • Take PHIL 3999 during your senior year. This is a zero-credit course that is completed online. The course requires you to complete a post-test, a survey and to upload the best paper that you have written in a philosophy course.

Many students find that philosophy works as an excellent complement to another major in a double major, as all philosophy courses teach reasoning skills that are transferable to, and support, virtually all other disciplines. (We have had second majors from: accounting, art, art history, biology, communication, computer science, economics, english, finance, history, international studies, math, physics, political science, psychology and religious studies.)

Further, you can complete the courses required for the philosophy major in any order; this makes the philosophy major highly amenable to scheduling. Even if your first major is highly-structured (ie, you must take this course at this time), lots of double majors successfully (and easily) fit in their philosophy coursework.
Finally, lots of philosophy majors complete their philosophy coursework in their later years at DU. Many students take 3-4 philosophy courses in their first year at DU, then realize a year or so later that just 6-7 more courses would complete their second major.

On an additional anecdotal note, many double majors choose philosophy as their second solely for its interest value. Oftentimes, math, business, and computer majors find their coursework somewhat tedious and claim that philosophy (as their second major) supplied them with a source of intellectual interest and curiosity not even touched by their first major.

Please contact Candace Upton, our undergraduate advisor, for more information.