University General Course Catalog 2023-2024 
    Jul 22, 2024  
University General Course Catalog 2023-2024

Philosophy, B.A.

Encompassing ancient traditions of inquiry concerning the nature of reality and the good life as well as contemporary investigation of issues in a wide variety of disciplines, philosophy addresses fundamental questions of human experience. Students who choose philosophy think carefully and critically, interpret challenging texts, and understand better “how things in the broadest sense of the term hang together in the broadest sense of the term” (in the words of one noted philosopher). This major offers excellent preparation for any line of work in which the virtues of clear thought and expression are prized.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • state a thesis about a philosophical problem or text, explain the thesis, and provide evidence and argument (including replies to counter-arguments) in its defense.
  • explain and interpret the ideas associated with major figures and movements in philosophy, and analyze issues and problems in the different main branches of philosophical inquiry.
  • distinguish better and worse reasoning, and recognize relevant logical relationships and patterns of inference.
  • show what is at stake in an abstract debate, historical or contemporary, and indicate how a philosophical view might have concrete implications or make a difference in theory or practice.

Contact Information

Department of Philosophy office
Jones Center 102
(775) 784-6846

College of Liberal Arts Student Center
Thompson Building 101
(775) 682-8745

Transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno

Use the transfer agreement  and the degree planner (available by clicking Print degree planner icon at the top right of this page) to build your plan for graduation with your advisor. Course substitutions not identified on the transfer agreement require UNR advisor approval.

If a major-to-major transfer agreement is not available for your transfer institution, please check the General Core agreement  if available. If neither is available, access Transferology to assist in your planning.

Graduation Requirements

  • Total Units | 120
  • Cumulative GPA | 2.0
  • University GPA | 2.0
  • Major GPA | 2.0
  • Residency Requirement |  30 Upper-Division Units at UNR
  • Major Residency Requirement | 15 Upper-Division Units in the major at UNR
  • Upper-Division Requirement | 42 Upper-Division Units

I. Core General Education Requirements (24-30 units)

NOTE: Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter of this catalog for information regarding  the “Core English and Math Completion Policy  .”

Students in this major must meet all Core Objectives (CO1 through CO14). Courses satisfying Core Objectives are designated (e.g., CO9) in General Catalog curricula and course descriptions.

A. Composition & Communication; Critical Analysis & Use of Information (3-6 units) - CO1, CO3

B. Quantitative Reasoning (3 units minimum) - CO2

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO2 courses .

C. Physical & Natural Phenomena (6 units minimum) - CO4, CO4L

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO4/CO4L courses .

D. Cultures, Societies, & Individuals (3 units) - CO6

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO6 courses .

E. Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression (3 units) - CO7

F. History & Culture (6 units) - CO5

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO5  courses.

NOTE: Students who do not take CH 203 for CO8 are advised to take

  or   instead.

G. Constitution (3 units) - CO8

II. Additional Core Requirements (15 units maximum)

Students must take courses that satisfy the following Core Objectives. Some or all of these Core Objectives may be satisfied in the Major Requirements (Section IV). Students must satisfy at least one of the Additional Core requirements with a course that also meets a major requirement. If students do not use the following recommended courses to satisfy the additional Core requirements, they must take appropriate courses in other departments. Refer to the Core Curriculum  chapter of this catalog.

A. Science, Technology & Society - CO9

Choose one course:

B. Diversity & Equity - CO10

Choose one course:

C. Global Context - CO11

Choose one course:

D. Ethics - CO12

Choose one course; the following recommended courses can also be used in the major requirement:

E. Capstone Integration & Synthesis - CO13

Choose one course:

F. Application - CO14

The following recommended course can also be used in the major requirement:

III. Additional College Requirements (6-20 units)

Units may vary depending on initial course placement in foreign language coursework.

A. World Language Requirement (0-14 units)

Students seeking this bachelor’s degree must demonstrate proficiency in a world language other than English equal to a fourth semester course level through one of the following options:

  1. complete a fourth semester college course in a world language other than English;
  2. demonstrate proficiency through a means determined by the Department of World Languages and Literatures including but not limited to minimum standardized test scores (CBAPE, SAT II, or IB), attaining a minimum aptitude on an accredited world language assessment test, or providing transcript evidence of a high school or equivalent diploma in which English was not the language of instruction; or,
  3. participate in a study abroad language program pre-approved by the Department of World Languages and Literatures to meet the world language requirement. 

Note: Four years of high school world language instruction does not automatically satisfy this requirement.

B. College Breadth Requirement (6 units)

Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree in the college shall be required to take, within the College of Liberal Arts, 6 units that are outside the departments in which they major or minor, and that exclude courses taken to fulfill the Core General Education requirements (Core Objectives 1 through 8).

IV. Major Requirements (36 units)

A. Required courses (12 units)

Historical Surveys (6 units)

20th-Century Survey (3 units)

B. Group Distribution Requirements (15 units)

C. Additional 300-499 Level Philosophy Courses (9 units)

Any PHIL course numbered 300-499 not already used to satisfy the requirements of sections A and B above may be counted toward this requirement. Refer to the Course Descriptions chapter of this catalog for a full list of PHIL courses.

V. Minor Requirements (18-21 units)

The Philosophy Department accepts any minor approved by the College of Liberal Arts.

VI. Electives (0-21 units)

VII. Recommended Schedule

A. First Year

Fall Semester (16 units)

Spring Semester (16-17 units)

B. Second Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

Spring Semester (15 units)

  • (3 units)
  • (3 units)
  • History & Culture (3 units) CO5 **
  • Foreign Language 212 (3 units)
  • College Breadth Requirement (3 units)
  • ** Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter in this catalog for allowable combinations of CH courses. Students who do not take CH 203 for CO8 are advised to take PHIL 207C or PHIL 453 instead.

C. Third Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

Spring Semester (15 units)

  • 400-Level PHIL course from Group C (3 units)
  • PHIL course from Group A (3 units)
  • 400-Level PHIL course from Group B (3 units)
  • Minor (6 units)

D. Fourth Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

Spring Semester (15 units)

  • (3 units) CO12, CO14
  • 300-400 Level Minor (3 units)
  • 300-400 Level PHIL (3 units) ***
  • 300-400 Level General Elective (6 units)
  • *** See Sections II.A. and II.C. for those meeting CO9 and/or CO11, if not previously satisfied.