Program and Degrees
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Artist: Renee Jorgensen Bolinger
Philosophy Major - What to expect from the major
Philosophy's range of application is particularly broad. Through philosophy one may think about and develop perspectives on topics as diverse as god, science, language, logic, truth, ethics, politics and law. Typically philosophy leaves aside the doing of the religion, science, etc. and asks fundamental questions about the nature of and justification for the various perspectives.
Here are some questions you might encounter in a philosophy class: What is the nature of the mind? Is it identical with the brain? Does God exist? If so, what is God like? Can we prove such a being exists? What makes an action right or wrong? What makes a society a just one? What distinguishes science from non-science? What is a scientific theory? Are numerals (like "4") names for objects? If so, what are these objects (presumably numbers) like? What is knowledge? Under what conditions do you have it?
The philosophy major requires a (relatively) low number of units, and is often added as a second major. Provision is made for internships, independent research projects, honors program, and minors. Small class sizes ensure personalized attention. The Logic Lab is a gathering place for majors, with tutors and specialized software. An outstanding faculty includes published scholars, active researchers and experienced teachers.
Because of its general nature, people trained in philosophy appear in just about every career field. Philosophy is excellent preparation for a career in education, law, business, government, religion, journalism, etc. and for different sorts of graduate and professional study. Philosophy focuses on clear thinking and writing, and critical evaluation of unusual and unorthodox ideas. These are are skills that will serve you well in any context. As is the case with most liberal arts majors, philosophy does not provide training in specific job tasks. Rather, it focuses on basic skills that will prepare you for the more challenging tasks to which you will advance over your career. Some statistics relevant to careers are listed below. See also, Who has a degree in philosophy? (a poster by Catherine Nolan).
Degrees and Requirements: There is a major and different minors
The Major in Philosophy requires 57 units. So graduation with a degree in philosophy requires a total of 180 units: 82 units in general education courses, 57 units in philosophy major classes, and 41 units in free electives. Elective units may contribute to courses in philosophy, a minor, or even to a second major. Official requirements are spelled out in the Catalog. For further information, contact the department office (909) 537-5869. To assist you in planning your schedule, please see a faculty advisor, along with the graduation roadmaps and other advising documents.
The Minor in Philosophy is a sort of reduced version of the major. It requires 32 units consisting of 8 units from the History of Philosophy, 8 units from Metaphysics/Knowledge, 4 units from Value Theory, and 12 units of electives. Official requirements are spelled out in the Catalog.
The Minor in Philosophical Logic provides an opportunity to learn logic at a level rare in undergraduate institutions in the United States. The logical material is foundational to disciplines as diverse as philosophy, mathematics and computer science. The logic minor consists of 24 units including Phil 200, Phil 300 and an additional four courses to push beyond that required of CSUSB Philosophy majors. Here's a handout to describe the minor and logic offerings in greater detail.
The Law and Philosophy Minor enables students to examine what makes law valid and the extent to which its claims on us are legitimate -- while at the same time developing skills necessary for succeeding in law school and becoming a well-rounded lawyer. The minor requires 28 units, 12 units of core requirements and 16 units of electives. Here is a handout on the Law and Philosophy Minor.
The Minor in Philosophy, Policy, and Economics is an interdisciplinary minor between Philosophy, Economics and Political Science. Oxford University made famous a program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics – an interdisciplinary approach to understanding real-world problems that requires students to grasp the politics and economics of potential solutions, and to reflect upon their normative merits; this program has been replicated at universities across the US and now is available at CSUSB. The minor requres 24-36 units divided among Philosophy, Economics and Political Science.
(All subsequent information can be found on the USC Dornsife Undergraduate Philosophy page)
Philosophy is remunerative!
Major Median Mid-Career Salary Economics $98,600 Computer Science $95,500 Finance $88,300 Information Systems $82,300 Philosophy $81,200 Political Science $78,200 Business Management $72,100 Communications $70,000 Nursing $67,000 Biology $64,800 Psychology $60,400 Criminal Justice $56,300 Nutrition $55,300 Music $55,000 Education $52,000
Data collected from the Wall Street Journal.
- Philosophy majors do well on the Law School Admission Test:
Top Average LSAT Scores by Major Major Score Physics/Math 160.0 Philosophy/Theology (157.4) Economics (157.4) International Relations (156.5) Engineering (156.2)
The study can be found on the Social Science Research Network website
Philosophy Majors do well on the Graduate Record Exam (image followed by text equivalent):