Graduation Roadmaps

Roadmaps "picture" ways in which to navigate a philosophy BA. A picture is not a plan! To make a plan, visit a faculty advisor. Faculty want to help - that's why they are here!

After some general remaks, there is a 4-year map for freshmen, and a 2-year map for transfers.

General: Philosophy is a relatively small major. A total of 180 quarter units are required for graduation. General education is (usually) 82 units and the BA in philosophy 57 units. This leaves 41 units for a minor, another major, or electives which may be anything, including more philosophy.

Check out requirements for the philosophy major. Every student takes three history courses, Phil 311, 313 and 314, and one logic course, Phil 300 (but Phil 200 is a prerequisite to Phil 300). Then you take one of the listed courses in metaphysics/language, one of the listed courses in knowledge/science, one of the listed courses in value theory and one of the listed advanced issues courses. After that there are 24 units (6 courses) of philosophy electives - of which at most 8 units may be lower-division. The listed "senior project" is nothing to worry about; it is a simple thing you do in your last year to provide feedback on how the program works for you.

Philosophy is a small department, and not all courses are offered all the time. With this in mind the three-year upper-division course schedule projects upper-division courses you can expect to see over the next three years. These upper-division classes almost never fill. So you should expect to be able to add them when they are offered. Lower-division philosophy courses (0 - 299) are offered most every quarter. They carry General Education credit and usually run full. A philosophy major who is having trouble adding a lower-division course should talk to the professor to see if they will add you directly - this will usually be the case.

Freshmen: The prerequisite for most 300-level philosophy is satisfaction of the General Education critical thinking (A4) and philosophy (C4) requirements; some courses, including Phil 300 also require Phil 200. You do not have to wait until you are a junior to begin your major courses. Phil 200 satisfies the GE critical thinking requirement. So you can take Phil 200 so that your GE critical thinking course will also satisfy the prerequisite for Phil 300. To satisfy the GE philosophy requirement you need Phil 190,191,192,193 or 194 (or Hon 104B). These are all introductions to philosophy, some with a particular emphasis. The prerequisite for these is satisfaction of the GE writing (A1) requirement.

Your general program will look something like this:

  • Freshman. Concentrate on GE. Satisfy the writing (A1) and critical thinking (A4) requirements so that you can take your introductory philosophy (C4). This gives you the prerequisites for most upper-division philosophy.

    Phil 200 has no prerequisites and the only prerequisite for Phil 300 is phil 200. Phil 300 is offered every Winter. So it is possible to take Phil 200 in Fall, to satisfy the GE (A4) requirement and then Phil 300 in Winter as your first philosophy major course. Phil 200 and 300 are challenging! So you may decide to satisfy the GE critical thinking requirement with Phil 105, and put off Phil 200 and 300 to your sophomore year.

  • Sophomore. If you have not already done so, take Phil 200 in Fall and Phil 300 in Winter. If you have finished the GE philosophy (C4) requirement, you can take the basic history sequence Phil 311, 313 and 314 in Fall, Winter and Spring; otherwise concentrate on finishing prerequsites so that you can take the history sequence in the next year.
  • It is a good idea to mix philosophy courses with your GE so that you never have too many difficult philosophy courses in any one quarter. The suggested courses are enough for you to be well on your way to a philosophy major.

  • Junior. You are now really into the major. From the three-year upper-division course schedule select required and elective courses of interest to you. In order to complete the major in four years, you will need something like two upper-division philosophy courses each quarter.
  • Senior. Finish general education and major courses including the 1-unit senior project and your selected Advanced Issues course.

The details of any specific plan may differ. And you need to be careful to meet requirements by courses listed in the three-year upper-division course schedule. So be sure to work things out with an advisor! In order to reach 180 units and so graduate in 4 years, you need to average 45 units/year or 15 units/quarter. Some of the 45 may be shifted to summer, but philosophy major classes are not available in summer.

Transfers: In the ordinary case, you have already satisfied all your lower-division GE requirements. Besides the requirement that you reach 180 units, this leaves you with 16 unites of upper-division GE requirements (the race/gender requirement (G) can be double-counted with other courses) and 57 units of major courses. Even though you have satisfied your critical thinking requirement, the course you have taken almost certainly does not qualify you to take Phil 300. If you have any doubt about this bring your textbook to discuss the matter with Professor Roy or Professor Mumma and/or check out especially chapter six in the textbook for Phil 200, Sentential Logic.

Your general program will look something like this:

  • Junior. Take Phil 200 in Fall and Phil 300 Winter. Take Phil 311, 313 and 314 Fall, Winter, Spring. From the three-year upper-divisionc course schedule select three additional required and elective courses of interest to you.

    It is a good idea to mix philosophy courses with GE requirements to limit the number of difficult philosophy courses you take in any one quarter. It is best not to take more than two or three philosophy courses at a time - especially at the beginning.

  • Senior. Finish general education and major courses including the 1-unit senior project and your selected Advanced Issues course.

The details of any specific plan may differ. And you need to be careful to meet requirements by courses listed in the three-year upper-division course schedule. So be sure to work things out with an advisor! In order to complete the major in 2 years, you need about 8 philosophy courses each year -- and so two or three each quarter. You will not be able to take philosophy major courses over summer.