Major in Philosophy

Major in Philosophy

The Major in Philosophy provides an intellectually rigorous program of study in a supportive environment. The Major in Philosophy at Cal State Long Beach is a superlative foundation for later intellectual pursuits, or for developing skills, or simply for those with an interest in Philosophy. It is also an excellent choice for a double-major. Students can shape the major to their particular interests and needs.

Former CSULB professor Alex Klein, who is now the Director of the Bertrand Russell Archives at McMaster University, further explains the value of the philosophy major.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Major in Philosophy consists of a minimum of 36 units. Of those 36 units, at least 24 must be upper-division coursework.


The following three courses are required for the major:

PHIL203: History of Early Western Philosophy
PHIL204: History of Modern Western Philosophy
PHIL270: Symbolic Logic


Two courses from the following list are required to satisfy the distribution area of Historical Traditions and Figures:

PHIL306: Philosophies of China and Japan
PHIL307: Philosophies of India
PHIL413: Continental Rationalism
PHIL414: British Empiricism
PHIL415: Marx
PHIL416: Pragmatism

PHIL418: Existentialism
PHIL419: Analytic Philosophy
PHIL420: Foucault
PHIL421: Plato

PHIL422: Aristotle
PHIL423: Kant
PHIL424: Hegel

PHIL425: Wittgenstein
PHIL490: Special Topics: Early Philosophy
PHIL491: Special Topics: The Modern Tradition
PHIL492: Special Topics: Twentieth Century Philosophy

Two courses from the following list are required to satisfy the distribution area of Logic, Metaphysics, and Epistemology:

PHIL330: Philosophy of Religion
PHIL342: Metaphysics

PHIL370: Rationality and Decisions
PHIL381: Philosophy of Science

PHIL382: Theory of Knowledge
PHIL482: Introduction to Cognitive Science
PHIL483: Philosophical Psychology
PHIL484: Philosophy of Language

PHIL493: Special Topics: Metaphysical Studies
PHIL494: Special Topics: Epistemological Studies
PHIL495: Special Topics: Logic and Semantics

Two courses from the following list are required to satisfy the distribution area of Values and Evaluation:

PHIL351: Political Philosophy
PHIL352: Philosophy of Law
PHIL360: Environmental Ethics
PHIL361: Philosophy of Art

PHIL363: Ethical Theory
PHIL400: Business Ethics
PHIL403: Medical Ethics
PHIL405: Philosophy and Literature
PHIL451: Liberty and Justice: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American Law

PHIL455: Philosophical Perspectives on Sex and Love
PHIL496: Special Topics: Value and Evaluation

Upper-Division Electives:

Six units of upper-division coursework are electives. These can be selected from any upper-division Philosophy course. Students can count up to six units of Honors coursework toward the Major. Up to six units of Directed Study coursework may also be counted.

Any of the above upper-division courses
PHIL497H: Undergraduate Honors Seminar
PHIL498H: Undergraduate Honors Thesis
PHIL499: Directed Studies

Additional Elective:

One Philosophy course from either lower- or upper-division (excluding PHIL170: Critical Reasoning).