Undergraduates wishing to specialize in philosophy may take either a major or a minor in this area.
Philosophy majors must take at least 99 units of philosophy courses during their four years as undergraduates. These must include 18 units of Pl 90 ab, to be taken in any two consecutive terms in the senior year. The 99 units may include 9 units of either Hum/Pl 8 or Hum/Pl 9, 9 units of Pl 98, and up to 18 units of study in related disciplines, such as history of science, logic, physics, math, psychology, or biology. The courses in the philosophy option concentrate on three areas: philosophy of science; philosophy of mind, brain and behavior; and moral and political philosophy. Students may choose to specialize in one of these areas, but broader courses of study are also encouraged. Depending on their interests, philosophy majors may be required by the option representative or their advisers to take up to 18 units in one or more related areas. For example, students writing on political philosophy or philosophy of neuroscience will be expected to have the appropriate political science or neuroscience background. Students whose primary interest lies in the philosophy of science particularly in the philosophy of particular sciences such as physics or biology will have their intellectual interests best served by taking classes in both the history and philosophy of science. Such students are encouraged to pursue the HPS option; or, if they choose the philosophy option, they may be required to take some history of science courses toward their 99-unit requirement. Students considering the philosophy option will be well advised to take either Hum/Pl 8 or Hum/Pl 9 as one of their freshman humanities courses. From the sophomore year onward, they should plan on taking one philosophy course per term, culminating in two terms of Pl 90 ab in the senior year. Students in Pl 90 ab work with a faculty adviser to write a 10,000-12,000 word paper on a topic of mutual interest. Senior theses are expected to be of a high standard and to form the basis of students applications to graduate study in philosophy, should they so desire.
The minor in philosophy is designed for students who want to pursue concentrated study in philosophy without the extensive course work and the senior thesis required by the philosophy option. Philosophy minors must complete 72 units of philosophy courses. These units may include 9 units of Hum/Pl 8 or Hum/Pl 9 and/or 9 units of reading in philosophy (Pl 98. Students wishing to do a minor in philosophy must declare a minor with the philosophy option representative. Students completing the philosophy minor requirements will have the phrase minor in philosophy added to their transcripts.