Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

In addition to the general requirements that all College of Arts and Sciences undergraduates must fulfill, Philosophy majors must meet certain specific course requirements within the department.

Nine philosophy courses must be completed with a grade of at least C. All students must take:

1. One Logic course: 160 or higher level Logic course
2. PH 300 – History of Ancient Philosophy
3. PH 310 – History of Modern Philosophy
4. One of the following courses in Moral, Political, or Legal philosophy:

  • 234 Wealth, Ethics, and Liberty
  • 244 Ethics in Action
  • 250 Environmental Ethics
  • 251 Medical Ethics
  • 253 Social Philosophy
  • 254 Political Philosophy
  • 255 Philosophy of Law
  • 256 Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality
  • 272 Science Technology and Values
  • 350 History of Ethics
  • 436 Gender, Race, and Science
  • 450 Types of Ethical Theory
  • 451 Contemporary Ethical Theory
  • 452 Ethics of Health Care
  • 453 Theories of Political Society
  • 454 Community, Liberty, and Morality
  • 455 Legal Philosophy
  • 458 Crime and Punishment
  • 459 Political and Legal Philosophy
  • 481 Topics in the Philosophy of Law
  • 485 Topics in Philosophy of Value

5. One of the following courses in Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Mind, or Language:

  • 239 Philosophy of Emotion
  • 242 Philosophy of Human Nature
  • 260 Knowledge and Reality
  • 261 Puzzles and Paradoxes
  • 265 Minds and Machines
  • 266 Mind, Brain, and Self
  • 270 Philosophy of Science
  • 275 Philosophy of Psychology
  • 277 Philosophy and Methods in the Human Sciences
  • 340 Metaphysics & Epistemology
  • 422 Analytic Philosophy
  • 424 Wittgenstein
  • 439 Philosophy of Emotion
  • 440 Metaphysics
  • 443 Philosophy of Mind
  • 460 Epistemology
  • 463 Philosophy of Language
  • 465 Philosophy of Cognitive Science
  • 468 Philosophical Problems of Logic and Mathematics
  • 470 Philosophy of Physics
  • 472 Philosophy of Biology
  • 486 Topics in Knowledge, Language, and Logic
  • 487 Topics in the Philosophy of Science

6. One elective (200 level or higher)
7. One course from PH 403–PH 430
8. One additional 400-level course
9. One PH course other than those taken to fulfill 1–8

Checklist of requirements

The department offers eight major concentrations in the following fields:

A Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, as well as in the seven concentrations, is available in the Honors Program.  A minor in Philosophy is also available.

College of General Studies students and students who have completed the humanities portion of the Core Curriculum receive concentration credit for CAS PH 150 or PH 155. Students who complete the social science portion of the CAS Core Curriculum receive concentration credit for CAS PH 253 or PH 254.

Students desiring specialized work in addition to the requirements of the regular concentration are invited to consider the following four areas: philosophy of law, politics, and society; philosophy and history of science; philosophy and the ancient world; and philosophy of the biomedical sciences. These specialized areas do not appear on the diploma. They do, however, serve as valuable guidelines for further work in addition to the concentration itself. Where alternatives are listed in the four specializations, it is often advisable to take both courses.

Philosophy of Law, Politics, and Society CAS PH 254, 255, 277 are suggested, as well as at least two courses in political science, sociology, or economics.

Philosophy and History of Science Students desiring to specialize further in this area are encouraged to take CAS PH 270; CAS PH 277 or 477; two courses in the history of science; and at least two courses in the natural sciences or the social sciences or both.

Philosophy in the Ancient World CAS PH 300, 403 or 404, 405 or 406, and CAS CL 101 and 264 are suggested.

Philosophy of the Biomedical Sciences Suggested are CAS PH 251 and 273; CAS PH 277, 270, or 472; directed study on philosophy of medicine, and at least two courses in biology approved by the Department of Biology.

Philosophy, Logic and Language Suggested are CAS PH 160, 261, 360, 421, 424, 463 and at least two courses approved by the Linguistics Program (suggested are LX 250 and either LX 502 or LX 522).

Advising for Majors and Minors

Whether pursuing the philosophy concentration (with or without a specialization), a minor, or one of the joint concentrations, students should consult with their faculty advisor. Advisors may be assigned or changed by staff in STH 516.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) promotes the participation of Boston University undergraduate students in faculty-mentored research projects across all disciplines throughout the calendar year. This is a very exciting opportunity for undergraduate students. The program can provide funding to support undergraduate research.

Students involved in UROP are also invited to attend enrichment activities. Any full-time Boston University undergraduate is eligible to participate in UROP.

For more information, please see their website.