The Philosophy & Psychology joint major is designed to enable students to acquire broad competence in both fields, including the philosophy of science, and to explore in detail a number of issues lying at their intersection, including questions about the nature of the mind, the self, cognition, knowledge, and consciousness.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the program are expected to:

  • Demonstrate the conceptual ability and the communication skills needed to comprehend and investigate the central philosophical issues in the philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of methods, main achievements, and major research programs in contemporary psychology.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how philosophy and psychology have interacted historically and continue to interact today.
  • Defend their own views with strong arguments but also remain open to disagreement and critique.


All first-year, first-time students will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in Philosophy & Psychology will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in areas such as Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Historical Interpretation; Scientific and Social Inquiry; Quantitative Reasoning; Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship; Communication; and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements may be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, cocurricular experiences.

At least six courses in philosophy and six in psychology, with a grade of C or higher, are required. All required courses are 4 credits unless otherwise indicated.

In philosophy the following is required:

  • CAS PH 300 History of Ancient Philosophy
  • CAS PH 310 History of Modern Philosophy
  • Any two of CAS PH 239, 241, 265, 266, 270, 443, 465, 477, 487
  • Two courses in philosophy (PH), 200 level and above


In psychology the following is required:

  • CAS PS 101
  • CAS MA 115/116; or CAS PS 211
  • One course in Psychology Group A
  • One course in Psychology Group B
  • One course in Psychology (PS) at the 300 level or higher
  • One course in Experimental psychology

Additional requirement: at least one of the above courses must be at the 400 level or higher.