Bachelor of Arts, Major in Philosophy


The Philosophy Major at KPU provides students a broad-based, general education in the principal areas of Western Philosophy. Philosophy majors will complete courses in logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and history of philosophy. The program is expressly set up to satisfy a variety of additional pedagogical and intellectual objectives, chief among these being the development of critical reasoning and writing skills, both in general and with regard to specialized research in the discipline. Philosophy majors at KPU will experience a learning environment that is supportive and challenging. It is one that prepares students for graduate work in philosophy. It develops effective citizenship, community leadership, and the critical reasoning, writing, and problem-solving skills required for successful careers in any area.

The Bachelor of Arts Major in Philosophy provides students the opportunity to build a sturdy educational foundation in one of the core areas of the Humanities. All Philosophy majors take a course in formal logic at the 1000-level. At the 2000-level, five courses in philosophy are obligatory: Moral Theory (the study of the nature of right and wrong), Metaphysics (the study of the nature of reality), Epistemology (the study of the nature and limits of knowledge), Ancient Greek Philosophy, and Modern Philosophy.

Upper-level students will have the following options: to take smaller, more participatory courses in Special Topics in Philosophy; to pursue an Applied Ethics Stream by taking specially designed courses in Business, Environmental, and Biomedical Ethics; to participate in a Practicum course where research and work skills are enhanced; and to apply to a selective sequence of honours courses with a focus on researching and writing an honours thesis.

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Admission Requirements

Students pursuing a major in Philosophy must be admitted to the Faculty of Arts.

Declaration Requirements

Students intending to graduate with this Faculty of Arts Bachelor’s degree must declare the credential by the time they complete 60 credits of undergraduate coursework. At the time of declaration, the student must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  • In good academic standing with the University
  • Completion of a minimum of 18 credits of undergraduate coursework, including the following with a minimum grade of “C”:
    • 3 credits of ENGL at the 1100 level or higher
    • 6 credits at the 1100 level or higher in the Major area

Curricular Requirements

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree must complete all requirements in the Bachelor of Arts framework in addition to their major or minor program requirements.

Philosophy Major

Requirements for the major in philosophy include the successful completion of a minimum of 48 credits in philosophy, of which at least 18 credits are at the 3rd year level, and at least 6 credits are at the 4th year level.

As part of the 48 credits in philosophy, majors must complete the following:

Philosophy Required Courses
Logic Requirement - at least 3 credits
PHIL 1150Introduction to Formal Logic3
History of Philosophy Requirement - at least 9 credits
PHIL 2106Ancient Greek Philosophy3
PHIL 2107Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant3
Select 3 further credits at the 3rd year or higher in the History of Philosophy3
Metaphysics and Epistemology Requirement - at least 9 credits
PHIL 2210Epistemology3
PHIL 2215Metaphysics3
Select 3 further credits at the 3rd year or higher in Metaphysics or Epistemology3
Ethics Requirement - at least 9 credits
PHIL 2110Moral Theory3
Select one of the following:3
Foundations in Ethics
Contemporary Moral Theory
Topics in Ethics
Select 3 further credits at the 3rd year or higher in Value Theory3
Applied Ethics Stream
Besides the requirements for the philosophy major, students must complete at least 9 additional credits in Applied Ethics from the following:9
Ethics and Public Policy
Confronting Moral Issues: Bio-medical Ethics
Confronting Moral Issues: The Natural Environment
Confronting Moral Issues: Business Ethics
Total Credits39

Other Information

Philosophy Courses by Area

No single course can count for more than one area. Students may take the same 4th year Topics course twice for different credit if and only if the content differs significantly. Students who wish to take the same 4th year Topics course more than once must obtain the permission of the Chair of the Philosophy Department.

PHIL 1145Critical Thinking3
PHIL 1150Introduction to Formal Logic 13
PHIL 1155Introduction to Scientific Reasoning3
PHIL 3150Intermediate Formal Logic3
History of Philosophy
PHIL 2106Ancient Greek Philosophy 13
PHIL 2107Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant 13
PHIL 2115Asian Philosophy3
PHIL 3100Great Philosophers of the 20th Century3
PHIL 310120th Century Analytic Philosophy3
PHIL 3220Empiricism3
PHIL 3225Rationalism3
Metaphysics and Epistemology
PHIL 2120Philosophy of Religion3
PHIL 2210Epistemology 13
PHIL 2215Metaphysics 13
PHIL 3100Great Philosophers of the 20th Century3
PHIL 310120th Century Analytic Philosophy3
PHIL 3105Life and Death3
PHIL 3110The Possibility of Knowledge3
PHIL 3120Free Will and Determinism3
PHIL 3220Empiricism3
PHIL 3225Rationalism3
PHIL 3320Personal Identity3
PHIL 3425Language and Meaning3
PHIL 3430Philosophy of Mind: Consciousness3
PHIL 4120Topics in Philosophy of Religion3
PHIL 4210Topics in Epistemology3
PHIL 4215Topics in Metaphysics3
PHIL 4430Topics in the Philosophy of Mind3
Ethics and Value Theory
PHIL 1110Introduction to Moral Philosophy3
PHIL 1112Introduction to Environmental Ethics3
PHIL 2110Moral Theory3
PHIL 2117Social and Political Philosophy3
PHIL 3010Health Care Ethics (not for majors)3
PHIL 3033Business Ethics (not for majors)3
PHIL 3040Philosophy of Art3
PHIL 3105Life and Death3
PHIL 3109Foundations in Ethics3
PHIL 3118Ethics and Public Policy3
PHIL 3119Contemporary Moral Theory3
PHIL 3510Confronting Moral Issues: Bio-medical Ethics3
PHIL 3512Confronting Moral Issues: The Natural Environment3
PHIL 3533Confronting Moral Issues: Business Ethics3
PHIL 4040Topics in the Philosophy of Art3
PHIL 4110Topics in Ethics3
PHIL 4117Topics in Social and Political Philosophy3
PHIL 1100General Introduction to Philosophy3
PHIL 1101Philosophy, Culture, and Identity3
PHIL 1111Sustainability and Ethics3
PHIL 3900Honours Research and Thesis I3
PHIL 4900Honours Research and Thesis II3

Course required for the major.

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of the major program students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Arts. Transcripts will indicate a Major in Philosophy.

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