Programs offered
  • Philosophy (major, minor, and tracks)

Philosophy is the attempt to answer certain persistent human questions, which fall into three traditional groups:

  • Axiology (the theory of value)
  • Metaphysics (the theory of being)
  • Epistemology (the theory of knowledge)

Characteristic questions include the following:

  • What is good?
  • What is real?
  • What is knowledge, and how can one achieve it?

By studying these questions of ethics, value, knowledge, and reality, you can develop analytical skills of critical thinking and problem solving; understanding connections across complex ideas; communicating and listening well; and weighing others' different values and points of view — skills which can be applied to any field and in any profession.

Find out more about this program’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

Philosophy: General Track (BA)


The BA in Philosophy (General Track) enables you to develop analytical skills of critical thinking and creative problem solving; understanding complex ideas; communicating and listening well; clear writing and respectfully engaging across disagreements — skills which can be applied to any field and in any industry.

  • A minimum 59 credits are required for this major, including 25 upper-division credits, if you are completing only one major.
  • If you are completing an additional major, with the approval of the Philosophy faculty you may omit 5 credits, completing only 54 credits in this major.
  • Philosophy majors often train for careers in law, the ministry, the computer industry, and education, as well as in most other professional fields.
  • If you are currently majoring in another field, you are encouraged to consider Philosophy as a second major.

Philosophy: Technical Track (BA)


To the solid grounding in philosophical writing, argument, analysis, and problem solving provided by the philosophy core, the BA in Philosophy (Technical Track) adds fundamental courses in computer science. This major is designed for you if you seek a career in information technology (e.g., programming and data analysis).

  • A minimum 68 credits are required for this major, including 25 upper-division credits.
  • Includes courses in computer science, one of which is focused on ethical issues related to computing technology.

Philosophy minor


  • A minimum 30 credits are required for this minor, including 15 upper-division credits.
  • Philosophy minor requirements include Core courses, a systematic philosophy course, philosophy history courses, and approved electives.

Entering and completing the major or minor

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified a major in this department as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major. To change or add a major or minor, follow these instructions.
  • If you are an SPU student with an SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, follow these instructions to enter a major or minor in this department.
  • Students on academic probation (with an SPU cumulative GPA below 2.0) will not be permitted to enter a new major or minor until they regain good academic standing.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Time Schedule: Philosophy

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.