Degree Programs

Sculpture

A Philosophy major or minor is not only an intellectually stimulating and rewarding course of study, it is also a great way to develop critical and creative thinking skills, an ability to read complex material with comprehension, and facilitate both creative and technical writing. These are skills that today's employers are seeking and that no employee can afford to be without. With a Philosophy major or minor, you are well prepared for a wide range of career opportunities.

In addition to general education and transfer prep courses, students may seek a degree at the Associate level. Our department offers three programs of study that lead to an Associate of Arts degree, Philosophy Associate in Arts Degree for Transfer, Philosophy Associate in Arts Degree, and Religious Studies Associate in Arts Degree. Students wishing to earn one of these degrees should review the following degree information for graduation requirements, as well as consult with an academic counselor and/or our department. Students interested in transferring should see the Transfer Information page and consult with the Counseling Center or the Transfer Center.

Philosophy Associate in Arts Degree for Transfer

Note: Degree requirements are subject to change. Please consult the current College Catalog for up-to-date degree information or consult with the Counseling Center.

The Associate in Arts for Transfer Degree in Philosophy, also called the Philosophy AA-T Degree, prepares students to transfer to CSU campuses that offer bachelor’s degrees in philosophy. Ed Code Section 66746-66749 states, students earning the Philosophy AA-T degree will be granted priority for admission as a Philosophy major to a local CSU, as determined by the CSU campus to which the student applies. This degree requires students complete 60 CSU transferable units, including completion of CSU GE or IGETC and 18 units in the major with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. Title 5 requires that students earn a grade of “C” or better in all major coursework. There are no additional graduation requirements. The study of philosophy includes: (1) the development of critical thinking and writing skills; (2) the investigation of conceptual problems encountered in the course of reflecting about experience; (3) the assessment of assumptions underlying other sciences and arts; and (4) the exploration of intellectual and cultural history from a broad perspective. The Philosophy Associate in Arts Degree for Transfer requires 18 units, of which 6 units are in required “core” courses, and the remaining 12 units are chosen from restricted electives.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Identify and explain major philosophical terms and concepts.
  • Outcome 2: Compare and contrast the principles of at least two of the following ethical approaches: Utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, Natural law, Virtue ethics, Feminist Ethics.
  • Outcome 3: Evaluate patterns of deductive and inductive reasoning.
  • Outcome 4: Compare and contrast the philosophical systems of at least two philosophers from each of the ancient, modern, and contemporary eras.

Core Courses (6 Units):

Required “Core” Course: 1 course/3 units:

  • PHIL 170 F: Logic and Critical Thinking (3)

Additional “Core” Courses: Choose 1 course or 3 units minimum:

  • PHIL 100 F: Introduction to Philosophy (3) or
  • PHIL 100HF: Honors Introduction to Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 160 F: Introduction to Ethics (3)

Restricted Electives (12 Units):

List A: Select 1 course (3 units) minimum. Any course not selected from the Core, OR:

  • PHIL 201 F: History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval (3)
  • PHIL 202 F: History of Philosophy: Modern & Contemporary (3)

List B: Select 2 courses (6 units minimum) from the following. Any course(s) not selected from List A, OR:

  • HIST 110 F: Western Civilizations I (3) or
  • HIST 110HF: Honors Western Civilizations I (3)
  • HIST 111 F: Western Civilizations II (3) or
  • HIST 111HF: Honors Western Civilizations II (3)
  • PHIL 101 F: Introduction to Religious Studies (3)
  • PHIL 135 F: Social and Political Philosophy (3)

List C: Select 1 course (3 units). Any course(s) not selected from List A or List B.

Please see Courses page for course descriptions or consult the current College Catalog. Consult the current Class Schedule for current semester course offerings.

Philosophy Associate in Arts Degree

Note: Degree requirements are subject to change. Please consult the current College Catalog for up-to-date degree information or consult with the Counseling Center.

The study of philosophy includes: (1) the development of critical thinking and writing skills; (2) the investigation of conceptual problems encountered in the course of reflecting about experience; (3) the assessment of assumptions underlying other sciences and arts; and (4) the exploration of intellectual and cultural history from a broad perspective. Majoring or minoring in philosophy is an excellent way of preparing for law school and other careers that involve facility in reasoning, analysis and information processing. The Philosophy Associate in Arts Degree Program requires 18 units of which 15 units are required courses. An additional 3 units must be chosen from the restricted electives listed below.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Identify and explain major philosophical terms and concepts.
  • Outcome 2: Compare and contrast the principles of at least two of the following ethical approaches: Utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, Natural law, Virtue ethics, Feminist ethics.
  • Outcome 3: Evaluate patterns of deductive and inductive reasoning.
  • Outcome 4: Compare and contrast the epistemological and metaphysical systems of Plato, Aristotle, and at least one medieval philosopher.
  • Outcome 5: Compare and contrast the epistemological systems of Rationalism, Empiricism, Kantianism, and at least one nineteenth century and one contemporary philosopher.

Required Courses (15 Units):

  • PHIL 100 F: Introduction to Philosophy (3) or
  • PHIL 100HF: Honors Introduction to Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 160 F: Introduction to Ethics (3)
  • PHIL 170 F: Logic and Critical Thinking (3) or
  • PHIL 172 F: Critical Thinking and Writing (3)
  • PHIL 201 F: History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval (3)
  • PHIL 202 F: History of Philosophy: Modern & Contemporary (3)

Restricted Electives (3 Units):

  • PHIL 101 F: Introduction to Religious Studies (3)
  • PHIL 105 F: World Religions (3) or
  • PHIL 105HF: Honors World Religions (3)
  • PHIL 135 F: Social and Political Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 195 F: Women's Issues in Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 200 F: Introduction to Christianity (3)
  • PHIL 210 F: Introduction to Judaism (3)
  • PHIL 220 F: The Holocaust (3)
  • PHIL 225 F: The American Religious Experience (3)
  • PHIL 250 F: The Religion of Islam (3)
  • PHIL 270 F: Introduction to Asian Religions (3)

Please see Courses page for course descriptions or consult the current College Catalog. Consult the current Class Schedule for current semester course offerings.

Religious Studies Associate in Arts Degree

Note: Degree requirements are subject to change. Please consult the current College Catalog for up-to-date degree information or consult with the Counseling Center.

The Associate of Arts in Religious Studies is designed for those who: (1) want a humanities undergraduate background focusing on religion as a preparation for further study in such fields as education, law, social work, counseling and government service; (2) wish to pursue further studies in religion with the aim of teaching and/or doing research in the subject; (3) are considering a career in various religious ministries or in religious education. Religious Studies examines Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other less familiar traditions. Studying religious traditions develops habits of mind that are very important for life in our multicultural society. Familiarity with the world’s religions is necessary for an understanding of church-state issues in America and of geo-political conflicts in South Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere. The Religious Studies Associate in Arts Degree Program requires 18 units of which 12 are in required courses. An additional 6 units must be chosen from the restricted electives listed below.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Compare and contrast at least two methods used to study religion.
  • Outcome 2: Compare and contrast at least two of the major religious traditions, focusing on an ethical aspect and on an aspect of worship.
  • Outcome 3: Identify and explain at least two major theological issues dividing Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.
  • Outcome 4: Identify and explain at least two aspects of the world-views held by at least two of the major Asian religious traditions.

Required Courses (12 Units):

  • PHIL 101 F: Introduction to Religious Studies (3)
  • PHIL 105 F: World Religions (3) or
  • PHIL 105HF Honors World Religions (3)
  • PHIL 200 F: Introduction to Christianity (3)
  • PHIL 270 F: Introduction to the Asian Religions (3)

Restricted Electives (6 units):

  • ENGL 243 F: Folklore and Mythology (3)
  • HIST 112 F: World Civilizations I (3)
  • HIST 113 F: World Civilizations II (3)
  • HIST 154 F: Ancient Egypt (3)
  • HIST 160AF: Asia: Basic Heritage (3)
  • HIST 165 F: Introduction to the Middle East (3)
  • PHIL 100 F: Introduction to Philosophy (3) or
  • PHIL 100HF: Honors Introduction to Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 160 F: Introduction to Ethics (3)
  • PHIL 170 F: Logic and Critical Thinking (3)
  • PHIL 172 F: Critical Thinking and Writing (3)
  • PHIL 201 F: History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval (3)
  • PHIL 202 F: History of Philosophy: Modern & Contemporary (3)
  • PHIL 210 F: Introduction to Judaism (3)
  • PHIL 220 F: The Holocaust (3)
  • PHIL 225 F: The American Religious Experience (3)
  • PHIL 250 F: The Religion of Islam (3)

Please see Courses page for course descriptions or consult the current College Catalog. Consult the current Class Schedule for current semester course offerings.

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