Combined Major in Philosophy and Religious Studies

The undergraduate major in Philosophy and Religious Studies consists of 60 units of course work with approximately one third each in the philosophy core; the religious studies core; and additional coursework and a capstone requirement that completes the course of study.

To declare the major, please email the Student Services Officer (ksahgal [at] (ksahgal[at]stanford[dot]edu)) or visit building 70, 71K for all declaration forms. Please check the Stanford Bulletin (ExploreDegrees) for the most up-to-date requirements.

B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Course Requirements (minimum 60 units):

Philosophy Courses

PHIL 80 Mind, Matter, and Meaning (5 units) and 16 units in Philosophy courses as follows:

  1. Logic and Philosophy of Science: This requirement may be satisfied by 
    • PHIL 49 Survey of Formal Methods (4 units)
    • PHIL 60 Introduction to Philosophy of Science (5 units)
    • PHIL 61 Philosophy and the Scientific Revolution (5 units)
    • PHIL 150 Mathematical Logic (4 units)
    • PHIL 151 Metalogic (4 units)
    • PHIL 154 Modal Logic (4 units)
    • or an intermediate philosophy of science course numbered between PHIL 160-169
  2. Ethics and Value Theory: This requirement may be satisfied by 
    • PHIL 2 Introduction to Moral Philosophy (5 units)
    • or any intermediate course devoted to central topics in moral and political philosophy numbered between PHIL  170-172 or 174-176.
  3. Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Language: This requirement may be satisfied by
    • any intermediate course numbered between PHIL 180-189.
  4. History of Philosophy: Select one of the following
    • PHIL 100 Greek Philosophy (4 units)
    • PHIL 101 Introduction to Medieval Philosophy (4 units)
    • PHIL 102 Modern Philosophy, Descartes to Kant (4 units)
    • PHIL 103 19th-Century Philosophy (4 units)
Religious Studies Courses
  1. One foundational course from RELIGST 1-99 (3-4 units)
  2. Two courses from RELIGST 100-289 in religious thought, broadly construed, chosen in consultation with, and approved by, the Religious Studies Director of Undergraduate Studies (8-10 units)
  3. RELIGST 290 Majors' Seminar: Theories of Religion (5 units; offered winter quarter; recommended junior year; fulfills WIM requirement)

The remaining coursework (approximately 20 units) is to be chosen according to interest, in consultation with the student's advisor, and with an eye to the senior capstone requirement.

  1. No more than 5 of these additional units in either department may come from courses numbered below PHIL/RELIGST 100.
  2. No more than 10 units taken credit/no credit may count toward the major.
  3. Students should ensure that their total complement of RELIGST courses (i.e. core and elective taken together) is not focused on a single religious tradition.

The capstone experience aims to foster the integration of capacities, knowledge, and skills acquired in the student's core and elective coursework. Combined majors fulfill this requirement by completing the capstone requirement for either the B.A. in Philosophy or the B.A. in Religious Studies. Students should discuss this choice with their advisor during their junior year and consult the capstone requirements for Philosophy and Religious Studies majors, respectively, in the Bulletin.

  • The capstone requirement in Philosophy is fulfilled by the successful completion of one of the PHIL 194 Capstone Seminars. The role of the PHIL Capstone Seminar is to provide students with an opportunity to synthesize their undergraduate educational careers and to demonstrate their capacity for independent and creative philosophical work.
    1. One undergraduate capstone seminar from the PHIL 194 series (4 units)
  • The capstone requirement in Religious Studies is fulfilled by the writing of either a senior essay or an honors thesis, which provides students with the opportunity to pursue independent research on a topic of interest under the direction of a Religious Studies faculty member. Two required courses support the successful completion of this senior project:
    1. RELIGST 297 Senior Essay/Honors Thesis Research (5-10 units)
      • Senior Essay: 5 units, winter quarter
      • Honors Thesis: 5-10 units, spread over autumn and winter quarters, both graded 'N' until submission
    2. RELIGST 298 Senior Colloquium (4 units; spring quarter; grading option "S/NC")

Additional Requirements:

In general, transfer units cannot be used to satisfy the core requirements. Transfer units and substitutions must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the relevant department.

For more information on courses, see the Stanford Bulletin (ExploreCourses)