Major in Philosophy

Students may earn a B.A. in Philosophy that explores traditional areas of philosophy or pursue a concentration within the major in Philosophy and Literature or History and Philosophy of Science

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

Course Requirements (minimum 60 units):

  1. An introductory course (under 100) AND
  2. PHIL 80 Mind, Matter, and Meaning. (PHIL 80 should normally be taken no later than the first quarter after declaring the major.)


Core Courses

24 units in Philosophy courses as follows:

  1. Logic: Select one of the following. More advanced logic courses may also be counted for this requirement by petition.
  2. Philosophy of Science: This requirement may be satisfied by
    • PHIL 60 Introduction to Philosophy of Science 
    • PHIL 61 Philosophy and the Scientific Revolution 
    • or an intermediate philosophy of science course numbered between PHIL 160-169
  3. Moral and political philosophy: This requirement may be satisfied by 
    • PHIL 2 Introduction to Moral Philosophy 
    • or any intermediate course devoted to central topics in moral and political philosophy numbered between PHIL  170-172 or 174-176.
  4. Contemporary theoretical philosophy: This requirement may be satisfied by
    • any intermediate course numbered between PHIL 180-189.
  5. History of Philosophy: Select both of the following
Capstone Seminar

One undergraduate capstone seminar from the PHIL 194 series


Courses numbered 10 or above, at least 9 units of which must be in courses numbered above 99

Additional Requirements:

Units for Tutorial, Directed Reading (PHIL 196 Tutorial, Senior Year, PHIL 197 Individual Work, Undergraduate, PHIL 198 The Dualist Undergraduate Journal), The Dualist (PHIL 198 The Dualist Undergraduate Journal), Honors Seminar (PHIL 199 Seminar for Prospective Honors Students), or affiliated courses may not be counted in the 60-unit requirement.

No more than 10 units completed with grades of 'satisfactory' and/or 'credit' may be counted in the 60-unit requirement. Any courses taken for a letter grade in fulfillment of the core requirements listed under 1.b. must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and completed with a grade of 'C-' or higher.

A maximum of 10 transfer units or two courses can be used for the departmental major. In general, transfer courses cannot be used to satisfy the six area requirements or the undergraduate seminar requirement. Students may not substitute transfer units for the PHIL 80 requirement.

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