Subplan in Philosophy and Literature

Undergraduates may major in Philosophy with a subplan in Philosophy and Literature. This field of study is declared in Axess and is printed on the transcript.

To declare the subplan, 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 (Philosophy and Literature Subplan)

Course Requirements (minimum 65 units):

  1. An introductory course (under 100) and 
  2. PHIL 80 Mind, Matter, and Meaning (5 units). (PHIL 80 should normally be taken no later than the first quarter after declaring the major.)

Students taking a Philosophy Thinking Matters course may count 4 units toward the introductory Philosophy requirement.

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 (5 units)
    • PHIL 61 Philosophy and the Scientific Revolution (5 units)
    • 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 (5 units)
    • 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
    • PHIL 100 Greek Philosophy (4 units)
    • PHIL 102 Modern Philosophy, Descartes to Kant (4 units)
Gateway Course

PHIL 81 Philosophy and Literature (3-5 units). (PHIL 81 should normally be taken as early as possible in the student's career, normally in the sophomore year.)

Special Relevance Courses
  1. Three courses in a single national literature, chosen by the student in consultation both with the advisor and with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Philosophy and Literature.
    • In cases where a national literature department or program has a required or recommended three-course sequence, the student should normally take that sequence. In cases where the national literature is not in English, this normally involves meeting the language proficiency requirements of the relevant department.
  2. Two upper division courses of special relevance to the study of philosophy and literature, as identified by the committee in charge of the program.
Capstone Seminars
  1. One undergraduate capstone seminar from the PHIL 194 series and
  2. One capstone seminar of relevance to the study of philosophy and literature, as approved by the program committee.

In some cases, with approval of the Philosophy Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Philosophy and Literature Director of Undergraduate Studies, the same course may be used to meet both capstone simultaneously.


Electives within Philosophy beyond the core requirements totaling at least 5 units, and drawn from courses numbered 100 or higher.

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 65-unit requirement.

No more than 10 units completed with grades of 'satisfactory' and/or 'credit' may be counted in the 65-unit requirement. Any courses taken for a letter grade in fulfillment of the core requirements must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and completed with a grade of 'C-' or higher.

A maximum of 15 transfer units may be counted toward the major, at most 10 of which may substitute for courses within Philosophy. Transfer credits may not substitute for PHIL 80 or PHIL 81, and are approved as substitutes for the five area requirements or PHIL 194 only in exceptional cases.

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