Oct 03, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Philosophy Major, B.A.

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Department of Philosophy  

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

The major in Philosophy emphasizes and reinforces general skills, both critical and creative, that will serve as a basis for further studies, in a field such as law or public policy, or professional careers, including management and government. The departmental publication Philosophy at MSU Denver contains further particulars, including information about the course distribution areas referenced below. Undergraduates preparing for graduate study in philosophy should plan their academic program in close consultation with a department advisor.

Student Outcomes

On completion of their degree in Philosophy, students should have a detailed understanding, sophisticated appreciation and critical awareness:

  • of the nature and complexity of human thought, of its critical and creative possibilities, and of the long-standing and continuing contributions (and reactions) to central defining moments in world civilization,
  • of the core problems, issues, and approaches, first delineated and associated with philosophical inquiry,
  • of the possible ramifications and innate complexity of even basic philosophical ideas, and the ability to adjudge and evaluate such notions in light of the purposive aspects of human existence.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of C- or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minor is required for this program. 

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

  • Written Communication (6 credits) 
  • Oral Communication (3 credits) 
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 credits) 
  • Arts and Humanities (6 credits) 
  • Historical (3 credits) 
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Global Diversity (0 or 3 credits**)


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement  for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement. 

Required Core Courses: 9 credits

Area One: Logic: 3 credits

Additional Distribution Requirements: 15 credits

Area Three: Knowledge and Reality: 6 credits

Choose two of the following courses:

Area Five: Diverse Perspectives: 3 credits

Choose one of the following courses:

Philosophy Electives: 9 credits

Select three additional philosophy electives (of which one may be lower division).

Senior Experience: 3 credits

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirement 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Required Courses 12 credits
Additional Requirements 12 credits
Philosophy Electives 9 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Minor and Unrestricted Electives 48-60 credits
Total for the Philosophy Major, B.A. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

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