Philosophy, B.A.

Mission

The mission of the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy is to foster a community of Christian scholars apprenticed to Jesus in the pursuit of theoretical and practical wisdom.

Degree Program

A Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy is offered upon completion of the University baccalaureate and major requirements.

Students who declare philosophy majors during their freshman year are expected to take PHIL 210 , PHIL 220 , PHIL 230, and PHIL 231 by the end of their sophomore year. Students who declare philosophy with a liberal arts concentration during their freshman year are expected to take PHIL 220, PHIL 230, and PHIL 231 by the end of their sophomore year. Students who declare the major later are expected to take these courses during their first two semesters in the program.

The Philosophy major may be taken as pre-professional preparation for careers in such fields as law, education and the ministry, or as preparation for graduate study in philosophy.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss, explain, and evaluate the key ideas and arguments in the history and main divisions of philosophy (ULO 1).
  2. Employ the skills of philosophical reading, writing, and argument (ULO 1).
  3. Apply insights from the world's wisdom traditions to their practice of the teachings of Jesus (ULO 2 and 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Upper-Division Course Restrictions

All Philosophy majors must consult with their academic advisor each semester before registering for courses.

No student who has taken one of the lower-division history of philosophy courses:

PHIL 211Introduction to Ancient Philosophy3
PHIL 212Introduction to Medieval Philosophy3
PHIL 213Introduction to Modern Philosophy3

will be permitted to enroll in its corresponding upper-division number:

PHIL 301Greek and Roman Philosophy3
PHIL 302Medieval Philosophy3
PHIL 303Modern Philosophy3

Any student who falls into this category, and who is also a philosophy major or philosophy minor —both of whom are required to take upper-division courses in the history of philosophy—will be asked to substitute another philosophy course for the history of philosophy course. Selection of an appropriate substitute will be made in consultation with the student's advisor.

Upper-Division Course Prerequisites

Only students who have completed a general education course in philosophy will be permitted to enroll in upper-division philosophy courses (300's and 400's). Exceptions to this policy may be permitted in special circumstances and will require the approval of the chair of the Philosophy Department. Prerequisites for all courses in Block V (PHIL 400, PHIL 410, PHIL 420, PHIL 430, PHIL 445, and PHIL 450) are completion of PHIL 210, PHIL 220, PHIL 230, and PHIL 231, and completion of at least 3 credits from PHIL 301, PHIL 302, or PHIL 303.

Major Requirements

The major comprises 38 credits beyond the general education requirement in philosophy, from coursework in the following five blocks.

Core Requirements
Block I: Basic Philosophical Skills
PHIL 210Introduction to Logic3
PHIL 220Introduction to Philosophical Argument and Writing3
Block II: Practical Wisdom
PHIL 230Introduction to Practical Wisdom3
PHIL 231Practical Wisdom Lab I 11
PHIL 330Studies in Wisdom Traditions3
PHIL 331Practical Wisdom Lab II 21
Block III: History of Philosophy
PHIL 301Greek and Roman Philosophy3
PHIL 302Medieval Philosophy3
PHIL 303Modern Philosophy3
Block IV: Divisions of Philosophy
PHIL 306Philosophy of Religion3
PHIL 307Metaphysics and Epistemology3
PHIL 308Ethics3
Block V: Capstone Work
PHIL 450Senior Thesis3
Select one of the following:3
Studies in Wisdom Traditions 3
Practical Wisdom: Texts
Practical Wisdom: Thinkers
Theoretical Wisdom: History of Philosophy
Theoretical Wisdom: Divisions of Philosophy
Theoretical Wisdom: Philosophical Topics
Philosophical Argument and Writing
Total Credits38
1

Must be taken concurrently with PHIL 230.

2

 Must be taken concurrently with PHIL 330.

3

May be taken a second time with different content.

Concentrations

Liberal Arts

The liberal arts concentration comprises 38 credits beyond the general education requirement in philosophy, from coursework in the following five blocks.

Concentration-Specific Requirements
Block I: Basic Philosophical Skills
PHIL 220Introduction to Philosophical Argument and Writing3
Block II: Practical Wisdom
PHIL 230Introduction to Practical Wisdom3
PHIL 231Practical Wisdom Lab I 11
PHIL 330Studies in Wisdom Traditions3
PHIL 331Practical Wisdom Lab II 21
Block III: History of Philosophy
PHIL 301Greek and Roman Philosophy3
PHIL 302Medieval Philosophy3
PHIL 303Modern Philosophy3
Block IV: Divisions of Philosophy
PHIL 307Metaphysics and Epistemology3
PHIL 308Ethics3
Block V: Capstone Work
PHIL 450Senior Thesis3
Elective Requirements
Select 9 credits of upper-division HIST and/or ENGL courses9
Total Credits38
1

Must be taken concurrently with PHIL 230.

2

 Must be taken concurrently with PHIL 330.

Oral Examinations

All Philosophy majors must pass three oral exams before graduating. Each exam is a comprehensive, oral examination covering topics from all Biola philosophy courses completed in prior semesters. A study guide indicating topics and questions to prepare will be distributed at the beginning of the semester. Exams will take place at the end of the semester. Students are encouraged to work together to prepare. Prerequisites are at least nine credits of philosophy, either upper or lower division, or consent of the department chair.