Philosophy, B.A.


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  and PHIL 230 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 Prerequisites and Restrictions

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

Only students who have completed a Core Curriculum 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. 

Curriculum Requirements

The major comprises 38 credits beyond the Core Curriculum requirement in Philosophy.

Program Courses
PHIL 210Introduction to Logic3
PHIL 230Introduction to Practical Wisdom3
PHIL 301Greek and Roman Philosophy3
or PHIL 304 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 303Modern Philosophy3
PHIL 350Philosophy Seminar 14
PHIL 351Philosophical Recitation and Defense 21
PHIL 450Senior Thesis3
Electives: Select 18 credits of upper-division PHIL courses.18
Total Credits38

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. 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. During the academic year in which the third and final oral exam will be taken, students should enroll in PHIL 351.

NOTE: The course sequence table is designed by the major department and is one way that the classes will work out properly in sequence for your major. However, there are alternative or flexible ways to rotate some of the classes within the same year/level and sometimes between year levels. Please contact your major department advisor to discuss flexible alternatives in scheduling the sequence of your classes.

Taking coursework during the summer session may also be an option to accelerate your degree path.

See Core Curriculum Program section for a list of approved Core Curriculum courses.

Philosophy, B.A.

First Year
BBST 103 or 1653BBST 103 or 1653
PHIL 214 (Core Curriculum)3PHIL 2103
ENGL 100 or 1123PHIL 2303
Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4Foreign Language (see Core Curriculum)4
GNST 1021Science (see Core Curriculum)3
 MATH 1211
 KNES 1071
 14 18
Total Credits 32
Second Year
BBST 209 or 2103BBST 209 or 2103
PHIL 301 or 3043PHIL 3501
PHIL 3033PHIL 3511
PHIL 3501HIST 200, 201, or POSC 2253
Fine Arts (see Core Curriculum)3Literature (see Core Curriculum)3
HIST 100 or 1013PHIL Elective3
 16 14
Total Credits 30
Third Year
BBST 2513BBST 3543
Behavioral Science (see Core Curriculum)3PHIL Elective3
PHIL 3501General Elective3
PHIL Elective3Communication (see Core Curriculum)3
MATH 1221ENGL 3133
KNES Activity (see Core Curriculum)1MATH 1231
General Elective3Graduation Petition due in Registrar's Offie
Writing Competency Requirement 
 15 16
Total Credits 31
Fourth Year
BBST 300/400 Bible Elective3BBST 4653
BBST 3653BBST 306, 316, or 3263
PHIL 3501PHIL Elective3
PHIL Elective3PHIL 4503
PHIL Elective3General Elective3
General Elective1 
 14 15
Total Credits 29