Sour Orange, Terrestrial Mollusk, and Larkspur, illuminated manuscript

CSUN Philosophy Major Requirements

The curriculum for the Philosophy Major is both sufficiently comprehensive and flexible enough to prepare each student to pursue further graduate work in philosophy; or a professional degree in medicine, law, business; or a unique journey off the beaten track. Many of our courses are online, making them accessible to students with busy schedules.

The CSUN Philosophy Major trains students to become rigorous analytical thinkers with a solid grasp of both historically significant works and on-going state of the art research. The Required Courses ensure that students are grounded in the basic elements of logic and critical thinking (PHIL 200 or 230), the classic texts (PHIL 201 and 202), and philosophical writing (PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360, or 365).  At the same time, they are sufficiently flexible to allow each student to pursue a path of his or her own, whether it is the Social Justice and Pre-Law Paththe Health and Sciences Path, or the History of Philosophy Path. With the diversity of options given with the Electives, students can pursue other disciplines that complement or are complemented by their background in philosophy – an opportunity that facilitates an impressive double major.  The Philosophy major culminates in a senior thesis (PHIL 497), where each student gets the opportunity to work closely with faculty to explore an issue in depth.

General Path Through the Major


To fulfill the Core Historical (Hist.) requirement, majors must take:

  • PHIL 201 Ancient Philosophy (3)

    • and

  • PHIL 202 Modern Philosophy (3)

To fulfill the Critical Thinking (CT) requirement, majors can choose one of the following courses:

  • PHIL 200 Critical Reasoning (3)

  • PHIL 230 Introduction to Formal Logic (3)

To fulfill the Value Theory (V) requirement, majors can choose one of the following courses:

  • PHIL 360 Ethical Theory (3)

  • PHIL 365 Social and Political Philosophy (3)

To fulfill the Core Analytic requirement (CA), majors can choose one of the following courses:

  • PHIL 350 Epistemology (3)

  • PHIL 352 Metaphysics (3)

  • PHIL 355 Philosophy of Mind (3)

Majors must also choose one of the following 300-level courses (*300):

  • PHIL 333: American Indian Philosophy (3)

  • PHIL 341: Kierkegaard and Nietzsche (3)

  • PHIL 342: Existentialism (3)

  • PHIL 343: Indian Philosophy (3)

  • PHIL 344: Chinese Philosophy (3)

  • PHIL 348: Philosophy and Feminism (3)


Advanced students must enroll in the following capstone course: 

* PHIL 497: Senior Research Seminar (3)

 II. ELECTIVES (21 units)

Choose seven courses (21 units), subject to the following conditions:

  1. At least four courses (12 units) must be 400 level philosophy courses (other than PHIL 497 and PHIL 499)

  2. Other eligible electives include all philosophy courses numbered 230 and higher, excluding those taken as requirements for the majors.

  3. Up to 3 elective units may be in closely related upper division courses outside department (subject to the approval of the department chair).