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Overview of Undergraduate Program

The Philosophy Department offers a major and minor in philosophy, as well as a minor in logic. Qualified majors in philosophy have the further option of entering the honors program. Details on the requirements for a major in philosophy, minor in philosophy, minor in logic, and honors in philosophy follow, as well as information on domain emphases in philosophical foundations available within the Data Sciences Major.

Major in Philosophy

The course requirements for completing a major in philosophy are structured to ensure that student gets a broad education in philosophy. At least twelve (12) courses must be completed in total, fulfilling the distribution requirements detailed in the table below. For more information about the undergraduate major in philosophy, including advising sources within the Department and UC Berkeley, see the Frequently Asked Questions page.

We recommend that majors and prospective majors consult the statement of learning goals that has been developed in connection with the Undergraduate Student Learning Initiative.

Course Requirements for Philosophy Majors
Course Area Course Numbers Course Offered
Logic 12A (or W12A) [every semester and summer]
Ancient Survey 25A [every fall and summer]
Modern Survey 25B [every spring and summer]
Methods 100 or equivalent [every semester]
Ethics (1) One from 104, 107, 108, 114, 115 [1 or more per year]
History (2) One from 160–178
One from 18, 19, 153, 155, 156A, 160–188
[1 or more per semester]
Metaphysics (2)
Two courses from different groups:
Group A: 122
Group B: 125
Group C: 132, 136
Group D: 133, 134, 135
[1 or more per semester]
Electives (3) Three additional philosophy courses, two of them upper-division, and one either upper- or lower-division

[PDF checklist of major requirements]

Undergraduate Honors

The Honors Program is for undergraduate majors who want to work more intensively and independently on a subject that they have studied in the course of their undergraduate studies.

Interested students should seek admission to the Honors Program a year before their expected graduation (typically, the end of spring of their junior year). Admission into the Honors Program requires:

The requirements of the honors program are:

Students admitted to the Honors Program should begin work on the thesis as soon as they are admitted to honors. So, typically, they should start their research over summer before senior year. Note that H195 does not count toward the twelve required for the major. However, H196, 190, and 290 do count toward the required twelve, as upper-division electives.

Completing the honors program requirements is necessary but not sufficient for receiving departmental honors. Honors are awarded by the department faculty based on the quality of the senior thesis and the student's overall record. See the FAQs for answers to further questions about Honors, such as

Minor in Philosophy

To minor in philosophy, students must take six courses meeting the following distribution requirements:

Course Requirements for Philosophy Minors
Course Type Course Area Course Numbers
Lower Division
(1 total)
History 25A or 25B
Upper Division
(5 total)
Ethics (1) One of 104, 107, 108, 114, 115
Epistemology/Metaphysics (1) One of 122, 125, 132–136
Electives (3) Three additional upper division philosophy courses.

When you have completed the requirements for the minor, you should submit a Petition for Confirmation of Minor Program Completion for Undergraduates. You can download the petition from Letters and Science Advising. For more detailed information about declaring the minor, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Minor in Logic

The Logic Minor at Berkeley consists of three core courses in symbolic logic, which may be pursued in parallel tracks within Philosophy or Mathematics, plus a choice of three upper division electives from a list of courses across Philosophy, Mathematics, Linguistics, and Computer Science.

Course Requirements for Logic Minors
Course Area Course Numbers
Introductory (1) PHILOS 12A or W12A (Introduction to Logic) or MATH 55 (Discrete Mathematics) or equivalent. Please note: students who wish to count a different course as “equivalent” to PHILOS 12A or MATH 55 must submit a petition to the Logic Minor Committee.
Mathematical Logic (1) PHILOS 140A (Intermediate Logic) or MATH 125A (Mathematical Logic).
Computability and Logic (1) PHILOS 140B (Intermediate Logic) or MATH 136 (Incompleteness and Undecidability). Please note: MATH 125A and MATH 136 may have additional prerequisites, determined by the instructor. Note, for planning purposes, that PHILOS 140B and PHILOS 140A are typically offered in alternate years.
Electives (3)
  • PHILOS 134 (Form and Meaning)
  • PHILOS 142 (Philosophical Logic)
  • PHILOS 143 (Modal Logic)
  • PHILOS 146 (Philosophy of Mathematics)
  • PHILOS 149 (Special Topics in Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics)
  • PHILOS 290 (Graduate Seminars in Logic). Please note: the Logic Minor Committee will decide which instances of PHILOS 290 count as “Graduate Seminars in Logic” for the Logic Minor.
  • MATH 135 (Introduction to the Theory of Sets)
  • MATH 225A (Metamathematics)
  • MATH 225B (Metamathematics)
  • MATH 227A (Theory of Recursive Functions)
  • MATH 229 (Theory of Models)
  • MATH 235A (Theory of Sets)
  • MATH 236 (Metamathematics of Set Theory)
  • COMPSCI 172 (Computability and Complexity)
  • LINGUIS 121 (Logical Semantics)
  • LINGUIS 221 (Advanced Logical Semantics). Please note: LINGUIS 121 requires LINGUIS 120 (Introduction to Syntax and Semantics) as a prerequisite.

At least two of these electives must be at the undergraduate level (unless an exception is granted by petition to the Logic Minor Committee). Note also that undergraduate enrollment in graduate seminars requires the consent of the instructor.

Students may optionally fulfill (at most) one of their electives with a course on related formal methods and reasoning, or other courses approved by petition:

  • PHILOS 141 (Philosophy and Game Theory)
  • PHILOS 148 (Probability and Induction)
  • COMPSCI 188 (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence)

Please note that at most one upper-division course may be used to satisfy requirements both for the Logic Minor and your major (see the Guidelines for Minors Offered by the College of Letters & Science).

When you have completed the requirements for the minor, you should submit a Petition for Confirmation of Minor Program Completion for Undergraduates. You can download the petition from Letters and Science Advising. For more detailed information about declaring the minor, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Domain Emphases in the Data Science Major

Students in the Data Science Major may pursue a domain emphasis in Philosophical Foundations, along either of two tracks:

These domain emphases require taking one lower division and two upper division courses from lists of eligible courses, including many from our department. See the web page for Domain Emphases in the Data Science Major for more details.