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Grand Valley State University    
2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Sep 19, 2019
2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

Requirements for a Major in Philosophy

In an era when many majors are inflated because of the influence of careerism, specialization, and external accrediting agencies, the credit hour requirements for the philosophy major remain modest at only 30. This is because we take seriously the value of electives in the student’s college program, the value of exploring and discovering one’s real interests. The number of required hours in philosophy is also modest because we wish to encourage students to discover the importance of relating philosophy to other fields through double majors, minors, and clusters of elective courses indicating developed proficiencies.

The previous information emphasizes the importance of the advising relationship. In order to facilitate this relationship, the philosophy major requires a study plan through which the student’s work can be consciously developed and articulated. A first draft of the study plan must be completed with the advisor by the beginning of the junior year, revised each successive semester, and completed in the Capstone course.

Degree Requirements

The philosophy B.A. requires third-semester proficiency in a foreign language (201). We strongly encourage completing the fourth semester of the language (202) as well.


Students may choose electives from any other courses in the philosophy program course listings. At least one elective must be chosen from PHI 400, PHI 420, PHI 430, PHI 440, PHI 450, PHI 460, or PHI 470. Courses numbered PHI 311, PHI 312, PHI 313, PHI 314, PHI 315, and PHI 380 may be repeated for credit when their content varies.

Suggested Order of Coursework for a Major in Philosophy

First Year

Second through Fourth Years

  • Additional required PHI courses
  • PHI electives
  • Intermediate language (201) for B.A. degree; fourth semester language (202) is recommended

Final Year

Philosophy Program Description

Click here for the program description.