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Philosophy FAQs

This FAQ page answers a number of questions that students often have about majoring in Philosophy.

Frequently Asked Questions - For Majors


1. Do my community college courses satisfy the UCD philosophy major requirements?

Some do and some do not. Do not assume that since your course has transferred and has the same name as a UCD course, it counts toward the Philosophy major. The courses you took must be evaluated by the philosophy major adviser. For a course to be equivalent to Philosophy 12, Introduction to Symbolic Logic, the community college course must have covered truth-tables and all the inference rules of sentential (propositional) logic. For history of philosophy (Philosophy 21, 22N), the key issue is whether the CC course used primary sources. See the ASSISTWeb page to find UCD courses equivalent to your community college courses.

2. Can upper-division courses I took at another university be used to satisfy the UCD major requirements?

Yes, if the course is substantially similar to a UCD philosophy course. See the philosophy major adviser for approval.

3. Do I need to satisfy the Preparatory Subject Matter (lower-division courses) before I can take upper-division philosophy courses?

Courses may be taken in any order, but be sure to check for prerequisites. For most people, Philosophy 12 should be taken before any other logic course. Philosophy 21 should be taken before any course in ancient philosophy (160, 161, 162). Philosophy 22 should be taken before any course in modern philosophy (151, 157, 168, 169, 170, 172, 174, 175).

4. Do graduate courses count toward the major?

Yes. But see the instructor before signing up, to determine whether you are prepared for the course. Also, be aware that graduate courses do not count toward the College of Letters and Science unit requirements for upper-division courses. These are: 1) 64 units of upper-division overall, 2) 27 upper-division units, including 18 upper-division units in the major, completed on the Davis campus, 3) 36 upper-division units in the major. These requirements are especially crucial for community college transfer students with 100+ transferred units. In general, it is best to petition to receive upper-division credit for the course.

5. Can I substitute courses from other departments or programs for philosophy units?

No. The unit requirement for the philosophy major is already quite low.

6. Do courses used to satisfy the GE requirements count toward the major?


7. Can I take courses for the major pass/non-pass?

Yes, up to the limits set by the college of Letters and Science, i.e., one-fourth of your total units taken at UC Davis (except for courses such as 199 which are graded on a pass/non-pass basis only) and the limits set for the campus, i.e., one-third of your total units taken at UC Davis. If you are thinking about taking a course on this basis, please see the major adviser about how it will look on your transcript.

8. Do my courses taken abroad count toward the major?

They may or may not, depending on how close they are to courses offered by the UC Davis philosophy department. You should consult with the major advisor to determine in advance of your leaving which courses taken abroad would be suitable for your major at UC Davis.

9. What happens if major requirements change while I am a student?

You have the right to complete the requirements listed in the General Catalog at the time you entered the University. If, however, you choose to complete the revised requirements instead, you may do so.

10. Other questions?

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1240 Social Science and Humanities
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: (530) 752-0703
Fax: (530) 752-8964


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