Overview of Undergraduate Program

To speak with the Undergraduate Advisor, reach out to ug_advisor@philosophy.ucsb.edu.

The Department at UCSB offers students two emphases when majoring in Philosophy:

  • Core Philosophy: This emphasis is designed for students who seek thorough training in philosophy, either as a way of acquiring reasoning and analytical skills and mastering a discipline at the undergraduate level, or as preparation for graduate study.

  • Ethics and Public Policy: Students focus on moral and legal problems confronting the community and on the responsibilities of various professions. This emphasis is intended for a wide variety of students, including those who plan careers in law, the public sector, or medicine.

Students take courses including Freedom and Determinism, History of Philosophy: Empiricists to Kant, Introduction to Ethics, and Philosophy of Mind.

Students wishing to pursue distinction in the program can apply to the Philosophy Department Honors Program, and majors are eligible for academic prizes and awards.

The UC Education Abroad Program offers students the opportunity to study in the places where the great philosophers lived and taught. Study Confucius and Lao-tsu in China; Nietzsche, Leibniz, Kant, and Hegel in Germany; Spinoza in the Netherlands; Descartes in France; or Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Wittgenstein in Britain.

For more on the nature of Philosophy and the practical career-value of a Philosophy degree, see the Why Philosophy page.