Brigham Young University Homepage

Undergraduate Catalog

2012 - 2013


Travis Anderson, Chair
4086-A JFSB, (801) 422-5824

College of Humanities Advisement Center
1175 JFSB, (801) 422-4789

Admission to Degree Program

All degree programs in the Department of Philosophy are open enrollment.

The Discipline

From its first appearance in ancient Greece down to the present, philosophy has sought to understand the world and the place of human beings within it. As it frames ideas by means of which to clarify and explain experience, philosophy discloses its faith in the ultimate lucidity of things. Philosophy's respect for the authority of intelligence fosters a preference for persuasion that is fundamental to personal growth and democratic society.

Students who study philosophy will find that it not only provides insight into life's fundamental concerns, it also helps them develop their capacity for clear thinking and perceptive judgment. Such competence will serve them well as they pursue further education or begin their careers.

Career Opportunities

Philosophy offers excellent career preparation, but not in the way that, say, accounting does. The value of a major in philosophy resides in the intellectual development it promotes. It lays a foundation on which more specialized study may build. In various standardized tests, philosophy majors tend to do extremely well on the verbal aptitude and on the analytic thinking sections. So philosophy can prepare a student for any type of work that requires highly developed reading and writing skills. Students who elect to major in philosophy should look beyond their bachelor's degree right from the start. For example, philosophy is an excellent background for the study of law or medicine. Those who intend to enter graduate school will need to start early on the foreign-language requirement.

General Information

The Department of Philosophy strongly recommends that StDev 317, a 2-credit-hour course, be taken at the end of the sophomore year or the beginning of the junior year. Because liberal arts degrees provide preparation in a variety of useful fields rather than a single career track, this course is recommended to help liberal arts students focus on specific educational and occupational goals and to identify the career options or educational opportunities available to them. The course will introduce them to the resources needed for accessing information about graduate schools, internships, careers, and career development. Students will learn basic employment strategies, including the steps necessary for obtaining employment related to their own specialty.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The university core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (See University Core for details. For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see the current class schedule.)
  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Undergraduate Programs and Degrees

Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.