Major in Philosophy

In order to be accepted into the Major in Philosophy program, students need only declare their major using the online Student Service Centre, generally prior to the start of their third year. There is no need to apply to the Philosophy Department in order to enter the Major in Philosophy program (in contrast to the Honours in Philosophy program which does require an application).


Students must take at least 42 credits (and no more than 60 credits) in Philosophy, subject to the following requirements:

  • PHIL 220, 230, 240, 330, 340, 491 (18 credits)
  • Two courses (6 credits) from the 300-level History of Philosophy sequence: PHIL 310, 311, 314, 315
  • An additional 15 credits of 300-/400-level Philosophy courses (excluding PHIL 400 and 401) to provide a total of at least 30 credits at the 300-/400-level
  • Any additional 3-credit Philosophy course (including 100-level and non-required 200-level courses)

The Department strongly advises any student considering a Major in Philosophy to take at least six credits of 100-level or non-required 200-level Philosophy courses to gauge their interest and talent. These courses are PHIL 100 (6), PHIL 101 (3), PHIL 102 (3), PHIL 120 (3), PHIL 125 (3), PHIL 150 (3), PHIL 211 (3), PHIL 212 (3), and PHIL 260 (3).

Click here for the Philosophy Major Checklist.

See our Undergraduate Courses page for current philosophy course listings.


PHIL491 Substitutes in 2017-18

Please note that the Philosophy Department will be offering only three sections of PHIL491 in 2017-18:  one section of PHIL491 in fall 2017, and two sections of PHIL491 in winter 2018.  We had to cancel one section, PHIL491 001 that had been planned for fall 2017.

The UBC Calendar specifies that Philosophy majors students must satisfy the fourth-year research requirement by taking PHIL491. The Department has approved PHIL418 and PHIL432 (both offered in fall 2017) as alternative ways of satisfying the research requirement for 2017-18.  There is no special “research” version of these courses, nor is the content of the courses being altered in any way.  All students are welcome to take these courses, even if they plan to take PHIL491 for the research requirement.

Summarizing:  Philosophy majors students can satisfy the research requirement by taking any of PHIL491, PHIL418 or PHIL432.  Students who plan to take PHIL418 or PHIL432 but NOT PHIL491 should notify the majors advisor that this will be their way to satisfy the research requirement.