Major Requirements

The philosophy major at the University of Oregon is one of the most vibrant in the country. Students can pursue a single problem or set of problems in a variety of classes, engage it from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, and—should they choose—write a dissertation in that area with the help and support of multiple faculty members.

We emphasize the following philosophical traditions and fields of focus:

  • Aesthetics
  • American and pragmatist philosophy
  • Analytic philosophy
  • Bioethics
  • Continental philosophy
  • Critical theory
  • Decolonial philosophy
  • Environmental philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Feminist philosophy
  • History of philosophy
  • Latin American philosophy
  • Native American philosophy
  • Philosophy of data, media, and technology
  • Philosophy of race
  • Political/social philosophy

Course Requirements

In addition to meeting all UO requirements for a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree, students must meet the following requirements to complete a major in philosophy.

52 credits must be earned from philosophy courses.

  • Upper division: At least 40 credits must be earned via upper-division courses (300 or 400-level).
  • Residence: At least 20 upper-division credits must be from courses taken in residence (i.e., at UO).
  • Grades: All credits must be from courses completed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than 8 credits may be earned from courses graded Pass/No Pass.

History of Philosophy

At least 4 of the following courses (with at least two from PHIL 310, 311, and 312):

  • PHIL 310 History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval
  • PHIL 311 History of Philosophy: Modern
  • PHIL 312 History of Philosophy: 19th Century
  • PHIL 342 Introduction to Latin American Philosophy
  • PHIL 415 Continental Philosophy
  • PHIL 420 American Philosophy

Gender, Race, Class, and Culture (GRCC)

At least one of the following courses, or another course on this theme approved by the director of undergraduate studies:

  • PHIL 110 Human Nature
  • PHIL 170 Love and Sex
  • PHIL 216 Philosophy and Cultural Diversity
  • PHIL 315 Introduction to Feminist Philosophy
  • PHIL 342 Introduction to Latin American Philosophy
  • PHIL 443 Feminist Philosophy
  • PHIL 451 Native American Philosophy
  • PHIL 452 Philosophy and Race


One of the following courses:

  • PHIL 225 Introduction to Formal Logic
  • PHIL 325 Logic, Inquiry, and Argumentation

Authors Courses

At least two 400-level courses that focus on the works of specific philosophers, e.g., Plato, Kant, Dewey, Beauvoir, Arendt, etc. One of them must have a PHIL subject.

Sample Course Plan

First year

Three 100-level or 200-level courses: PHIL 225 and any combination of two others (12 lower-division credits in PHIL)

Second year

PHIL 310, 311, 312, 342, 415, or 420 (16 upper division credits in PHIL)

Third year

Two 300-level courses, one 400-level authors course (12 upper division credits in PHIL)

Fourth year

One 400-level authors course, plus three courses consisting of any combination of 300-level courses or 400-level seminars (12 upper division credits in PHIL)

Language Recommendation

Students who intend to do graduate work in philosophy are strongly urged to acquire a good reading knowledge of a second language appropriate to their interests. Meet with the director of undergraduate studies early in your undergraduate years to discuss additional plans for graduate school preparation and for application advice.