BA in Philosophy

Students in APU’s philosophy major learn historical perspectives on philosophical concepts and the principles for careful thought.

33 units


The Department of Philosophy equips and mentors students to become intellectual leaders in important debates about compelling philosophical issues that shape contemporary culture.


The philosophy major achieves this mission by developing a community of scholars who are:

  • Intellectually Skilled: Excellent in critical reading, analytic reasoning, and persuasive argumentative writing.
  • Historically Informed: Cognizant of the classical philosophical theories and principles that have shaped contemporary debates about God, human nature, and the Good Life.
  • Pragmatically Oriented: Able to use this combination of intellectual skills and theoretical knowledge to influence contemporary cultural practices concerning religion, science, ethics, civil service, public policy, and the arts.

Distinctive Features

APU’s philosophy major embodies four distinctive characteristics of the university’s Wesleyan Christian heritage:

  • Classical Christian Orientation: We draw upon the greatest aspects of the classical Christian philosophical traditions—Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant.
  • Sanctity of Mind: We believe that all people are called to love God with their minds by cultivating intellectual virtues so they can better understand God, human nature, and all of God’s Creation.
  • Sanctity of Heart: We believe that all people are called to love God with their hearts by cultivating moral virtues so they can be better lovers of God and of their neighbors and better stewards of God’s Creation.
  • Community-Oriented Service: We believe that all people are called to manifest their love of God and neighbor by putting these intellectual and moral virtues into practice, serving their ecclesial and civil communities.

Career Opportunities

The major in philosophy prepares students for excellence in a variety of careers, such as:

  • Professor
  • Lawyer
  • Bioethicist
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Corporate Compliance Manager
  • Pastor/Theologian
  • K-12 Teacher


The philosophy major is completed by taking PHIL 100 or HUM 224 and at least 30 units of upper-division work in philosophy from the list below. Each course is 3 units. Courses below cannot be counted for any other major in the Division of Religion and Philosophy. A minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA is required in all major courses.

Required Courses
PHIL 100Introduction to Philosophy 1, 23
PHIL 310Formal Logic3
PHIL 315History of Ancient Philosophy 23
PHIL 320History of Early Modern Philosophy 23
PHIL 330Ethics3
PHIL 340Writing 3: Concepts of Human Nature 33
Select one of the following:3
Select 12 units consisting of any upper-division PHIL courses not being used to satisfy the Required Courses above. At least 6 of these units must be at the 400 level. 412
Total Units33

Meets the General Education Philosophy requirement.


HUM 224 may be taken in exchange for PHIL 100HUM 324 may be taken in exchange for PHIL 315 or PHIL 320.


Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.


PHIL 301 and PHIL 303 do not count for this elective requirement.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Formulate philosophical questions with precision and clarity.
  2. Articulate the structure of a philosopher’s position or philosophical text and assess its strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Identify and critique key figures and themes in the history of philosophy and the perspectives of those marginalized by this history.
  4. Critically analyze societal problems and proposed resolutions from a Christian perspective.
  5. Demonstrate continual intellectual growth through personal research and scholarship.
  6. Manifest skills enabling them to be strong candidates for a graduate program in philosophy.