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Philosophy Minor

About the Philosophy Minor

Philosophical inquiry encompasses a wide range of topics, across a wide range of disciplines, including interrelations between disciplines. Nearly every academic discipline is a historical outgrowth of philosophy.

The degree requirements in philosophy allow students to tailor their course of study. A well-designed program is appropriate not only for students whose primary interest is the study of philosophy, but for various pre-professional students (for example, those planning on law school or medical school). Philosophy is also very popular as a second Major, because philosophical study tends to reinforce a deep understanding of the issues of interest to other disciplines.

Required coursework for philosophy students is organized around four main areas of study: Ethics and Values; Metaphysics and Epistemology; History of Philosophy; Logic and Formal Methods. The specific requirements are explained below.


Philosophy Minor Course Requirement Handout

Philosophy Minor Checklist

Declare the Philosophy Minor


Minimum of 18 credits of philosophy coursework that meets the following five requirements:

Students are to take courses from the four Areas in the summary table below, in the quantities indicated. Click on the area title for course titles.



Qualified Courses

I Ethics and Value Theory

1 course

3011*, 3080, 3320, 3390, 3500, 3510, 3520, 3530, 3750, 3700, 3710 3730, 3740, 3750, 3790, 3800, 3820, 4540, 5130, 5191*, 5500, 5510, 5520, 5530, 5540, 5700, 5710, 5800

II Metaphysics and Epistemology

1 course

3012*, 3300, 3310, 3350, 3370, 3375, 3380, 3400, 3440, 3600, 3870, 4380, 4400, 4450, 4480, 5192*, 5300, 5350†, 5370†, 5375†, 5400*, 5450, 5480*

III History of Philosophy

1 course

3013*, 3040, 3060, 3085, 3086, 3100, 3110, 3120, 3130, 3810, 4140, 5040, 5060, 5100, 5110, 5120*, 5145, 5193*, 5360

IV Logic and Formal Methods

1 course

1250, 3200, 3210, 5200, 5210, 5220

* These courses typically have variable content and may be taken multiple times, each time counting as a new and separate course, so long as the course content is different.

† These courses sometimes have variable content, in which case they may be taken multiple times. Check with instructor for permission to take a second time.

Students elect the particular courses (from each of the above Areas) that they wish to take. Those who are just starting the degree should simply start taking courses of interest, in each of the four areas, beginning with courses at the 3000 or 4000 - level. As for prerequisites, before taking any 5000-level course students  must have completed one 3000 or 4000-level course from that same Area; exceptions must be approved by the instructor of the 5000-level course. Be sure to talk with an advisor if you would like any further guidance about which courses to take.

At least one course of the total 18 units must come from the 5000-level (or higher). These advanced courses do at the same time satisfy an Area Requirement, as indicated in the above table. (Note: the Advanced Course Requirement may not be satisfied by "independent study" coursework.)

Additional courses may be needed to bring your total to 18 units. Every course the philosophy department offers counts towards the Elective Requirement. Note that two kinds of courses count only towards this requirement, not meeting any other requirement. First, all lower division courses count as electives (i.e., 1000 level and 2000 level courses). Second, the four specifically religion-oriented courses we offer: Phil 3610 (Religions of India), Phil 3620 (Religions of China and Japan), Phil 3630 (Buddhist Thought), and Phil 3640 (World Religions). Since these courses are not primarily philosophical in content, they do not count towards any of our specific philosophy requirements, but they do count for the Elective Requirement. The historical explanation of why the philosophy department offers these courses is that U of Utah does not have a Religion Department, the natural home for such courses. Note that Phil 3600 (Philosophy of Religion) is a philosophy course, and it meets the Area II requirement.

The Grade Requirement has three parts. First, only coursework taken for a letter grade will contribute to the above requirements; CR/NC coursework will not count. Second, no individual course receiving a grade lower than C- will count for any of the above requirements. Third, the overall grade-point average (GPA) for courses meeting the above requirements must be at least 2.00.

Various of the above requirements may, in special cases, and with approval, be satisfied with transfer credit. Requirement 2 is an exception: in all cases, the Advanced Course Requirement must be satisfied by course work completed at the University of Utah.

Last Updated: 3/19/24