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Requirements for the Minor in 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.

Note that the requirements below supplement the University Baccalaureate Degree requirements. Refer to the General Catalog for this information. You can obtain a copy of the General Catalog at the University of Utah Bookstore.

The Minor in Philosophy calls for a minimum of 18 units of philosophy coursework that meets the following five requirements:

 Area Requirement

Students are to take courses from the four Areas in the summary table below, in the quantities indicated:

Areas Minimum Qualified Courses
Ethics and
Value Theory
3011*, 3080, 3500, 3510, 3520, 3530, 3700, 3710
3720, 3730, 3740, 3750, 3800, 3820, 4540, 5130,
5191*, 5500, 5510, 5520, 5530, 5540, 5700, 5710, 5800
Metaphysics and
3012*, 3300, 3310, 3350, 3370, 3375,
3400, 3440, 3600, 4380, 4400, 4450, 4480, 5192*, 5300,
5350†, 5370†, 5375†, 5400*, 5450, 5480*
History of
3013*, 3810, 4110, 4120, 4130,
4140, 5040, 5060, 5110,
5120*, 5150*, 5193*, 5360
Logic and
Formal Methods
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.

Full COURSE TITLES and DESCRIPTIONS at bottom of this page

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 aproved 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.

 Advanced Course Requirement

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.)

Elective Requirement

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.

 Grade 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.

 Residence Requirement

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.

End of Requirements

Course Titles

(For course descriptions, click each course title) 

Area I - Ethics and Value Theory

 3011* Philosophy of _______

 3080 Philosophy of Feminism

 3500 Ethics

 3510 Business Ethics

 3520 Bioethics

 3530 Environmental Ethics

 3700 Political Philosophy

 3710 Philosophy of Law

 3720 Philosophy of Education

 3730 Justice and International Affairs

 3740 Drugs and Justice

 3750 Philosophy of Literature

 3800 Philosophy and the Arts

 3820 The Meaning of Life

 4540 Engineering, Ethics, and Society 

 5130 History of Ethical Theory

 5191* Philosophy of _______

 5500 Contemporary Ethical Theory

 5510 Applied Ethics

 5520 Advanced Bioethics

 5530 Environmental Philosophy

 5540 Hydrotopia: Water Rights and the Environment

 5700 Advanced Political Philosophy

 5710 International Human Rights

 5800 Topics in Philosophy of Art

Area II - Metaphysics and Epistemology

 3012* Philosophy of _______

 3300 Theory of Knowledge

 3310 Science and Society

 3350 History and Philosophy of Science

 3370 Philosophy of Biology 

 3375 Philosophy of Social Science

 3400 Mind, Language, and Reality

 3440 Cognitive Science

 3600 Philosophy of Religion

 4380 Philosophy of Physics

 4400 Metaphysics

 4450 Philosophy of Mind

 4480 Philosophy of Language

 5192* Philosophy of _______

 5300 Epistemology

 5350† Topics of Philosophy of Science

 5370† Philosophy of Biology

 5375† Topics in Philosophy of Social Science

 5400* Metaphysics

 5450 Philosophy of Mind

 5480* Philosophy of Language

Area III - History of Philosophy

 3013* Philosophy of ______

 3810 Existentialism

 4110 Ancient Greek

 4120 Early Modern

 4130 Nineteenth-Century

 4140 Classical Chinese Philosophy

 5040 Twentieth Century Analytic

 5060 Twentieth Century Continental

 5110 Issues in the History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

 5120* Issues in the History of Modern and Recent Philosophy

 5150* Topics in Classical Chinese Philosophy

 5193* Philosophy of ______

 5360 Topics in the History of Science

Area IV - Logic and Formal Methods

 1250 Intro to Reasoning and Rational Decision  [counts only for Minor]

 3200 Deductive Logic

 3210 Inductive Logic

 5200 Advanced Deductive Logic

 5210 Advanced Inductive Logic

 5220 Rational Choice Theory



Last Updated: 7/19/18