Skip to main content
Indiana University Bloomington

Undergraduate Program

Major in Philosophy


The major in philosophy leads to the B.A. degree and is flexible enough to meet the needs and interests of a wide range of students. On the other hand, those who are planning to pursue further graduate studies in philosophy will be well-prepared by the major to do so.


Students must complete a minimum of 30 hours (you can of course take more!). No more than three credit hours of course work in the category of Introductory Courses (that is, any 100-level courses plus P240 and P270) may be included in the 30 credit hour minimum. Students are required to take:

  • P250: Introductory Symbolic Logic
  • At least one course at or above the 200-level in History of Philosophy
  • At least one course at or above the 300-level in Ethics and Value Theory
  • At least one course at or above the 300-level in Epistemology and Metaphysics
  • At least one 400-level course from among the following:
    • P401: History of Philosophy (Special Topics)
    • P470: Special Topics in Philosophy
    • P498: Senior Seminar
    • P499: Honor Thesis
      (P498 and P499 are reserved for students in the Honors Program in Philosophy.)

A complete listing of philosophy classes indicating which courses fit into these five categories is available in the Bulletin of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students must also complete the overall degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.


An exemplary plan of course work for majors who are considering graduate study in Philosophy might be:

  • two courses in Logic (including P250, which should be completed at the earliest opportunity)
  • four courses in History of Philosophy (e.g., P201, P211, P301 or P304, and P401)
  • two courses in Epistemology and Metaphysics (e.g., P310 and P312)
  • one course in Ethics and social-political philosophy (e.g., P340 or P342)

(Varied interests in particular areas of philosophy will, of course, suggest other, equally worthwhile plans of coursework.)

NOTE: The Department of Philosophy is currently considering or developing several additional interdepartmental and special-track major programs. Please consult with our departmental advisors as you plan a course of study in philosophy, to explore other options that may become available to you.


Students planning to transfer philosophy credits toward a major in philosophy should consult with one of the departmental academic advisers. Of the 30 hours required for the major in philosophy, at least thirteen must be completed in residence on the Bloomington campus. These thirteen hours will usually be 300- and 400- level courses taken from at least three of the following areas:

  • Logic
  • Ethics
  • History of Philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Metaphysics

The philosophy undergraduate advisor should be consulted with any problems or questions.