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Major & Minor


Major & Minor

General Information

The City College offers the following undergraduate degree in Philosophy: B.A.

Programs and Objectives

The discipline of philosophy is concerned with understanding reality and human action via systematic analysis and argument. It surveys important and influential ideas of the past and present, examines their presuppositions, and provides the student with the instruments of a reflective and responsible life.

If you need advising please contact Prof. Katherine Ritchie, ext. 7643. Her office hours are Tuesdays 2:30-4:30pm and Wednesdays 12:45-1:45pm.

Requirements for Majors

After completing their core requirements, students ought to have ample credits left over to distribute between a concentration program and free electives. Students should consult the Department Chair or a Department Advisor to identify a concentration program best suited to their academic interests (e.g. in the philosophy of natural and/or social science, logic and mathematics, ethical theory, law, etc.). Students should choose free elec- tives not only as a supplement to their concentration program, but as an opportunity to pursue their intellectual interests and broaden their per- spectives. Students may also jointly major in Philosophy and another disci- pline, such as English, History, Physics or Psychology.

BA Philosophy students are required to maintain a major GPA of 2.0 or higher. The GPA in the major is calculated from courses in the major based in the major department only, and that have been taken at City College or through ePermit, including all courses in excess of the minimum required for the degree. In addition, students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 and above to graduate with a BA in Philosophy.General Information

Required Courses

One of the following two:

PHIL 20200: Introduction to Logic
PHIL 20100: Logical Reasoning
(3 credits partial)


PHIL 30500: History of Philosophy I
PHIL 30600: History of Philosophy II
(9 credits partial)

Plus three of the following in core areas:

PHIL 30700: Metaphysics and Epistemology
PHIL 30800: Ethics
PHIL 30900: Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 32200: Philosophy of Science
PHIL 32300: Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 32400: Philosophy of Language
PHIL 32500: Aesthetics
PHIL 35000: Major Philosophers
(18 credits partial)

Plus four additional PHIL courses above 30000
(30 credits total)

Here is a handy checklist for majoring in Philosophy.

General Education Requirements ("Pathways")

In general, students are required to complete 42 credits of General Educa- tion coursework, with some adjustments for transfer students. See the General Education Requirements (“Pathways”) section of the Bulletin for more information.

Dual Major

The Philosophy Department offers a range of courses on a regular basis specially suited to students wishing to major in both philosophy and law, psychology, English, history, education, and other disciplines. Please read the introductory section on dual majors and contact the Department for specific information on specific programs.

Requirements for Minor

Required Courses

One of the following four:

PHIL 10200: Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 20100: Logical Reasoning
PHIL 20200: Introduction to logic
Any 30000-level Philosophy course
(3 credits partial)

Plus five additional PHIL courses above 30000
(18 credits total)

Here is a handy checklist for minoring in Philosophy.


The department Chair and all full-time members of the Department serve as department advisors. Their office hours are posted at the beginning of every semester.

Majors in the Department of Philosophy are expected to maintain a mini- mum GPA of 2.5. Those who fall below that number will be called in for a conference with a departmental advisor to discuss ways of improving aca- demic performance. The advisor may recommend taking a particular course for better preparation, meeting with a tutor in the Writing Center, taking a course load lower than 15 credits, or other strategies for achieving academic success. All students should try to maintain the highest possible GPA in order to enhance their prospects for acceptance to graduate programs and career opportunities.

Department Activities

The Philosophy Department has a student-operated Philosophy Club, which meets regularly during club hours (Thursday 12:00–2:00 p.m.) during the academic year. Information about Philosophy Club activities is listed on the Department Notice Board opposite NA 5/144. The Philosophy Department also runs its own colloquium series, with talks presented by members of the philosophy department and by visiting speakers.


The Philosophy Department tries to maintain a student-operated tutorial service. Students who feel that they need tutorial help should contact the Department Secretary for further information.


The department awards prizes (usually to graduating seniors) for excel- lence in various areas:

Brittain Prize: Moral Philosophy
Felix S. Cohen Prize: Philosophy of Law
Ketchum Prize: History of Philosophy
Sperling Award: Best Student
Ward Medal: General Excellence in Philosophy

For detailed information see, the Guide to the City College Prizes, Awards, and Medals in the office of the department Chair.

For more information, please consult the chapter entitled Degree Requirements at the end of the Bulletin.

Contact Us

Philosophy Department
North Academic Building (NAC 5/144C)
160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031


Departmental Chair

Assoc. Professor Ben Vilhauer

P | (212) 650-7291
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