The Philosophy Department offers a BA with four concentrations: Pre-Law and Applied Ethics; The Good Life; Science, Technology and Ethics; and Social Justice. A Minor in Philosophy is also available.
A degree in philosophy provides excellent training for critical thinking, writing and speaking. Philosophy majors regularly place in the top five in the LSAT (the law school entrance exam), the GMAT (the business school entrance exam), and the GRE (the graduate school entrance exam). Employers prize philosophy majors for their ability to think on their own, solve problems, and adapt to novel circumstances. Philosophy majors have a return on investment that is comparable to engineering majors and their mid-career salaries are the highest outside of the stem fields.
Pre-Law and Applied Ethics
Interested in issues of ethics, politics, and social justice? As a Philosophy Major at Sonoma State, you have the option of declaring a Pre-Law/Applied Ethics track. The courses provided in this concentration ensure Pre-Law/Applied Ethics students build the advanced critical thinking, writing, and argumentation skills that have Philosophy majors the Top-Performing majors on the LSAT (law school entrance exam).
The Good Life
If you are interested in questions about the meaning of life, about what constitutes a good life, and, about what possible place morality, religion, or spirituality might play in your life, then the Good Life concentration is for you. This concentration seeks to develop a philosophically rigorous understanding and awareness of existential questions. Students graduating from this concentration will be better equipped to orient themselves to what truly matters to them in the years ahead.
Science, Technology and Ethics
Science and technology are major forces that shape what it means to be human in the 21st century. Philosophers are engaged in the discussions that now rage over the ethical impacts of emerging technologies such as AI, Robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology as well as providing insight into cutting edge fields of science such as cognitive science, theoretical physics, and theoretical biology. This concentration seeks to develop philosophers who can add to these discussions and work in academia and industry to help build technologies that are more just and inclusive.
Are issues of inequality and oppression important to you? Concerned about matters of fairness and inclusion? Interested in the ways gender, race, sexuality, and class shape the world? The Social Justice concentration is designed to prepare students to think philosophically about justice, equality, equity, and inclusivity at local, national, and global levels. The courses aim to develop students’ critical sensibilities of whether and how relations of power shape individual experience, interpersonal relationships, social structures, and political processes.
A minor in philosophy is four classes. At least two classes must be upper division. At least three classes must be completed at SSU.
Program Learning Outcomes
While our students enjoy a wide range of benefits, the Philosophy Department aims for students who go through our program to be able to:
- Analyze and evaluate arguments
- Develop ability to argue persuasively for a thesis based on scholarly research
- Apply philosophical theory and methods to daily life
- Articulate and argue for core values (moral and non moral)