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Religious Studies Program

The Cal Poly Philosophy Department houses a Religious Studies program with a wide variety of courses in GE and a Religious Studies minor.

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Between the Species

Between the Species online journal logoAn online philosophy journal about the relationship between humans and animals.
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Ethics Group


Cal Poly's Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group focuses on the implications and impact of emerging sciences and technologies.
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Future Students

Our majors enter the Philosophy program at Cal Poly from a variety of different pathways. Some declared the major upon starting their university career at Cal Poly. Some transfer to Cal Poly from another college or university. Some Cal Poly students change their major to philosophy, and a few add philosophy as a second major. 

How do you want to become a philosophy major at Cal Poly?

For high school students considering majoring in philosophy at Cal Poly

To learn about what philosophy is, and why studying philosophy is important, continue reading here.

To learn about why studying philosophy is good career preparation, continue reading here

To see recent events in the philosophy department, check out our News and Events here.

To learn about the interests of our faculty follow the links for each of them here.

Philosophy majors have the opportunity to participate in Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competitions. For more information about our Ethics Bowl program, continue reading here.

The philosophy majors have an ASI Philosophy Club. For more information, continue reading here

Philosophy majors can serve on the Philosophy Student Advisory Committee which meets a few times each quarter to discuss the business of the department and to provide feedback on class scheduling, curriculum, hiring, alumni relations, and the use of College Based Fees in the department. For more information about the Philosophy Student Advisory Committee (PHIL SAC), continue reading here

The Cal Poly Catalog lists all the philosophy courses here. You can see our plans for tentative course offerings here. The Cal Poly Philosophy BA requirements are available here.

For students at another college or university interested in transferring to Cal Poly as a philosophy major

Transferring to a Philosophy major at Cal Poly is pretty straightforward. The College of Liberal Arts has general information for transfer students here. Specific guidance for philosophy majors enrolling in classes in their first Fall quarter at Cal Poly can be found here. Our advice for our prospective majors is available here

The Cal Poly Catalog lists all the philosophy courses here. You can see our plans for tentative course offerings here. The Cal Poly Philosophy BA requirements are available here.

You probably have some idea of what philosophy is, and why studying philosophy is important that you have gathered from your experience with philosophy courses at your current college or university, but if you want to see what we think of those topics, continue reading here

When you transfer to Cal Poly you will be halfway to your graduation. You may be thinking already about your post-graduate career. To learn about why studying philosophy is good career preparation, continue reading here. To see the Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts Career Services events planned for the upcoming year, continue reading here.

To see recent events in the philosophy department, check out our News and Events here.

To learn about the interests of our faculty, follow the links for each of them here.

Philosophy majors have the opportunity to participate in Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competitions. If you are interested in participating in Ethics Bowl in your first Fall quarter at Cal Poly, you should have completed an ethics course at your current college or university. You should also contact the director of our Ethics Bowl program by email if you have any specific questions about Ethics Bowl. For more information about our Ethics Bowl program, continue reading here.

The philosophy majors have an ASI Philosophy Club. For more information, continue reading here

Philosophy majors can serve on the Philosophy Student Advisory Committee which meets a few times each quarter to discuss the business of the department and to provide feedback on class scheduling, curriculum, hiring, alumni relations, and the use of College Based Fees in the department. For more information about the Philosophy Student Advisory Committee (PHIL SAC), continue reading here

For Cal Poly students interested in changing major to Philosophy

Although changing a major at Cal Poly can be challenging, changing your major to Philosophy is usually rather straightforward. In addition to degree requirements and electives, and general education units, the Philosophy BA includes 40 units of free electives. Students who are considering changing majors may worry about losing their units of coursework from their current major and thus delaying their progress to their degree. Our 40 units of free electives will go pretty far in absorbing those otherwise unused major requirements. 

Those considering changing major to philosophy should talk with the chair of the philosophy department or one of our major advisors to sort out how far along you already are in meeting the requirements for the BA in Philosophy. The short story is that you need to complete GE area A3 and take PHIL 230 and 231, meeting minimum GPA requirements along the way. Completing these course requirements need not take any longer than two quarters. See the Philosophy Department chair for permission to add those courses. The College of Liberal Arts offers the complete package of information about how to change major to Philosophy here.

The Cal Poly Philosophy BA requirements are available here. The Cal Poly Catalog lists all the philosophy courses here. You can see our plans for tentative course offerings here

You may have some idea of what philosophy is from taking a philosophy class in GE, but if you want to see what we think philosophy is and why studying philosophy is important, continue reading here.

Those thinking of changing majors may be thinking already about their post-graduate careers. To learn about why studying philosophy is good career preparation, continue reading here. To see the Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts Career Services events planned for the upcoming year, continue reading here.

To see recent events in the philosophy department, check out our News and Events here.

To learn about the interests of our faculty, follow the links for each of them here.

Philosophy majors have the opportunity to participate in Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competitions. If you are interested in participating in Ethics Bowl in your first Fall quarter as a Cal Poly philosophy major, you should have completed an ethics course such as PHIL 231, which will be part of the coursework you need to complete to change your major to philosophy. You should also contact the director of our Ethics Bowl program by email if you have any specific questions about Ethics Bowl. For more information about our Ethics Bowl program, continue reading here.

The philosophy majors have an ASI Philosophy Club. For more information, continue reading here

Philosophy majors can serve on the Philosophy Student Advisory Committee which meets a few times each quarter to discuss the business of the department and to provide feedback on class scheduling, curriculum, hiring, alumni relations, and the use of College Based Fees in the department. For more information about the Philosophy Student Advisory Committee (PHIL SAC), continue reading here

For Cal Poly students interested in adding philosophy as a second major

Degree programs at Cal Poly are pretty intense, typically with few or no free electives. The thought of adding a second major is therefore not to be taken lightly. That said, in terms of additional units and requirements, adding Philosophy as a second major rather is straightforward and manageable.

In addition to degree requirements and electives, and general education units, the Philosophy BA includes 40 units of free electives, and double-counts courses in GE areas A and C. These factors mean that a second major of Philosophy requires around 61-68 units of additional coursework, depending on your other major and how you want to complete your senior project.

Those interested in adding the Philosophy BA as a second major should meet with the chair of the Philosophy Department who will help you work out the academic plan for completing both of your degrees. The office hours for the department chair are available on the Faculty and Staff directory.

Information about adding a second major is available on the College of Liberal Arts website under the Current Students link..

The Cal Poly Catalog lists all the philosophy courses here. You can see our plans for tentative course offerings here. The Cal Poly Philosophy BA requirements are available here.

You may have some idea of what philosophy is from taking a philosophy class in GE, but if you want to see what we think philosophy is and why studying philosophy is important, continue reading here.

Those thinking of changing majors may be thinking already about their post-graduate careers. To learn about why studying philosophy is good career preparation, continue reading here. To see the Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts Career Services events planned for the upcoming year, continue reading here.

To see recent events in the philosophy department, check out our News and Events here.

To learn about the interests of our faculty, follow the links for each of them here.

Philosophy majors have the opportunity to participate in Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competitions. If you are interested in participating in Ethics Bowl in your first Fall quarter at Cal Poly, you should have completed an ethics course such as PHIL 231, which is part of the required coursework to add philosophy as a second major. You should also contact the director of our Ethics Bowl program by email if you have any specific questions about Ethics Bowl. For more information about our Ethics Bowl program, continue reading here.

The philosophy majors have an ASI Philosophy Club. For more information, continue reading here

Philosophy majors can serve on the Philosophy Student Advisory Committee which meets a few times each quarter to discuss the business of the department and to provide feedback on class scheduling, curriculum, hiring, alumni relations, and the use of College Based Fees in the department. For more information about the Philosophy Student Advisory Committee (PHIL SAC), continue reading here

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