This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy requires a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 30 of those credits in philosophy. Fifteen of these credits must be selected from upper-level philosophy courses.

Students whose main interests in philosophy are ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law or public policy (and who may wish to pursue graduate work in law, political science, economics and related areas) will probably want to choose the ethics and public policy concentration.

Student learning outcomes

Philosophy core outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a good knowledge of and facility with the methods and concepts of modern, analytic philosophy
  2. Demonstrate a good knowledge of the current state of academic discussion of some of the central philosophical topics
  3. Demonstrate some knowledge of the history of philosophy, including both major themes and movements and some specific figures and systems
  4. Demonstrate the ability to think critically and systemically about philosophical problems, both abstract and practical, and to write clearly and cogently about them
  5. Demonstrate the ability to construct and analyze arguments clearly and cogently, independently of their subject matter

Ethics and public policy concentration-specific outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a good knowledge of public policy in areas such as politics, economics and law
  2. Demonstrate a good knowledge of philosophical questions about public policy in areas such as politics, economics and law
 

Degree requirements for Philosophy, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a concentration in ethics and public policy

Course Title Hours
General education
Select 30 credits of general education courses in consultation with an adviser.30
Major requirements
• Major core requirements
PHIL 103History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy3
PHIL 104History of Modern Philosophy3
PHIL 222Logic3
PHIL 490Seminar in Philosophy3
• Additional major requirements
PHIL 300Philosophical Concepts3
or PHIL 301 Metaphysics
or PHIL 302 Epistemology
or PHIL 303 Philosophy of Language
or PHIL 304 Philosophy of Mind
or PHIL 332 Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
Select two of the following:6
Philosophy of Law
Normative Ethics
Metaethics
Social and Political Philosophy
• Major electives
PHIL elective (any level)3
Non-PHIL courses (from list below)6
Ancillary requirements
HUMS 202Choices in a Consumer Society1
PHIL 201Introduction to Ethics 13
or PHIL 202 Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
or PHIL 211 History of Ethics
or PHIL 212 Ethics and Applications
or PHIL 213 Ethics and Health Care
or PHIL 214 Ethics and Business
Experiential fine arts 21-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement)0-6
Open electives
Select any course.47-55
Total Hours120
1

PHIL 201 satisfies general education BOK for humanities/fine arts and AOI for diversities in the human experience; PHIL 202 satisfies general education BOK for humanities/fine arts and AOI for scientific and logical reasoning. Students who chose this course will take additional electives to fulfill degree requirements.

2

Course offered by the School of the Arts

The minimum number of credit hours required for this degree is 120.

Non-PHIL course options for major requirements (choose two)

Course Title Hours
CRJS 324Courts and Sentencing3
CRJS 355Criminological Theory3
ECON 301Microeconomic Theory3
ECON 302Macroeconomic Theory3
ECON 419History of Economic Thought3
POLI 310Public Policy3
POLI 314U.S. Constitutional Law: Structure of Government3
POLI 315Courts and Politics3
SOCY 302Contemporary Social Problems3
SOCY 430Politics, Power and Ideology3
Other appropriate courses approved by the Department of Philosophy

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

 
Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
UNIV 101 Introduction to the University 1
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I (satisfies general education UNIV foundations) 3
Experiential fine arts 1-3
General education course 3
General education course 3
Open elective 3
 Term Hours: 14-16
Spring semester
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II (satisfies general education UNIV foundations) 3
General education course 3
General education course 3
Open electives 6
 Term Hours: 16
Sophomore year
Fall semester
PHIL 103
History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
or History of Modern Philosophy
3
PHIL 201
Introduction to Ethics 1
or Ethics of Artificial Intelligence 1
or History of Ethics 1
or Ethics and Applications 1
or Ethics and Health Care 1
or Ethics and Business 1
3
UNIV 200 Advanced Focused Inquiry: Literacies, Research and Communication (satisfies general education UNIV foundations) 3
Foreign language 101 3
Open elective (or select general education course if PHIL 201 was not selected above) 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
PHIL 104
History of Modern Philosophy
or History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
3
PHIL 222 Logic 3
Foreign language 102 3
General education course (select BOK to complete breadth of knowledge requirement) 3
General education course (select BOK to complete breadth of knowledge requirement) 3
 Term Hours: 15
Junior year
Fall semester
PHIL 320
Philosophy of Law
or Normative Ethics
or Metaethics
or Social and Political Philosophy
3
Non-PHIL course (from list) 3
Open electives 9
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
PHIL 320
Philosophy of Law
or Normative Ethics
or Metaethics
or Social and Political Philosophy
3
Non-PHIL course (from list) 3
Open electives 9
 Term Hours: 15
Senior year
Fall semester
PHIL 300
Philosophical Concepts
or Metaphysics
or Epistemology
or Philosophy of Language
or Philosophy of Mind
or Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
3
PHIL elective 3
Open electives 9
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
PHIL 490 Seminar in Philosophy 3
Open electives 12
 Term Hours: 15
 Total Hours: 120-122
1

PHIL 201 satisfies general education BOK for humanities/fine arts and AOI for diversities in the human experience; PHIL 202 satisfies general education BOK for humanities/fine arts and AOI for diversities in the human experience. Students who chose this course will take additional electives to fulfill degree requirements.

The minimum number of credit hours required for this degree is 120.