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 with a concentration in philosophy and science is an interdisciplinary curriculum requiring a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 30 of those credits in the major area, at least half of which must be upper-level.

Students with a strong interest in the philosophy of science and the relation between philosophy and science (and those considering graduate work in an area of science) will probably want to choose the philosophy and science 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 systematically 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

Philosophy and science concentration-specific outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a good knowledge of philosophical questions about scientific inquiry including but not limited to questions about scientific explanation, the confirmation and disconfirmation of scientific theories, and what distinguishes science from non-science
  2. Demonstrate a good knowledge of a particular area of science including the research methods of that area of science

Degree requirements for Philosophy, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a concentration in philosophy and science

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 331Philosophy of Science3
Select two of the following:6
Philosophical Concepts
Metaphysics
Epistemology
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Law
Normative Ethics
Metaethics
Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
Social and Political Philosophy
• Scientific focus area
Choose one of the scientific focus areas listed below. Each focus area consists of a three-credit course on the research methods of a scientific discipline and six upper-level credits in that discipline.9
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.

Scientific focus areas

Anthropology

Course Title Hours
Archaeological Theory
Archaeological Methods and Research Design
Select six additional upper-level credits in ANTH courses

Bioinformatics

Course Title Hours
Integrative Life Sciences Research
Select six upper-level credits in BNFO courses.

Chemistry

Course Title Hours
Quantitative Analysis
Experiencing Science
Select six additional upper-level credits in CHEM courses

Computer science

Course Title Hours
Introduction to the Theory of Computation
Select six additional upper-level credits in CMSC courses

Economics

Course Title Hours
Contemporary Economic Issues
Select six additional upper-level credits in ECON courses

Environmental studies

Course Title Hours
Integrative Life Sciences Research
Select six additional upper-level credits in ENVS courses

Mathematical sciences

Course Title Hours
Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning
Select six additional upper-level credits in MATH or STAT or OPER courses

Political science

Course Title Hours
Research Methods in Political Science
Select six additional upper-level credits in POLI courses

Psychology

Course Title Hours
Experimental Methods 1
Select six additional upper-level credits in PSYC courses
1

This course is restricted to the majors in the relevant program.

Sociology

Course Title Hours
Research Methods in Political Science
Select six additional upper-level credits in SOCY courses

Physics

Course Title Hours
Modern Physics
Experiencing Science
Select six additional upper-level credits in PHYS courses (or 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 331 Philosophy of Science 3
Open electives 9
Scientific focus area upper-level course 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
PHIL 300
Philosophical Concepts
or Metaphysics
or Epistemology
or Philosophy of Language
or Philosophy of Mind
or Philosophy of Law
or Normative Ethics
or Metaethics
or Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
or Social and Political Philosophy
3
Open electives 9
Scientific focus area research methods course 3
 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 Law
or Normative Ethics
or Metaethics
or Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
or Social and Political Philosophy
3
Open electives 9
Scientific focus area upper-level course 3
 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 scientific and logical reasoning. Students who choose these courses will take additional electives to fulfill degree requirements.

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