Undergraduate Program


The Department of Philosophy offers a wide range of courses to undergraduates interested in a major or minor in Philosophy or Philosophy/Law and Society.

The Philosophy Department at UC Riverside is a nationally ranked program with a genuinely pluralistic emphasis. We have strengths in specific areas of analytic philosophy, 19th and 20th-century European philosophy, and the history of philosophy (especially the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries).

For the last several years we have been ranked near the top worldwide in Agency Theory (or Philosophy of Action) and in 19th/20th Century Continental Philosophy, and we have strengths in Kant, the philosophy of mind and language, epistemology, the history of analytic philosophy, moral theory, legal theory and philosophy of religion. There is a large amount of interchange among the different areas of strength in the Department and most faculty work in multiple areas.

Ours is a program where students can study both contemporary analytic and contemporary European philosophy, where there is a strong presence in the history of philosophy, and where no rigid barriers between these different areas of philosophy exist.

The Philosophy major is designed to introduce students to the important issues and arguments surrounding such subjects as morality, knowledge, the nature of the mind, and the physical world, science, and language. The program provides a rigorous background in the history of Western philosophy and studies contemporary approaches (both analytic and Continental) to philosophical issues. The B.A. degree in Philosophy prepares students for graduate study in philosophy and is also excellent preparation for law school. For students interested in a double major, philosophy also serves as an excellent complement to psychology, mathematics, political science, and the natural sciences.

The Philosophy/Law and Society major offers students a means of understanding complex relationships between social institutions and provides a strong basis for graduate studies in areas related to law and philosophy. The Philosophy/Law and Society curriculum is the sound background for students planning on pursuing the study of law.

Track for Distinction in Philosophy is designed for upper-division students who are in love with philosophy, especially for those who want to pursue philosophy further at the graduate level, but more generally for those who would like to enhance their undergraduate experience. It involves additional requirements beyond those for the standard major, training in independent research in philosophy, additional mentorship, and a special designation of the Distinction in Philosophy (somewhat similar to honors) on the student's transcript.