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Undergraduate Program

Explore The Department of Philosophy

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Why Philosophy?

You are already very interested in philosophy.

If you find yourself asking questions like: What is the point of our lives? Why is there something rather than nothing? Is there really anything absolute (anything absolutely true, good, right, beautiful, or false, evil, wrong, ugly…) in the world?  Should I care about some things more than others, or why should I care about anything at all? –  then you are already interested in philosophy and are in fact already actively philosophizing, even if you don’t yet know it by that name. 

The Philosophy courses at UCSD will teach you about some of the most exciting attempts to find answers to these and other important questions, while also teaching you the critical and analytical skills to rigorously assess the cases that have been made on behalf of these answers. 

Become part of a long and broad intellectual tradition.

UCSD Philosophy courses will also put you into conversation with some of the brightest and most creative minds in human history. Philosophy is an ancient discipline, whose name comes from the Greek words for ‘love of important knowledge’. 

Some of the most influential innovators in the sciences (such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein) were serious students of philosophy; the same is true in politics (Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr.), arts and culture (Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Albert Camus, Susan Sontag, Lana Del Rey, Stephen Colbert), and even among recent tech leaders (founders of LinkedIn, PayPal, Flickr).

Get the best preparation for graduate study and for a rewarding career.

Across the country, Philosophy undergraduates consistently score at the very top of the graduate school admissions exams: tied for 1st (with Physics) in the GREs (general exam for grad school), 3rd in the LSATs (law school), and 4th in the GMATs (medical school). Philosophy undergraduates also are tied for 1st (with Math) in the percentage growth in their salary from early to mid-career.  UCSD Philosophy majors and minors have enjoyed this success as well, and regularly gain admission to the top graduate schools, law schools, and medical schools, and go on to have very successful careers. For some examples, visit

Join a lively community.

UCSD’s Philosophy Department offers classes at all levels on a wide variety of subjects, many with smaller class sizes, taught by faculty members with a national and international recognition for excellence in teaching and philosophical research. The Philosophy Department also has a very active Undergraduate Philosophy Club, which sponsors social and academic events throughout the year, and provides a great space for finding fellow deep and careful thinkers – like you!


Learning Objectives

 Inventory of Education Effectiveness Indicators