Philosophy, B.A.

Bachelor of Arts
  • Male student in classroom

The great philosophers throughout time have all understood that behind the experience of life is its deeper meaning—a philosophy. As a philosophy major at Fresno Pacific University, your pursuit of wisdom will take you through a logical investigation of reality, knowledge and morality. Our courses familiarize you with classic and foundational texts in philosophy and its main components. You will graduate with the tools of the philosopher—observation, reflection and analysis—and with these skills you can examine political and public issues and actively serve as a conscience in society and the church.


  • Recognize, categorize and critically evaluate contemporary philosophers and philosophical schools of thought.
  • Understand significant portions of the history of philosophy and of the way Christian intellectual traditions have both enriched and been enriched by that history of inquiry.
  • Engage and articulate contemporary philosophical problems and describe the ways philosophers have grappled with fundamental questions about reality, knowledge, ethics, aesthetics and the human condition (among others).
  • Communicate with precise philosophical argumentation, reason-informed critical reflection and clear argumentative prose, and recognize as well as critically evaluate the validity and truth of philosophical arguments.

Career opportunities

Philosophy is cross-disciplinary in scope, drawing upon faculty and courses in all divisions of the college, and preparing you for diverse career options. Our graduates possess the critical thinking skills that in high demand in today’s evolving job market. You’ll be prepared for careers in data management and analysis, writing and ministry, as well as graduate study in theology, religious studies and many more.

Course listing

In order to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Fresno Pacific University, students must complete at least 120 units. Along with completing all required courses in their selected area of study, general education requirements must be met by all graduates. See the general education summary in the undergraduate academic catalog for more information.

Select programs may not provide enough units for a student to graduate and therefore an emphasis and/or elective courses must be completed alongside the major. Please see below for emphases related to this area of study.

General Education Prerequisites (3 Units)

PHIL 100Introduction to Philosophy3

Required Courses* (Minimum 33 Units)

PHIL 103Logic and Critical Thinking3
PHIL 110Introduction to Philosophical Ethics3
PHIL 331Ancient Philosophy3
PHIL 335
or PHIL 450
Modern Philosophy
or History of Political Theory and Ideas
PHIL 485Senior Project3


Select at least 18 units from the following

PHIL 286Topics in Philosophy **3
BUS 365Business Ethics3
HIST 435American Intellectual History4
HIST 360Greece: Drama and Paideia in the Polis4
LIT 426English Literature: C.S. Lewis3
LIT 460Critical Approaches to Literature3
PHIL 330Ancient and Medieval Rhetoric3
PHIL 333Medieval Philosophy3
PHIL 340Eastern Philosophy3
PHIL 370Bioethics3
PHIL 393Twentieth Century Western Thought3
PHIL 405Philosophy of Religion3
PHIL 430American Wilderness Literature and Philosophy3
PHIL 450History of Political Theory and Ideas3
PHIL 455Philosophy of Language3
PHIL 460Philosophy of History3
PHIL 470History and Philosophy of Science4
PHIL 486Topics in Philosophy **3
PSY 450History and Systems of Psychology4
THEO 430Contemporary Theologies3

*An upper-division course from another program may count toward the philosophy major if the course is pertinent to the philosophy major and approved by the philosophy program director. In addition to PHIL 100, philosophy majors are strongly encouraged to take PHIL 103, PHIL 331 and PHIL 335 before taking other upper-division courses.

** Multiple iterations of PHIL 286 or PHIL 486 can be taken, when the topic designation of each course is distinct from other iterations student has completed.

Program director

Nathan Carson
Nathan Carson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Philosophy