Philosophy Major

A major in philosophy will introduce you to a wide range of fascinating questions, develop your capacity to think for yourself about challenging issues, and help prepare you for graduate study, professional training and work in any field that requires clear and responsible thinking.


We offer a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Philosophy plus three concentrations: two in the B.A. and one in the B.S. These different programs all cover basic core areas of philosophy that are essential to any good philosophy major, but they also allow students to pursue and showcase different areas of emphasis.


The Difference Between the B.A. the B.S. in Philosophy

The biggest differences between the B.A. in Philosophy and the B.S. in Philosophy arise from differences between the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ requirements for the B.A. and the B.S. These differences can be summarized as follows:

  • For the B.A., the College requires more courses in the humanities and social sciences, including a 3-credit 201-level course in a foreign language.
  • For the B.S., the College requires more courses in the natural sciences and mathematics, plus a 15-credit science or technology option.

The B.A. in Philosophy is, in general, best suited to:

  • students with strong interests in a foreign language, history or literature;
  • students who would like to transfer to a philosophy major from another major in the humanities or social sciences; and
  • students who would like to combine a major in philosophy with another major in the humanities or social sciences.

The B.S. in Philosophy is, in general, best suited to:

  • students with strong interests in mathematics, science, or technology;
  • students who would like to transfer to a philosophy major from a major in mathematics, science or technology; and
  • students who would like to combine a major in philosophy with another major in mathematics, science or technology.

The only difference between the departmental requirements for the B.A. in Philosophy without a concentration and the B.S. in Philosophy without a concentration is that one course in philosophy of science is required for the B.S. but not for the B.A.

B.A. in Philosophy

Candidates for this degree must complete 30 hours in philosophy, including the three hours of philosophy required of all Humanities and Social Sciences students:

For students declaring this major after Summer I 2014, at least one of the courses taken to satisfy these requirements must be a three-credit-hour, 400-level PHI or LOG course (other than PHI/LOG 498).

B.A. in Philosophy with a Concentration in Ethics

The concentration requires 30 hours in philosophy, including the three hours of philosophy required of all Humanities and Social Sciences students:

For students declaring this major after Summer I 2014, at least one of the courses taken to satisfy these requirements must be a three-credit-hour, 400-level PHI or LOG course (other than PHI/LOG 498).

B.A. in Philosophy with a Concentration in Philosophy of Law

The concentration requires 30 hours in philosophy, including the three hours of philosophy required of all Humanities and Social Sciences students:

For students declaring this major after Summer I 2014, at least one of the courses taken to satisfy these requirements must be a three-credit-hour, 400-level PHI or LOG course (other than PHI/LOG 498).

B.S. in Philosophy

Candidates for this degree must complete 30 hours in philosophy, including the three hours of philosophy required of all Humanities and Social Sciences students:

For students declaring this major after Summer I 2014, at least one of the courses taken to satisfy these requirements must be a three-credit-hour, 400-level PHI or LOG course (other than PHI/LOG 498).

B.S. in Philosophy with a Concentration in Logic, Representation and Reasoning

The concentration requires 30 hours in philosophy, not including the three hours of philosophy required of all Humanities and Social Sciences students:

Admission Requirements for Students Already at NC State

If you are a current NC State student and you wish to change your major to philosophy or to add a second major in philosophy, you will need to submit an online intra-campus transfer application using the Change of Degree Application (CODA) system.

  • Electronic applications will be reviewed immediately after each of the application deadlines: September 15, February 15, May 15 and July 1.
  • Students who have completed at least 12 credit hours at NC State with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher will be accepted automatically.
  • Students who have completed at least 12 credit hours at NC State with an overall GPA between 2.0 and 2.99 are subject to individual review.  It is recommended that these students complete at least one philosophy course with a grade of B- or better before applying.

For further information, please contact Ann Rives at ann_rives@ncsu.edu.

Philosophy Prize

The Philosophy Prize in Honor of Professor Robert S. Bryan was introduced in 2010/11. The prize, which includes a cash award, is presented each spring to the outstanding senior in philosophy. Past winners are:

  • 2017: Thomas Austin Olander
  • 2016: Arianna Sultana Nasser
  • 2015: Melodi T. Charles
  • 2014: Wilson Gray Maddrey
  • 2013: Kevin J.  Blackwell
  • 2012: Daniel C. Rowe
  • 2011: Jefferson Evans Guilford