College of Arts and Sciences

Philosophy is the study of fundamental issues concerning reality, knowledge, values and ethics. It is dedicated to probing the foundations of things, to asking questions and to thinking about what sorts of answers to our questions should be satisfying. Through the study of philosophy, students build skills of critical reflection, careful reading and writing and creative thinking. Generally speaking, training in philosophy will be valuable in any occupation that requires examination and analysis of problems, critical evaluation of alternative perspectives and solutions and rational advocacy of one’s conclusions. The undergraduate program in the Department of Philosophy offers a program of study leading to a BA degree, as well as a minor. The department also offers, jointly with the Department of History, a BA degree in History and Philosophy of Science. Graduates of these degree programs pursue careers in fields such as business, psychology, nonprofit, law, global health and the arts.

Major category: Minimum requirements

Minor available

Curricular options: Philosophy, Ethics

Topic: Social sciences

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Philosophy is a minimum requirements major. You may declare this major after enrolling at the UW and completing the prerequisites. Visit the department website for more information.

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission. Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline: Must enroll at the UW before applying to the major.
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.

Courses required for the major:

  • 10 credits of Philosophy course work
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 153
Total from Washington community colleges: 21

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: 7
3.50 – 3.74: 7
3.25 – 3.49: <5
3.00 – 3.24: <5
2.75 – 2.99: <5
2.50 – 2.74: <5
2.49 and below: <5

Career outcomes