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.

Minor available

Major category: Minimum requirements

Topic: Social sciences

Applicant type


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

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).


Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline:
  • You must enroll at the UW before applying to this major. Please contact the department for additional details.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Career outcomes