Take the first step to a career as a lawyer, politician, motivational speaker, writer and more with an Associate of Arts Degree in Philosophy.
Philosophers ask the big questions, such as “Why am I here?”, “Is there a God?” and “How do we tell right from wrong?” Philosophy emphasizes thinking as a pleasurable end in itself and as a method of critical inquiry. This helps develop theories that enable us to understand the world and our place within it.
In this program, you’ll study ancient philosophy, including the thoughts and teachings of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle; Asian philosophy, which introduces belief systems such as Taoism and Buddhism; and philosophy of love, law, mind, art and education. You’ll also study ethics and learn about the connection between religion and philosophy, all while honing your critical-thinking skills. Courses also explore the influence of science on society, the problems with philosophy, and logical reasoning.
Get a jump start on year three with the Summer Institute
The Summer Institute for Continental Philosophy acts like a third-year Philosophy course, PHIL 3380, which is attended by members of the Philosophy Department and scholars, and includes a lecture by a visiting guest speaker. The course is held once a week and is open to any post-secondary student enrolled in B.C.
Transfer your credits to university
An Associate of Arts Degree in Philosophy can lead to a Philosophy Major or Minor Bachelor of Arts Degree program at a university. Many universities prefer candidates with an Associate Degree and will accept students at a lower grade point average. In most cases, this degree will allow you to transfer to the third year of a four-year bachelor’s degree program at other universities.
- Successful completion of 60 credits as listed below
- Require a minimum GPA of 2.00
(Specializations will be noted on the transcript and will not be noted on the credential)
To complete an Associate of Arts Degree with a Specialization in Philosophy, students must complete:
- 18 or more credits (of the 60 credits required for their associate degree) in Philosophy
- nine of those 18 credits must be considered second-year courses. To qualify as a second-year course, a course must transfer to one of the research universities (SFU, UBC, UBC-O, UVic, or UNBC) at the second-year level.
The following are the general requirements for an Associate of Arts Degree at any B.C. college:
- 6 credits (2 courses) English* electives
- 6 credits (2 courses) Humanities electives
- 6 credits (2 courses) Social Sciences electives
- 6 credits (2 courses) Arts** electives
- 18 credits (6 courses) second-year Arts** electives in 2 or more subject areas
- 3 credits (1 course) Lab Science elective
- 3 credits (1 course) Math, Statistics or Computing Science elective
- 3 credits (1 course) Math, Statistics or Science elective
- 9 credits (3 courses) other University Transfer electives
* English courses can include courses in written Communications and Creative Writing that transfer to one of the B.C. research universities (SFU, UBC, UBC-O, UVic or UNBC) as English credit. A maximum of 3 credits can come from such an equivalent; at least 3 credits must be earned in an actual ENGL course so-named. For purposes of the Associate of Arts degree, English courses cannot be counted as Humanities courses.
** Arts courses are available in the Faculty of Languages, Literature, and Performing Arts, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. To confirm whether a course is designated as "humanities" or "social sciences", check with an Academic Advisor. Courses in Economics and Mathematics also may be used as Arts electives toward an Associate of Arts Degree.
A course is defined by the subject for which it is granted transfer credit at one of the research universities (SFU, UBC, UBC-O, UNBC, or UVic).
- An Arts course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Arts Degree at one of the research universities.
- A Science course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Science Degree or Baccalaureate of Applied Science Degree at one of the research universities.
- The requirements specified above are intended to provide breadth of exposure to a variety of disciplines in both Arts and Sciences. In some instances there may be some ambiguity as to whether a course is in the Humanities or Social Sciences and is an Arts course or a Science course. Most Physical Geography and Mathematics would be designated as Science courses.
- A course in an "other" area is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate Degree other than in Arts, Science or Applied Science at one of the research universities.
- A first-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 100-level at one of the research universities.
- A second-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 200-level or higher level at one of the research universities.
- A laboratory science course is one in which a substantial component of instruction involves the study of natural phenomena, either in the laboratory or in the field.
For detailed information you should meet with an Academic Advisor.
Co-operative Education Option:
Students enrolled in this program may be eligible for a Co-operative Education designation. Co-operative Education involves alternating full-time academic and work terms. For information contact the Co-operative Education Office.
Applicants must meet the admission requirements listed below:
You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page.
Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.
Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.