Philosophy - Prelaw Option, B.A.


Department of Philosophy

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements Philosophy - Prelaw Option

Students must select from the Philosophy Major, the Prelaw Option, or the Religious Studies Option.

1. Philosophy Major requirements (33 units)
Core (18 units)
Lower-division: PHIL 25
Upper-division: PHIL 101, PHIL 115, PHIL 126, PHIL 131, PHIL 170T

Prelaw Option (15 units)
The Prelaw Option emphasizes critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as ethics and issues related to law. It also includes a law-related intern experience. Law schools do not prefer any specific major, but emphasize critical thinking and general education. (See Preprofessional Preparation). Students with a strong interest in philosophy as well as law may find this option valuable. Depending upon the interests of the student, courses or minors in political science, business, criminology, and a variety of social sciences would be useful electives for the Prelaw Option.

Required courses: PHIL 127, PHIL 199
Choose one course (3 units) from: PHIL 118, PHIL 121, PHIL 122, PHIL 125W, PHIL 157
Choose one approved upper-division philosophy elective (3 units)
Choose one course (3 units) from: AFRS 146, ANTH 119, BA 18, COMM 105, COMM 149, COMM 163, CRIM 20, PLSI 110, PLSI 111, PLSI 170, PLSI 171

2. General Education requirements (48 units)

3. Other requirements (9 units)
American Government and Institutions (PLSI 2), Multicultural and International (MI), and Upper-division writing 

4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies) 

5. Total units (120)*

* G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements.  See advisor for details. This total indicates that PHIL 25 (3 units) in G.E. Foundation A3 may be applied to the philosophy major.

Advising Notes

  1. CR/NC grading is not permitted in courses used to fulfill the philosophy major requirements.
  2. General Education and elective units may be used toward a double major or minor (See Degree Requirements). Consult the appropriate department chair, program coordinator, or faculty advisor for further information.
  3. Students intending to pursue graduate study in philosophy, law, or religious studies should seek a faculty advisor's help in planning adequate preparation.
  4. Visit the Philosophy Department office or your faculty advisor for the list of approved T classes for the major.


The department has a diverse and well-trained faculty with special interests ranging from logic and scientific method to existentialism and philosophy of religion. All members of the department share the conviction that the best way to teach philosophy is through an intense but sympathetic interchange between the teacher and the student.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.


B.A. in Philosophy - Prelaw Option

A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.

For the most up-to-date roadmap, please contact the College Advising Center or check your My Degree Plan.

Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.

If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.


Student studying on campus

Philosophy is one of the fundamental domains of human thought. It grows out of basic life questions, including questions of ethics, religion, politics, and science. The study of philosophy has had an historic role in the core of sound education, because it helps sharpen skills of careful, independent thinking and aids people of all ages in defining their most important values and beliefs. The examination of great philosophical ideas, and the emphasis on clear reasoning and personal development that are involved in philosophy serve as a strong foundation for life, regardless of one's career objectives.

The Department of Philosophy offers students the following opportunities for a rich and rewarding undergraduate experience: the traditional B.A. philosophy major, the prelaw option, the religious studies option, and the philosophy minor. The department provides ample opportunity for individual attention and student participation in its activities, e.g., student Philosophy Club, symposia, colloquia, etc.

What You Can Do

  • Continue education with a goal of achieving a degree in law
  • Pursue advanced degree in religion or a religious vocation
  • Pursue careers in government or business

Interesting Classes You Might Take

  • Self, Religion and Society
  • Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • Twentieth Century Philosophy
  • Contemporary Conflicts of Morals

What You Can Learn

  • Major religions of the world, their traditions, teachings, influential texts, methodological and comparative approaches
  • Prominent political philosophies and contemporary issues of politics and public policy
  • The fundamental concepts and problems of moral theory
  • Feminist approaches to philosophy and to specifically philosophical approaches to gender

About the College

The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

College Contact Information

College of Arts & Humanities
Office of the Dean
2380 E. Keats MS/MB99
Fresno CA 93740-8024

(559) 278-3056
FAX: (559) 278-6758

Where We Are Located

We are located in the west wing of the Music Building in Room 186.

Department Contact Information

Department of Philosophy
California State University, Fresno
2380 East Keats Ave. M/S MB105
Fresno, CA 93740-8024

Phone: (559) 278-2621
Fax: (559) 278-6484


The Department of Philosophy is located in the Music Building (New Music/East Music), room 102.