B.A. in Philosophy
Jesus calls his followers to love God “with all your mind.” Philosophy is a discipline that equips us to grow in that capacity. Biola’s philosophy major will challenge you to think deeply about humanity’s most enduring questions: What is real? What can we know? How should we treat one another? In the process, you will gain practical skills that prepare you for a broad range of careers and graduate programs.
- Liberal Arts
Why Choose Philosophy at Biola?
In addition to its strong curriculum, expert faculty members and biblical integration, Biola’s philosophy program offers several key advantages:
- The Biola University Center for Christian Thought brings world-renowned philosophers and theologians to campus, giving students an opportunity to hear lectures from leading scholars.
- Biola’s Talbot School of Theology is home to a nationally recognized master’s degree in philosophy — the largest Christian program of its kind — which affords many lecture and event opportunities to philosophy undergraduate students.
- Skills gained in the philosophy major include the ability to ask good questions and expose underlying assumptions, and biases and concepts, and write clearly, concisely and precisely.
- Biola’s location in Southern California — one of the world’s largest and most diverse metropolitan areas — is ideal for internships and job opportunities.
What Will I Study?
A Biola philosophy major provides a broad-based liberal arts education. Courses bring faith and reason together and are structured to give you an understanding how to think critically from a Christian perspective about a wide range of issues. You will work in a close-knit community of colleagues at reading and engaging the world’s great philosophers and wisdom traditions, always with an eye on the question, What can be learned from these thinkers and traditions about more effectively practicing of the teachings of Jesus? Topics covered include:
- Deductive and inductive inference: What are the marks of good reasoning?
- Argumentative writing skills: What makes for effective argumentative writing?
- The history of philosophy: Who are its main thinkers? What are its main themes? Which are its key texts?
- Metaphysics: What is real? How is reality structured?
- Epistemology: What is knowledge? What can we know? What differentiates rational from irrational belief?
- Philosophy of religion: What are the main arguments for and against God's existence? Does the existence, magnitude or distribution of suffering constitute evidence against God’s existence?
- Philosophical theology: What does philosophy have to teach us about the great doctrines of Christianity: Trinity, Incarnation, Atonement, etc.?
- Ethics: What makes an action right or wrong? What makes people virtuous or vicious?
- Practical wisdom: What is a good life? What practices and character traits aid in living a full human life?
Our program offers two tracks of study, the classic Philosophy track as well as a Liberal Arts concentration. Both tracks are composed of 5 blocks of courses and 38 total credit hours. The 5 blocks are:
Block I: Basic Philosophical Skills
Block II: Practical Wisdom
Block III: History of Philosophy
Block IV: Divisions of Philosophy
Block V: Capstone Work
The Liberal Arts concentration requires 9 fewer philosophy credits (Introduction to Logic and Philosophy of Religion as well as one elective) to be fulfilled instead with 9 credits of HIST and/or ENGL courses. For complete coursework of the two tracks, please see the Course Catalog.
Learning how to analyze and create concise arguments, articulate ideas, craft good writing and think both theoretically and practically are valuable skills taught in philosophy that are practical for all of life.
Biola's philosophy major provides a wide range of transferable work skills that will prepare you for a career in fields. As a well-rounded, critical-thinking professional, you can expect to impact the world for Jesus Christ in professions such as:
- Public Policy
What are Graduates Doing Now?
Graduates of Biola's philosophy major have gone on to study at some of the most prestigious programs in the academic world, including: Rutgers; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Oxford; Cornell; Princeton; University of Southern California; University of California, Los Angeles; and University of Notre Dame.
Many other graduates have gone on to study law, theology, medicine, social work and business, or are successfully employed in a variety of fields, including computer programming, graphic design, agriculture, business consulting, law, medicine, social work and education.