Philosophy is for the intellectually curious. We like to analyse the concepts that underpin our world views. For example: What is justice, morality, love, knowledge, nature, freedom, identity? To help you explore these questions, we offer courses in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, political philosophy, environmental philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and the history of philosophy, among others. Our goal is to provide a nurturing, respectful, and engaging environment to help you craft well-articulated, well-defended, autonomous thought.
Apart from a major and a minor in philosophy, we also offer an honour’s program for select students. Our majors have gone on to graduate programs in philosophy at Concordia, Dalhousie, McGill, McMaster, Queen’s, Simon Fraser, Toronto, UBC, Victoria, Waterloo, and York, to name a few. Many others pursue successful law degrees. Others have pursued careers in health research, journalism, education, and business. Having a BA in philosophy tells potential employers that you are a reliable, intelligent, and effective problem solver who can work independently. Of course, the intrinsic benefit from philosophy resides in being an autonomous, authentic human – no matter where life takes you.
As with anything, the more you put into philosophy, the more you will get out of it. We love voracious readers of primary texts. We love critical, creative, and reflective thinkers. We love those who recognize that philosophical argumentation requires careful support. We especially love those who can write clearly, succinctly, and offer poignant illustrations. If these are traits you love as well, it may be time to give philosophy a whirl.
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Note: Current UPEI students should refer to Student Planning in myUPEI and the UPEI Academic Calendar governing their entry year, and speak to an academic advisor about course requirements. The course structure presented for this program is a recommended, unofficial progression for prospective students.
Note: As per Academic Regulation 1h, all undergraduate degree programs require successful completion of IKE-1040 (new for students beginning or returning after re-application in Fall 2022); one of UPEI-1010, UPEI-1020, or UPEI-1030, and a Writing Intensive Course.
To be admitted to the honours program, the student must submit a letter of application to the chair of the department. The letter must include a brief proposal of the intended research, a naming of the student’s potential supervisor (we recommend prior consultation with the potential supervisor), and a copy of the student’s updated transcripts. Applicants must have registered in, or have completed, the major program in philosophy.
Normally, students should submit their applications during their fifth semester. The department, acting as a committee, will determine who is admitted based on the following considerations:
- The student has an average of at least 75% in all Philosophy courses
- The student has an overall average of at least 70% in all academic courses
- The student has shown the ability of, or has the potential for, completing independent philosophical research
- Availability of suitable supervisors
Since the demand for the program may exceed the resources available, meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee admission.
To receive an honours in Philosophy, an honours philosophy student must satisfy the following requirements:
- At least 126 semester hours of academic credit (42 courses).
- At least 54 semester hours of credit (18 courses) in Philosophy, including seven courses from the following menu:
- A) PHIL 2510 (Formal Logic);
- B) PHIL 2210 (Social Philosophy), OR PHIL 2220 (Political Philosophy);
- C) PHIL 2620 (Plato and Aristotle), OR PHIL 3840 (Rationalists and Empiricists), OR Phil 3850 (Kant);
- D) PHIL 3030 (Ethical Theory), OR PHIL 2030 (Environmental Philosophy);
- E) PHIL 3730 (Philosophy of Language), OR PHIL 3010 (Philosophy of Science);
- F) PHIL 4800 (Research Seminar), AND PHIL 4900 (Honours Thesis)
- Of the remaining eleven courses, at least ten courses should be completed at the 3000 or 4000 level, including any of the courses satisfying (C), (D), (E), and (F) above.
- A requirement of Philosophy 4900 will be a written thesis (7000-9000 words) and an oral defence. The defence committee consists of at least three faculty members, including the student’s supervisor. The committee decides final grades, not the supervisor.
- A student must complete the above requirements while maintaining a minimum average of 75% in all philosophy courses.
Students must complete a minimum of 42 semester hours in Philosophy with at least six courses (18 hours) at the 3000 or 4000 level.
NOTE: All courses are 3 hours.
The Department strongly recommends that the following courses should be completed by philosophy majors intending to pursue graduate studies in Philosophy: PHIL 2210 (Social Philosophy); PHIL 2510 (Formal Logic); PHIL 2620 (Plato and Aristotle); PHIL 3030 (History of Ethical Theory in 1900); PHIL 3730 (Philosophy of Language); PHIL 3840 (Rationalists and Empiricists); PHIL 3850 (The Philosophy of Kant).
- A minor in Philosophy consists of twenty-one semester hours in Philosophy.
- At least three courses (9 semester hours) should be at the 3000 or 4000 level. The Department strongly recommends that Philosophy minors complete the following courses to ensure development of basic philosophical knowledge: Philosophy 1010 (Introduction to Philosophy) and Philosophy 1110 (Critical Thinking).
UPEI provides a solid education in the liberal arts, committed to rigorous study and inquiry, belief in the value of knowledge, lifelong capacity-building, and the development of the whole person.
High School Graduates
Successful completion of Grade 12 examinations in a University Preparatory Program with an overall average of at least 70% (75% for Quebec Secondary V students) in the following subjects:
- one Social Studies or Language;
- any 3 other academic courses. Grade 12 math recommended.
Note: Grade 12 Math is a prerequisite for some 1st year Arts courses.
Please refer to the UPEI Academic Calendar for complete admissions information.
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UPEI's undergraduate tuition is the second-lowest in the Atlantic region, and we offer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards.
$6,828 per year, based on 30 credit hours ($682.80 per 3 credit course).
International students pay $8,010 per year in addition to full-time student tuition.
For a complete breakdown of part-time or full-time study as a student in the Faculty of Arts, visit our Tuition and Fees page.
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UPEI has about 250 faculty—exceptional scholars, teachers, and mentors, with more being hired each year as we open new, progressive, and unique programs. But the story isn’t just in the numbers. It’s in the quality of our people. Award-winning faculty from around the globe have made UPEI home. Here, you’ll learn directly from these world-class professors and researchers in small classes where you’ll have easy access to them.