What You'll Study

The joint major in Philosophy and Computer Science provides opportunities for the systematic study of computation together with philosophy in the broadest sense.

The joint major is appropriate for three distinct groups of students:

  1. students with separate interests in the two fields who wish to begin thinking about their interaction (or else applications of one set to the other);
  2. students interested in exploring philosophical issues in, and foundations of, computing;
  3. students who would like to pursue philosophical investigations using computational methods. 

Students in the joint major are required to complete the same introductory and core requirements as other Philosophy majors, with the exception of a more demanding logic requirement. In addition, joint majors must complete a senior capstone seminar in Philosophy (PHIL 194), and are normally expected to complete (separately from PHIL 194) an integrative senior capstone project, developed with faculty adviser(s) in CS and/or Philosophy, and approved in writing by the joint major’s faculty adviser in Philosophy. Students may register for 5-10 units Individual Work, Undergraduate (PHIL 197) in association with the integrative capstone. These units may be taken across one or two quarters, and must be taken for a letter grade. Such projects must integrate the student’s CS and philosophical learning. 

In recognition of the student’s work in the CS side of the joint major, the normal elective units required for Philosophy majors are reduced by 5 units for joint majors. Thus, the joint major requires 50 units within Philosophy.

Because logic is a core area of intersection between Philosophy and CS, students are in the best position to leverage the intersection of their work in the two fields if they develop a strong background in logical methods, and have a clear understanding of the way those formal methods are or can be used within Philosophy. Joint majors are therefore required to complete training in logic at least through successful completion of PHIL 150.

Degrees Offered: 
Joint Major/BAS