Cal State LA Department of Philosophy Certificate Program

The Critical Thinking Certificate Program will be suspended until further notice. This suspension is due to the severe budget crisis. The Critical Thinking Certificate Program is one of dozens of programs on campus that are being suspended or discontinued. We do not know at this time how long the suspension of this program will last.

Teaching Critical Thinking

The state of California requires that critical thinking skills be taught throughout the curriculum. The Department of Philosophy at California State University, Los Angeles offers a certificate program in Teaching Critical Thinking designed for those with an interest in the theory and techniques of teaching critical thinking at either the college or secondary school level. The program provides training in methods of incorporating instruction in critical thinking in courses devoted to some other subject, as well as specific work in structuring and teaching critical thinking courses.

The certificate program is open to any postbaccalaureate student, regardless of major. Graduate students, in philosophy or other departments, may wish to complete the Certificate Program in Teaching Critical Thinking while pursuing their master's degree.

One should note that this certificate is not equivalent to a teaching credential. Receipt of a certificate certifies that the student has completed this 24-unit program.


Admission Requirements

Students must posses an undergraduate degree in any field and meet the university's admission requirements for postbaccalaureate students. In addition to the possession of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, the applicant must have attained a grade point average of at least 2.5 (4.0=A) in the last 90 quarter units (60 semester units) attempted, and must have been in good stand-ing at the last college attended.

Applicants are expected to have some background in philosophy or another humanistic discipline and have completed PHIL 250: Introduction to Symbolic Logic, or the equivalent. Interested students should consult the program coordinator in the Department of Philosophy. Deficiencies in preparation may be remedied during the first quarters of enrollment in the program. No more than 25% of the course work completed for the Certificate may be transferred from another program.

This worksheet will prove helpful during advisement: Certificate in Teaching Critical Thinking Program Form.


Requirements of the Program

A total of 24 units are required, including 20 units in the required core and 4 in electives, with a minimum B (3.0) grade point average. (All Philosophy courses except PHIL 580 and 581 are applicable to the Masters of Arts in Philosophy.)

Required Core Courses (20 units)
PHIL 580 Seminar: Critical Thinking-Models and Strategies (4)
PHIL 581 Projects in Teaching Philosophy (4)

Select Three From The Following:
PHIL 404 Inductive Logic (4)
PHIL 405 Symbolic Logic (4)
PHIL 406 Advanced Logic (4)
PHIL 460 Metaphysics (4) or PHIL 470 Theory of Knowledge (4)
PHIL 480 Philosophy of Language (4)
PHIL 485 Philosophy of Science (4)

Electives (4 units)
In consultation with an adviser, select one 400 or 500-level philosophy course or seminar or COMS 576 Seminar: Argumentation, Discussion, and Debate (4). The range of upper division courses and seminars offered in Philosophy run from such current topics as feminism and medical ethics to the more traditional ones in metaphysics, theory of knowledge, aesthetic, etc. Students who are interested in teaching critical thinking courses in areas other than philosophy may substitute appropriate courses with adviser approval.


Expected Learning Outcomes for the Certificate Program

Students who complete this program are expected to have:
• Knowledge of and ability in basic logic and the critical evaluation of arguments.
• Knowledge of current pedagogy of critical thinking.
• Understanding of important ways in which the concepts employed in critical thinking (argument, validity, induction, truth, and fallacy) are related to substantive theoretical debates in metaphysics, logic, philosophy of science, and the philosophy of language.


U.S. Department of Education Gainful Employment Disclosure
Program:  Teaching Critical Thinking
Occupations that this certificate program prepares students to enter:
- Secondary Teacher; SOC Code 25-2030;
- English Language and Literature Teachers, Post-Secondary; SOC Code 25-1123;
- Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors ; SOC Code 25-3011;
- Self-Enrichment Education Teachers; SOC Code 25-3021;
- Miscellaneous Teachers and Instructors; SOC Code 25-3090;
On-time graduation rate for students completing this program: No completions by non-degree seeking students in 2009-10
Costs of Attendance for the entire normal duration (three quarters, at two courses per quarter) of this certificate program:
- Tuition and Fees: $5576                                     Books and Supplies: $1638
Median loan debt incurred by students who completed this certificate program: N/A
The job placement rate for students completing the program: Data not available.