Cal State LA Department of Philosophy M.A. Degree

BA Philosophy

Expected learning outcomes for undergraduate programs focus on (a) knowledge of philosophy, and (b) acquisition of the interpretive, analytic and critical skills of philosophical inquiry, including the ability to construct and evaluate arguments.
Knowledge Outcomes:
1. Knowledge of some of the major philosophical texts in the history of Western philosophy.
2. Knowledge of contemporary philosophical methods.
3. Knowledge of some of the main currents and issues in contemporary philosophy for example, in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, philosophy of law, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics.
4. Knowledge of the fundamentals of logic and critical thinking.
Ability Outcomes:
5. The ability to understand, analyze, and critically evaluate complex arguments and theories.
6. The ability to identify and critically evaluate the underlying presuppositions of methodologies, theories, and arguments in various areas, e.g., science, law, religion, and public policy.
7. The ability to develop reasoned support for one's own opinions on theoretical and practical matters.
8. The ability to interpret and explicate texts from different cultural and intellectual contexts.
9. The ability to explain, both orally and in writing, difficult ideas in a clear, informed, effective, and coherent manner.
10. The ability to write an essay satisfying the terms of the assignment, with a recognizable thesis and a coherent supporting argument.
11. The ability to apply the above philosophical skills in new contexts.
12. The ability to apply some of the philosophical skills listed above to one's own life, in self-reflection and life-long learning.

MA Philosophy

Knowledge and ability outcomes for students in the M.A. program are similar in kind to those for students in the undergraduate program. However, graduate students are expected to acquire:
. Deeper knowledge of philosophical texts and methods of inquiry.
. More advanced knowledge of and facility in logic.
. The ability to explain philosophical ideas at an appropriate level for students in introductory philosophy courses.
. The skills and knowledge necessary to complete a thesis or comprehensive examinations.