CSULA 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
11. The ability to apply the above philosophical skills in new
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.