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David Sosa, Chair 2210 Speedway, WAG 316, Stop C3500, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4857

Enrollment policies

The Department of Philosophy strictly enforces enrollment limits on its courses. Students will not be added to full courses. Additional seats become available during add/drop period and students are encouraged to use electronic waitlists.

Some courses will be restricted to special programs and to philosophy majors. Some double majors in philosophy may experience difficulty registering for courses and should contact the Philosophy Undergraduate Office

Choosing Courses in Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy offers a variety of courses designed to suit students from every academic background. Ultimately the most effective way to choose a class from our diverse offerings is to carefully examine the course descriptions (link to course descriptions heading below). In addition, this page has information on the lower-division course offerings most commonly taken my non-major students that may aid you in deciding which course to take.

Complementary Coursework in Philosophy
Some students choose to take philosophy courses based on how the course will compliment or improve their major or area of study. The philosophy courses below share material or are thematically related to the areas of study and majors with which they are paired. In some cases the courses are already crosslisted in the departments with which they are paired. Students should check with their advisors to verify that these courses will count toward their degree program.

  • Asian Studies – PHL 302 World Philosophy, PHL 348 Topics in Asian Philosophy
  • Business – PHL 325L Business, Ethics and Public Policy
  • English and Fine Arts – PHL 317K Intro to Philosophy of Arts, PHL 366K Existentialism
  • Government – PHL 318K Intro to Political Philosophy, PHL 342 Topics in Political Philosophy
  • Geography – PHL 325C Environmental Ethics
  • History, Classical Civilization, European Studies – 301K Ancient Philosophy, 301L Early Modern Philosophy
  • Pre-Law – PHL 312 Intro to Logic, PHL 313 Intro to Symbolic Logic (we do not recommend PHL 313K Logic, Sets and Functions), PHL 318K Intro to Political Philosophy, PHL 347 Philosophy of Law
  • Pre-Medicine – PHL 325M Medicine, Ethics and Society
  • Psychology, Cognitive Science – 303M Mind and Body, PHL 363L Philosophy of Science
  • Religious Studies – PHL 305 Intro to Philosophy of Religion, PHL 366K Existentialism

Lower-division Coursework in Philosophy

Note that not all courses listed below are offered every semester.

All of these courses are designed for students with no background in philosophy.

  • PHL 301 Introduction to Philosophy – A survey of major ideas and figures in philosophy. Suited to any student with no previous background in philosophy, including those who are looking to learn the basics but are not necessarily interested in pursuing further coursework in philosophy or those who are trying to build a foundation for future coursework in philosophy
  • PHL 301K Ancient Philosophy – An excellent course for students interested in the foundational works of western culture. Recommended for majors or prospective majors or minors in philosophy.
  • PHL 301L Early Modern Philosophy – A more focused course that concentrates on the 17th and 18th century figures from Descartes to Kant. Recommended for majors or prospective majors or minors in philosophy.
  • PHL 303 Human Nature – This course tends to be less technical and is taught from a variety of perspectives, all focusing on philosophical considerations of what it means to be human and what human values are.
  • PHL 303M Mind and Body – A slightly more technical introductory course that focuses on the historical issue of the mind/body problem (What relation do mental states or the soul have to the physical body, specifically the brain?) and exciting contemporary issues of the philosophy of mind.
  • PHL 304 Contemporary Moral Problems – This is an excellent course for students who would like to avoid the more technical issues in philosophy. While instructors will introduce ethical theories in this class, the majority of the course will focus on applying logical reasoning and ethical theories to contemporary social, political and moral debates. Not recommended for philosophy majors or prospective majors or minors.
  • PHL 305 Intro to Philosophy of Religion – This course may deal with various issues in the philosophical consideration of religion and god, including the question of the existence of god; the social, ethical and existential significance of religion and god.
  • PHL 310 Knowledge and Reality – A slightly more technical course that focuses on issues in metaphysics (theories of reality) and epistemology (theories of knowledge). Recommended for majors or prospective majors or minors in philosophy.
  • PHL 312 Intro to Logic – A course in the basic principles of logic. Excellent for student looking to improve their reasoning skills, particularly in preparation for law school. Not recommended for philosophy majors.
  • PHL 313 Intro to Symbolic Logic – This course is appreciably more technical than Intro to Logic. Excellent for student looking to improve their reasoning skills, particularly in preparation for law school. Recommended for majors or prospective majors or minors in philosophy. (Note: PHL 313K is different course which is significantly harder and is not recommended.)
  • PHL 316K Science and Philosophy – Normally this course will be offered as an Alternative Area C course and therefore can count toward the Area C natural science requirement for a Liberal Arts major. Please consult the semesterly Alternative Area C list.
  • PHL 317K Intro to the Philosophy of the Arts – A course focusing on philosophical theories of beauty, art and aesthetics.
  • PHL 318 Intro to Ethics – A course focusing on philosophical theories of values and morality.
  • PHL 318K Intro to Political Philosophy – A course focusing on theories of justice.
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