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Columbia University Course/Program Name
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International :01 Jan 

BA Philosophy

 Course Level
Bachelors / UG
Full Time

3 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

46040 USD
46040 USD

Application fee

International 75 USD
National 75 USD
Department of Philosophy
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600

World University Ranking

About this course

The aim of philosophy, Wilfrid Sellars once said, is "to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term." Philosophical questions are the most basic questions, for they penetrate to the foundations of all human thought and experience. What is there? What can we know? What is good? How should we live? What is a person? What is thought? What gives words meaning? Being educated in philosophy means not just learning what great minds have thought about such things in the past, or even finding out what philosophers have to say about them today, but coming to think through them for oneself. The major also acquaints students with central concepts, key figures, and classic texts from the Western philosophical tradition.

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Eligibility Criteria

To be well-prepared for a college like Barnard, it is important to think about the academic community you are hoping to join. Barnard's general education requirements cover a wide range of subjects: literature, the social sciences, language and the arts, lab sciences, and quantitative areas. For this reason, you should acquire a strong foundation in high school, taking courses from the core academic subjects: math, science, English, history, and foreign language. Do your best to take the most rigorous classes available to you in which you can do your best work. For transfer students, our recommendations are similar. Take courses that are recommended to fulfill general requirements in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. If an area is a relative weakness, continue taking that subject while pursuing advanced coursework in areas of relative strength. Remember, we hope to see how you might contribute to our intellectual community, and your choices tell us what kind of a student you will be.

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Course Modules

A major in Philosophy consists of at least 10 courses, as follows:

  1. One course on ancient or early medieval philosophy:
    • PHIL UN 2101 History of Philosophy I: Pre-Socratics through Augustine
    • PHIL UN 3121 Plato
    • PHIL UN 3131 Aristotle
  2. One course on early modern philosophy:
    • PHIL UN 2201 History of Philosophy II: Aquinas through Kant
    • PHIL UN 3237 Late Medieval and Modern Philosophy
    • PHIL UN 3251 Kant 
  3. One course in logic:
    • PHIL UN 3411 Introduction to Symbolic Logic
  4. One course in ethics:
    • PHIL UN 3701 Ethics
  5. One of the following courses:
    • PHIL UN 3601 Metaphysics
    • PHIL UN 3960 Epistemology
  6. The Senior Seminar: PHIL BC 4050
  7. Either: Senior Thesis (PHIL BC 4051 and 4052) OR: one advanced seminar (PHIL UN 3912 or a PHIL seminar above 4000) plus one elective beyond the two stipulated in 8 (below).
  8. Two electives in addition to the eight courses stipulated above.              
    ('Elective' refers to any PHIL course not used to satisy a major requirement.  Only one course at the 1000-level can be counted towards the ten PHIL courses required by the major.)


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How to Apply

Submit all supporting materials

  • Request that all official high school and college transcripts be sent to Barnard College along with your high school's profile. Your guidance counselor will also need to submit the School Report.
  • Submit official standardized testing. For more information, please view
  • Submit Teacher Evaluation forms. We require letters from two teachers that taught you in core academic subjects (English, foreign language, history [social science], mathematics, or science) in your final two years of secondary school.
  • Your counselor will submit the mid-year report with your first semester senior grades by March 1st via the common application.
  • Submit TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable). In addition to SAT/ACT requirements, TOEFL/IELTS scores are required for students whose primary language is not English and who have not been enrolled in a school where English is the primary medium of instruction for four consecutive years

Optional Supplemental Materials

  • Students may choose to complete an on-campus or off-campus interview. For information on how and when to schedule an interview, please visit our admissions interview page. 
  • Students may choose to submit supplementary portfolios (art—including film, photo, drawing, painting, sculpture—music, dance, theatre, or creative writing) for review via Slideroom. 
    Please note: Supplementary material will not be reviewed by Barnard faculty, and unfortunately, during high volume periods, we cannot guarantee it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. 

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