Philosophy

About Program Admission Requirements

Did you know that studying philosophy is great preparation for law school, an MBA or other graduate studies? Philosophy majors regularly perform much better than average on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

This program is offered by the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies on the Keele Campus.

The word 'philosophy' is derived from the Greek for "love of wisdom" and is one of the world's oldest subjects of study. Philosophy pursues questions in every dimension of human life, and its techniques apply to problems in any field of study or endeavor. It is a reasoned pursuit of fundamental truths, a quest for understanding and a study of principles of conduct.

Explore life’s deepest questions concerning the nature of happiness, the requirements of justice, the limits of knowledge, and the meaning of freedom. You’ll discover how to develop answers to these questions and how to engage in fruitful argument with alternative points of view. These skills are applicable to all areas of modern life: intellectual, professional and personal.

Efforts are made to blend contemporary and historical issues and many of our professors draw their inspiration from widely separated philosophical approaches. In keeping with this, there is a great deal of cross-disciplinary work. The department offers a wide range of courses which examine contemporary problems and issues such as:

  • applied ethics
  • philosophy of mind
  • social and political philosophy
  • argumentation theory
  • feminism

In addition, courses are offered in the history of philosophy, continental thought, logic, language, law and other traditional areas.

Philosophical skills are applicable in any area where arguments are important, not just in the realms of abstract speculation. They are particularly useful when you are writing essays, since you are expected to make a case for your conclusions rather than simply assert them.

  • We embrace countless avenues of thought and diverse ways of doing philosophy, blending emerging and historical perspectives and drawing inspiration from widely separated philosophical approaches.
  • The Philosophy Student Club organizes special events such as the “Philosophy at the Movies” series.
  • We teach you how to think, not what to think.
  • Participate in Philosophia, York's student-run Undergraduate Philosophy Association, which sponsors readings, social events and provides representation at departmental meetings.
  • You can also get involved with The Oracle, York University's undergraduate philosophical review. 

You are required to provide official evidence of academic achievement in secondary education. This can be demonstrated through:

  • Final grades under the Ontario curriculum (obtained through correspondence, night school or through TVO)
  • Credentials through other curricula, such as results from Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced-level courses in the General Certificate of Education (Gene). (Students may register to sit for the AP and GCE examinations as private candidates.)

In the absence of final grades in courses:

  • You must submit the results of standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum of 550 (Reading) and 550 (Math) or a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 24.
  • Your application will be reviewed by an admissions sub-committee. If admitted, you will not be eligible for entrance scholarships. You will be considered for continuing student scholarships at the end of your first year of study, if you satisfy those criteria.

You may also be required to provide proof of language proficiency. You will be considered for entrance scholarships on the basis of your overall averages in the six 4U/4M (Ontario curriculum) or equivalent courses.

We are adding to our database of admission requirements by country. Please check back in October for additional admission requirements by country. General requirements are currently available by country — note that program-specific requirements may apply in addition to general requirements.

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