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The Philosophy Associate in Arts for Transfer degree program at Bakersfield College provides students with a strong foundation in the study of philosophy. Students in this program will explore a range of topics including ethics, logic, and social and political philosophy. The program emphasizes critical thinking, analysis, and communication skills, which are highly valued by employers and graduate programs alike. Graduates of this program are well prepared to pursue further study in philosophy or related fields or to enter the workforce with a range of skills and abilities that are highly sought after in many industries.

student standing with arms crossed in libraryWhat is Philosophy?

Philosophy is a branch of inquiry that seeks to understand the fundamental nature of reality, existence, and knowledge. It involves questioning assumptions, analyzing concepts, and developing arguments in order to arrive at reasoned conclusions about life's biggest questions. The field of philosophy covers a broad range of topics, including ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, logic, aesthetics, and political theory. Philosophers explore ideas related to truth, morality, consciousness, free will, identity, and the nature of reality itself. Ultimately, the goal of philosophy is to deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us and to cultivate a more thoughtful and reflective approach to life.

Is Studying Philosophy Right for Me?

A Philosophy Associate Degree would benefit anyone who is interested in developing their critical thinking, reasoning, and analytical skills. The program is particularly well-suited for those who enjoy asking big questions, exploring abstract ideas, and engaging in intellectual discourse. Students who are interested in pursuing careers in law, politics, education, journalism, or any other field that requires strong communication and analytical skills would also benefit from the program. The program is also valuable for those who are planning to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree in philosophy or a related field. Overall, the Philosophy Associate Degree program provides a solid foundation for a wide range of academic and professional pursuits.

Studying philosophy requires a certain set of traits and skills that are essential for success in the field. Some key traits and skills that would make someone a good fit for studying philosophy include:

  • Curiosity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Patience
  • Creativity
  • Perseverance

Overall, studying philosophy requires a combination of intellectual curiosity, analytical skills, and strong communication abilities, as well as a willingness to engage in rigorous and challenging intellectual pursuits.

Philosophy Degree

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Philosophy has always been and continues to be one of the strongest traditional liberal arts majors in higher education. Some students major in Philosophy as a precursor to graduate work and academic careers, teaching and conducting research in Philosophy and Education. 

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student smiling outside holding booksPhilosophy Careers

A Philosophy Associate Degree can provide a strong foundation for a variety of career paths, as well as further study in related fields. Some career options for those with a Philosophy Associate Degree may include:

  • Law: The critical thinking, research, and writing skills developed in a philosophy program are highly valued in the legal profession.
  • Education: Philosophy graduates can pursue careers in teaching or educational administration.
  • Nonprofit organizations: The communication and analytical skills developed in a philosophy program can be useful for working in a variety of nonprofit organizations.
  • Public service: Philosophy graduates can pursue careers in government or public policy, as well as in the military.
  • Journalism and media: Philosophy graduates may find work in journalism or media, where their analytical and communication skills can be valuable.
  • Business: The critical thinking and problem-solving skills developed in a philosophy program can be useful for working in business, particularly in fields such as marketing or consulting.
  • Philosophy: Graduates may choose to continue their education in philosophy or a related field, pursuing a Bachelor's or Master's degree and potentially pursuing a career in academia or research.

Overall, the skills and knowledge gained through a Philosophy Associate Degree can be applied to a wide variety of careers and fields, making it a versatile and valuable degree program.

Transfer Pathways

Graduates with an Associate in Arts in Philosophy for Transfer from Bakersfield College may choose to continue their education at a university to earn a 4-year degree. Students with an Associate in Arts for Transfer degree “are guaranteed admission with junior standing somewhere in the CSU system and given priority admission consideration to their local CSU campus or to a program that is deemed similar to their community major” (Bakersfield College Catalog, Educational Options). See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for specific questions, options, and opportunities.

Academic Department: Philosophy

Career & Learning Pathway: Arts, Communication, and Humanities (ACH) Pathway

Courses: Philosophy (PHIL)

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