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Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Program Website: ryerson.ca/arts
Administered by: Department of English & Department of Philosophy
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.

The study of English and Philosophy explores some of the most fundamental and perennial questions such as: What is truth? What is beauty? What can we know? Through scholarly research and thoughtful analysis of philosophical and cultural texts, students in the English and Philosophy Double Major, attempt to answer these and other basic questions by considering the contributions to these debates of some of the most inventive, creative, and critical minds.

Admission Information

Applicants interested in the double major program in English and Philosophy must apply for admission to one of the ten major programs (Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology or Sociology), or to Undeclared Arts.  Students are not admitted directly to a double major.

The Faculty of Arts accepts applications for transfer to a double major program in the second semester of studies. Approved transfer students commence studies in the double major program in second year.  Further details on the process will be provided by the Faculty of Arts during first semester.

Program Overview/Curriculum Information

Combining theoretical, historical, and critical knowledge with opportunities for experiential learning, the English and Philosophy Double Major program encourages students to engage deeply in these foundational questions and to showcase their understanding of how to put knowledge into action in meaningful ways.

Students in an English and Philosophy double major will:

  • have an integrated understanding of the aesthetic, intellectual, and social foundations of literature and culture, including the diversity of identities and expressions in a range of genres and media;
  • demonstrate cultural literacy through a familiarity with the richness and complexity of their literary and cultural heritage.
  • have the ability to analyze a wide range of philosophical texts and discriminate among issues arising;
  • be able to discriminate premises from conclusions in such justificatory structures, and determine how various sub-arguments relate to one another in a complex chain of reasoning; and
  • be able to develop and apply sophisticated critical abilities to the interpretation of complex, sometimes historically remote, texts which may contain subtle distinctions, new concepts, complex theories, and detailed argumentation.

Students in the English and Philosophy Double Major develop proficiency in critical thinking and an enhanced ability to question, research, argue, understand, and communicate – foundational skills in careers that value problem-solving and communication. Graduate career paths may include education, academic research and teaching, law, library and information science, business, the public service, creative industries, and non-governmental organizations. Some graduates move into more specialized fields in publishing and editing. Graduates may also continue their studies at a graduate level.

The curriculum builds on a foundational year of interdisciplinary study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, followed by three years of more specialized study in English and Philosophy. Students take a combination of 13 required and elective courses in English and 13 required and elective courses in Philosophy, as well as 6 Liberal Studies courses. Students also take a mandatory English practicum in their second year.

The core goals of the Double Major are to graduate students who:

  • have mastered the ability to critically analyze oral, written, and other forms of texts;
  • will appreciate the complexities in various academic interpretations, and will be able to think critically about the normative assumptions governing interpretive discourses in general;
  • are capable of developing probing research questions, conducting effective research, and persuasively communicating the results of their inquiry in a variety of oral and written modes;
  • possess a superior set of “career-ready” research, analytical, and oral and written skills, and know how to apply them to professional situations as well as to graduate study opportunities; and
  • demonstrate discipline-specific knowledge and skills by acting as responsible academic and community citizens, both locally and globally.

Semesters One and Two: The first year is a Common Arts Platform, which is shared with the BA programs in Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology, and Sociology. Students gain a broad, interdisciplinary base of knowledge, skills, and methodologies. They begin their exploration of the English discipline with two courses in fictional and non-fictional narratives, and take their first Philosophy, exploring the subject across a range of themes, time periods, and geographical contexts. Students also acquire skills and knowledge in two foundational courses: Academic Writing and Research, and Critical Thinking. Finally, they choose additional electives from a broad range of areas.

Semesters Three through Six: In second year, students take their third foundational Common Arts Platform course, Research Design and Qualitative Methods, alongside a more specialized Advanced Research Methods course in English. Students also take required courses in Introduction to Modern Philosophy; Ancient and Modern Ethics; and Literary and Cultural Theory. Students also elect an English practicum course. Students select from a wide range of electives in Philosophy, English, and in Liberal Studies that broaden their educational endeavours and develop intellectual and professional prowess.

Semesters Seven and Eight: In their final year of study, students satisfy any remaining elective requirements and take the required capstone seminars in English and Philosophy. Electives may include an independent research paper or an advanced practicum course. These capstone courses are designed to develop depth in the disciplines and sharpen students’ professional competencies.

Students admitted to the Bachelor of Arts programs in Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology or Sociology may transfer to any one of the other nine programs or to any one of the three approved double major programs (English and History; English and Philosophy; History and Philosophy) for the fall term of their second year of studies. Applications are available through the Program Office and must be submitted by February 2nd. Transfer applications are considered on a competitive basis subject to capacity, and therefore program choice cannot be guaranteed.

In order to transfer to the English and Philosophy Double Major from any of Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology, or Sociology, students must:

  1. have a CLEAR Academic Standing at the end of the Winter term of their second semester of studies; and
  2. must have successfully completed ENG 110 and one of PHL 101, PHL 201, PHL 333, or PHL 366. It is strongly recommended that students complete, in first year, both ENG 110 and ENG 208 as well as two of PHL 101, PHL 201, PHL 333, and PHL 366.

Students must take two lower level liberal studies courses and four upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website.

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

English and Philosophy courses and CMN 230 are not available for credit.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

English and Philosophy courses are not available for credit.

Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website for complete details.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program

REQUIRED:

ENG 110 Literatures Across Borders
ENG 208 Introduction to Non-Fiction
SSH 105 Critical Thinking I
SSH 205 Academic Writing and Research

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Two courses from Table I (Social Sciences).

REQUIRED GROUP 2: Two courses from the following:

PHL 101 Plato and the Roots of Western Philosophy
PHL 201 Problems in Philosophy
PHL 333 Philosophy of Human Nature
PHL 366 Existentialism and Art and Culture

PROFESSIONALLY RELATED: One course from Table I or Table III. Course selection must not include ENG or PHL courses.

PROFESSIONALLY RELATED: One course from Table III.

REQUIRED:

ENG 810 Advanced English Research Methods
PHL 503  Ancient and Modern Ethics
PHL 708  Introduction to Modern Philosophy
SSH 301 Research Design and Qualitative Methods

REQUIRED GROUP 1: One course from the following:

ENG 302 Practicum: Writing in the Arts
ENG 304 Practicum: Making Digital Work
ENG 306 Practicum: Writing Poetry
ENG 307 Practicum: Writing Fiction
ENG 390 Practicum: Open Topics

PROFESSIONAL: One English course from Table II (English and Philosophy Double Major).

PROFESSIONAL: One Philosophy course from Table II (English and Philosophy Double Major).

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I, Table III, English Table IV or Philosophy Table IV. Course selection must not include courses with an ENG or PHL prefix.

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

REQUIRED:

ENG 400 Literary and Cultural Theory
PHL 600   Seminar in Analytic Philosophy
PHL 601 Seminar in Continental Philosophy

PROFESSIONAL: One course from the following:

ENG 421 16C Literature and Culture
ENG 422 17C Literature and Culture
ENG 531 18C Literature and Culture
ENG 632 19C Literature and Culture
ENG 634 Romantic Explorations
ENG 635 Modernism

PROFESSIONAL: Two English courses from Table II (English and Philosophy Double Major).

PROFESSIONAL: Two Philosophy courses from Table II (English and Philosophy Double Major).

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

REQUIRED:

ENG 910 English Capstone Seminar

PROFESSIONAL: One course from the following:

ENG 421 16C Literature and Culture
ENG 422 17C Literature and Culture
ENG 531 18C Literature and Culture
ENG 632 19C Literature and Culture
ENG 634 Romantic Explorations
ENG 635 Modernism

PROFESSIONAL: Two English courses from Table II (English and Philosophy Double Major).

PROFESSIONAL: Four Philosophy courses from Table II (English and Philosophy Double Major).

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

Program Advisory Council

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

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