Combining philosophy with other subjects
In addition to our four-year, full-time BA in philosophy, there are many other ways to get a philosophical education at Ryerson.
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.
The study of History and Philosophy enriches our awareness by asking questions that probe beyond simple answers and seeks to explain cultures and peoples, political and economic systems, ideas and issues, and conflict and change in order to understand the complexities of the human experience both in the past and the present. How should we act? What is truth? What can we know? Are we free? Spanning much of the period of recorded culture, courses in the History and Philosophy Double Major program offer students a well-rounded understanding of philosophy's central debates and their historical contexts. The program develops students' critical argumentation, research, and analytical skills, and provides students with the chance to examine the practical applications of the theories and methods of History and Philosophy.
The Philosophy Minor develops essential skills in critical thinking and analysis in general. A Minor in Philosophy enhances career possibilities in a number of different areas including the teaching profession, law, and virtually any field where ethics plays a critical role, such as nursing, journalism, business, and community services.
Students who are enrolled in Ryerson's BA in Arts and Contemporary Studies may choose to study philosophy by enrolling in:
- The Philosophy Option, which involves taking 12 semester-long courses in philosophy (out of 40 overall in the Arts and Contemporary Studies BA degree);
- Any one of the following Options: Culture Studies, Diversity and Equity Studies, Global Studies, or Inquiry and Invention;
- The General ACS Option, which allows students to select many elective courses in philosophy; or,
- Through a selection of Liberal Studies courses in Philosophy.
All students in Arts and Contemporary Studies must complete six Liberal Studies courses, of which at least three must be Upper Level. Many philosophy courses are available.
Note: students enrolled in the Philosophy Option must complete six Liberal Studies courses, but they may not choose Liberal Studies courses in philosophy.
Undeclared Arts is a gateway program that allows first year students to explore various degrees in the Faculty of Arts before selecting one that best matches their interests and goals. Students in Undeclared Arts may sample philosophy courses, and may subsequently transfer to the new BA in Philosophy, or to the BA in Arts and Contemporary Studies, or to other degree programs in the Faculty of Arts. See the Transferability Guidelines.
Every student at Ryerson who is enrolled in an undergraduate degree program must complete Liberal Studies courses. Most programs require students to complete 6 Liberal Studies courses, at least 3 of which must be at the Upper Level. Many philosophy courses are available at both the Lower Level and the Upper Level. Check the details of your program's curriculum in the Ryerson Undergraduate Calendar, and note that some restrictions apply.
The Philosophy Department offers a Certificate in Ethics, which consists of 6 courses (2 required and 4 elective). You do not need to be enrolled in a degree program at Ryerson to enroll in this Certificate. If you are currently enrolled in a Ryerson degree program, and if some of the courses listed in the Certificate in Ethics are part of your program's curriculum, you may count 3 of these towards the Certificate.
Ryerson's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education offers a wide range of Philosophy courses. These are available for part-time students, and also for full-time students who are attracted to the School's evening, spring/summer, and distance formats. If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program, make sure that any courses you take from the Chang School are listed on your program's curriculum in the Ryerson Undergraduate Calendar. Any courses you take that are not part of your program's curriculum will not normally be counted towards your degree.