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Submitted by nnreimer on Tue, 08/23/2016 - 6:02pm

Questions about program registration

Submitted by nnreimer on Tue, 08/23/2016 - 5:52pm

I'm already a UCalgary student. How do I become a philosophy major?

If you are already enrolled in the Faculty of Arts all that is required is that you submit a request for a change of program through your online Student Centre. If you are not enrolled in the Faculty of Arts but are enrolled in the University, you may request admission to the Faculty through your online Student Centre.  You can get assistance from one of the student advisors in the Student Success Centre located in McEwan Student Centre.

I am interested in taking a degree in Philosophy. What are the admission requirements?

The admission requirements for the University of Calgary can be found by going to the Apply website and clicking the tabs for studied in Canada or studied outside of Canada.

I want to apply for admission as an adult student. What must I do to be admitted?

Students who have matriculated more than ten years ago should contact the office of the faculty in which they are seeking admission. In the case of the Faculty of Arts, you should contact the Student Success Centre. To be admitted as a nonmatriculated adult student you will need to present a grade of 72% or better in English 30. English 30 can be taken at any of the institutions in town that offer it, such as Chinook Learning Services or Mount Royal University. More advice can be found at the Future Students Office.

All regular mail enquiries relating to undergraduate admission to the University should be directed to

Admissions OfficeJ
University of CalgaryL
2500 University Drive N. W.
Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4

I'm a student at another university. How do I take a UCalgary Philosophy course over the spring or summer?

To enrol in one of our spring or summer session courses you will need to be admitted in some capacity to the University of Calgary. If you want these courses to count for credit at your current university you will need to be admitted as a Visiting Student, otherwise you may wish to be admitted as an Open Studies Student. In either case, advice can be had from the Future Students Office. The Registrar's Office has application forms for both Visiting and Open Studies students, as well as other admissions information.

Alternatively you may get in touch with the Admissions office via regular post at:

Admissions OfficeJ
University of CalgaryL
2500 University Drive N. W.
Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4

Since these courses often fill up it would be wise to start the application process as soon as possible.

Questions about program requirements

Submitted by nnreimer on Tue, 08/23/2016 - 5:55pm

What are the requirements for a BA in Philosophy?

To receive a BA in Philosophy you need to fulfill the general requirements set out by the Arts Faculty. Note that you must have at least seven and not more than ten FCEs in Philosophy.

The specific Philosophy requirements can be found at the following locations:

For information on the philosophy minor, co-op programs, and the joint degree in religious studies and applied ethics see the undergraduate programs page.

What is the maximum number of 200 level courses I can have credited to my degree in philosophy?

To obtain a BA in any Arts subject at least 12 FCEs must be at the senior level (300 level or above). Consequently at most 8 FCEs may be at the 200 level.

What is an FCE?

An FCE is a full course equivalent. Typically this means a course that occupies two terms (Fall and Winter), or the equivalent in Spring and Summer Sessions. In fact, apart from the honours thesis course, the Philosophy Department does not offer any full year courses, so in practice an FCE is equivalent to two half courses (courses which take up only one Term, and which are usually, if sometimes confusingly, simply called courses).

How are degrees with distinction awarded for students doing joint degrees?

Students doing joint degrees are considered for Distinction in each of the degrees separately. Students who qualify for Distinction under one Faculty's regulations, but not the other will be awarded Distinction for one, but not the other.

I have a previous degree. Can I use any of my courses for a second degree in philosophy?

You can use a maximum of twelve FCEs from your previous degree (from the University of Calgary or from another University) towards a University of Calgary B.A. in Philosophy. Of the 8 new FCEs needed, at least 4 must be from the University of Calgary. At least half the total Philosophy requirements (3.5 FCEs) must be from the University of Calgary. More than 8 additional FCEs may be required to meet Faculty and Department requirements.

Which classes is it most important that I take, and in what order should I take them?

Philosophy majors are advised to:

(a)  take either 201 or 249 or 259 in their first year

(b)  take both 395 and 397 in their second year (for the purpose of meeting prerequisites, students who took 201 in their first year should take, at least, 397; those who took 249 in their first year should take, at least, 395)

(c)  take 279 in their first or second year

(d)  take one of 301, 303, 305, 307, 309 or 311 in their second year

Administrative questions

Submitted by nnreimer on Tue, 08/23/2016 - 5:56pm

How do I get overloaded into a course?

There is no guarantee that you will be overloaded into a full course, even if that course is a degree requirement for you. However, if you wish to enroll in a course that is full, you should consult with the Department Administrator, Merlette Schnell.

I don't have the prerequisite for the course I want to take. How do I get "Consent of the Department"?

In order to get Consent of the Department to waive a prerequisite you should contact the Department Manager, Tram Nguyen ( to have you in the course, they will guide you through the rest of the process.

Questions about specific courses

Submitted by nnreimer on Tue, 08/23/2016 - 6:01pm

I'm a Computer Science Major, why do I have to take Phil 279?

PHIL 279 introduces both propositional and first-order predicate logic, and requires students to use a formal proof system (the nature of which might vary from section to section) in order to prove theorems in both types of logic.  By doing so, it introduces material that is fundamental to computer architecture and to the idea of computability.  Furthermore, almost any attempt to consider the correctness of computer programs, or specification of requirements, in a formal way is based on mathematical logic.  It's also absolutely essential for an understanding of issues, problems, and methods in artificial intelligence.  PHIL 279 (or the equivalent, PHIL 377) is a prerequisite for a number of required courses.  You will not be able to register in a course for which it is a prerequisite unless you pass with a C- or better.  These courses include:

· CPSC 313, Introduction to Computability.  This course is a required course for Computer Science majors, and either required or strongly recommended for a number of further CPSC courses such as CPSC 411 (Compiler Construction I), CPSC 413 (Design and Analysis of Algorithms I, itself a prerequisite for a number of higher-level courses), CPSC 433 (Artificial Intelligence), CPSC 510 (Compiler Construction II), CPSC 513 (Computability), CPSC 521 (Functional Programming), CPSC 528 (Spam and Spyware)

· CPSC 449, Programming Paradigms.

· CPSC 359, Computing Machinery II.

· PHIL 379, Logic II, required for the BSc Honours and the BA in Computer Science.

I'm a Philosophy Major, but I'm only really interested in ethics/philosophy of science/logic/continental philosophy etc. Why do I have to take logic/continental philosophy/ethics/philosophy of science etc?

The BA and BA Honours Programs in Philosophy are designed to give students a broad background that will enable them to engage profitably with any area of contemporary philosophy. Philosophy is a discipline that favours individuals with a traditional broad based liberal arts education, rather than early specialization. Furthermore, no area of philosophy stands alone. All parts of philosophy are informed by other areas, and you will have a greater understanding of your particular area of interest if you can place that in context. Additionally, the area of philosophy that interests you now may not be the area that interests you in the future.

What is a Reading course (Phil 595)? How do I enroll in a section of Phil 595?

A reading course is a specially offered course that covers material not covered by the standard courses. It also has lower contact hours than a regular course (usually an hour a week), and correspondingly more readings (thus the name). Such courses must be specially arranged with the instructor. Enrollment in such a course is usually restricted to a small number of students. You must have permission from the instructor to enroll in a section of 595.

How do I enroll in the Honours thesis course (Phil 590)?

Honours students wishing to enroll in Phil 590 must get permission from the Honours Advisor. In order to get such permission the student must have secured a thesis supervisor.

See the page on the Honours Program.

What is the difference between Philosophy 275 and Philosophy 279?

The difference between Philosophy 275 and Philosophy 279: Logic deals with the structure of arguments, good and bad. Philosophy 279 concentrates more on the formal and symbolic aspects of arguments. In it students will study sentential logic (the branch of logic that covers arguments involving whole sentences) and quantificational logic (the branch of logic that deals with the formal structure of arguments involving sentence content). In addition Philosophy 279/377 considers the metatheory of logic: the results we gain when we consider theorems about systems as a whole, and not just results within the system. Topics that may be treated include questions about the consistency and completeness of various logical systems. Philosophy 275 on the other hand restricts its treatment of the formal side of logic to sentential logic, without metatheory, and offers as well an introduction to informal logic (sometimes called critical thinking): the treatment of arguments good and bad as they occur in ordinary discourse. In Philosophy 275 topics concerning probabilistic reasoning and induction, as well as topics concerning reasoning in various scientific contexts may also be discussed. One of Philosophy 279, Philosophy 377 is required for a major in Philosophy.

What is the difference between Philosophy 279, Logic I, and Philosophy 377, Elementary Formal Logic?

The difference between Philosophy 279 and Philosophy 377: The content of these two courses is the same. Philosophy 377 classes have a smaller number of students, but lack tutorials. When either is required as a prerequisite, or to fulfil a degree requirement, the other may be substituted. Students may receive credit for only one of Philosophy 279 or Philosophy 377. First year students may not take 300 level courses, and second year students and beyond should note that a Faculty of Humanities degree may not include more than eight FCEs at the junior level.

Is it possible to receive credit for both Philosophy 275 and Philosophy 279?

Students who already have credit for Philosophy 275 may receive credit for Philosophy 279/377, but students who have received credit for Philosophy 279 or Philosophy 377 (or any higher logic course) may not receive credit for Philosophy 275.

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