Learn How to Think, Not What to Think

What do we believe and why do we believe it? Who are we and why are we here? What ought we do and why should we do it? Philosophy encourages critical and systematic inquiry into fundamental questions of right and wrong, truth and falsehood, the meaning of life, and the nature of reality, knowledge and society. More than any other discipline, philosophy explores the core issues of the Western intellectual tradition. Philosophy encourages the student to formulate questions and follow arguments.

Philosophy provides an excellent preparation for law school and other professional programs, as well as a solid foundation for a career in business, teaching, writing, or public service.

Apply now at GWC!

Dr. Alex Miranda, Dean
714-892-7711 x58180

Lindsay McNutt
Division Area Coordinator
714-892-7711 x58384

Associate In Arts Degree In Philosophy For Transfer

Required courses

Associate In Arts Degree In Philosophy For Transfer

The Associate in Arts in Philosophy for Transfer degree focuses on a critical analysis of philosophical history, ideas, and concepts as well the development of analytical, critical thinking, writing, and reading skills. Students choosing this major will study a range of philosophical subjects including metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and ethics. In addition, students will learn how to identify philosophical principles and concepts, critically analyze texts, and generate proper arguments. Completion of this major will provide students with a well-rounded understanding of Philosophy and equip them with the skills of a philosopher. Students will be prepared to enter a baccalaureate degree program in Philosophy.

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

1. Describe the basic problems in philosophy and traditional approaches to the issues.

2. Employ critical thinking and analytic skills to better evaluate and understand arguments in many disciplines.

3. Evaluate philosophical concepts as they pertain within and outside of the discipline and across cultures and belief systems.

Required courses

PHIL G115 – Logic and Critical Thinking – 3 units

PHIL G100 – Introduction to Philosophy – 3 units


PHIL G120 – Ethics – 3 units

List A (3 units)

Any course from Required Core not already used

PHIL G102 – History of Ancient Philosophy – 3 units

List B (6 units)

Any course from Required Core or from List A not already used

PHIL G100 – Introduction to Philosophy – 3 units

PHIL G110 – Philosophy of the East – 3 units

PHIL G111 – Philosophy of Religion – Western – 3 units

PHIL G120 – Ethics – 3 units

HIST G180 – Western Civilization 1 – 3 units

HIST G185 – Western Civilization 2 – 3 units

List C (3 units)

Any course from List A or B not already used

Major Total: 18 units

CSU General Education Breadth or IGETC Pattern: 37-39 units

Total units that may be double-counted: 12 units

Transferable Electives (as needed to reach 60 units): 15-17 units

DEGREE TOTAL UNITS (maximum): 60 units

View all GWC courses

PHILOSOPHY G100 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Introduction to Philosophy

(Formerly known as: Philosophy G101)

A probing into questions people ask about the universe and their place in it. An examination is undertaken of the range of possible answers developed by leading philosophers in such areas as the meaning of knowledge, scientific method, religion, ethics, aesthetics, history, politics and metaphysics. C-ID PHIL 100. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PHILOSOPHY G102 – 3 Units

Course Outline

History of Ancient Philosophy

This course will examine the main figures and topics of Ancient Western Philosophy. The original writings of the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and subsequent Greek and Roman Philosophers will be read and discussed. The focus will be on critically reading, analyzing, and discussing the ideas these Philosophers presented in their historical context within the discipline of Philosophy. C-ID PHIL 130. Lecture. Letter grade only. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PHILOSOPHY G110 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Philosophy of the East

This course will provide a general explanation and comparison of the world’s major Eastern religions and philosophies. It will include critical analysis of the principal philosophies and related religious beliefs of the East, including Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Particular attention is given to understanding sacred literature in its historical context to better appreciate the relevant beliefs. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PHILOSOPHY G111 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Philosophy of Religion – Western

This course will examine the key issues and problems for Western Religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, from a Philosophical perspective. Topics to be covered include the nature and significance of religion and religious experience, arguments for and against the existence of God, the nature of God, the problem of evil, the relation between science and religion, and the role of textual and theological debate in the development of a religious Philosophy. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PHILOSOPHY G115 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Logic and Critical Thinking

(Formerly known as: Introduction to Logic)

An introductory general education course focusing on the use of arguments both in their occurrence in ordinary discourse and the academic disciplines within the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences with particular focus on deductive logic. The emphasis will be on the role of formal and informal logic in the basic learning skills of (1) oral communication (speech/listening) and (2) written communication (reading/writing). Deductive and inductive reasoning techniques will be critically examined to establish their logical correctness or identify their fallaciousness. Recommended for all humanities, social science, business and natural science majors and those planning to transfer to a four-year college or university. C-ID PHIL 110. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PHILOSOPHY G120 – 3 Units

Course Outline


An examination of the concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, in the light of the writings of classical ethical philosophers. A critical examination of alternative approaches to ethics, with an emphasis upon the question of philosophical foundations. Applications of alternative traditions in ethics to contemporary moral issues. C-ID PHIL 120. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PHILOSOPHY G125 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Critical Reasoning and Writing

Prerequisites: English G100

An introduction to the critical analysis and rational evaluation of argument and other forms of expression. Covers the uses of language, distinctions between deductive and inductive reasoning, and practice in detecting formal and informal fallacies. Develop tools for distinguishing between and evaluating beliefs, opinions, claims, explanations, and arguments. A strong emphasis is instruction in writing which models the critical thinking knowledge and skills examined in the course. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PHILOSOPHY G150 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Political Philosophy

(Same as: Political Science G150)

This course introduces students to traditional philosophical issues concerning politics. Students will actively engage in an analysis of normative issues using historical insight as well as contemporary approaches. Among these issues are the nature of legitimate authority, political obligation, natural rights, equality and justice. The course emphasizes selections from the major works of such political philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx and Mill. C-ID: POLS 120. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

The Associate in Arts Degree for Transfer (AA-T) in Philosophy will transfer to the following California State Universities:

CSU Bakersfield
CSU Chino
CSU Dominguez Hills
CSU East Bay
CSU Fresno
CSU Fullerton
CSU Humbolt
CSU Long Beach
CSU Los Angeles
CSU Monterey Bay
CSU Northridge
CSU Pomona
CSU Sacramento
CSU San Bernadino
CSU San Diego
CSU San Francisco
CSU San Jose
CSU San Luis Obispo
CSU Sonoma
CSU Stanislaus

The list of CSU campuses for this major was provided by the California State University’s A Degree with a Guarantee website:

Most of the courses in this program also transfer to the University of California (UC) System and Private Universities. Please see your GWC Counselor early in your studies to choose the transfer option that is right for you.

Career Opportunities

Philosophy is the ultimate “transferable work skill.”  With its emphasis on reason and argumentation, philosophy is an excellent preparation for a career in law, religion, business, international diplomacy, social work, medical management or writing as well as post-graduate education. Philosophy majors successfully work in, but are not limited to the following occupational fields:

  • lawyer
  • banker
  • public relations director
  • publisher
  • journalist
  • retail management
  • librarian
  • counselor
  • marketing
  • consulting
  • research
  • accountant
  • social worker
  • professor
  • self-employed
  • labor relations
  • foreign service officer
  • public policy
  • non-profit work
  • minister
  • teacher

Department Co-Chair: Noah Levin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Philosophy

B.S., Harvey Mudd College; M.A., Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

(714) 892-7711 x51062

Office: ADMIN 213

Jason Sheley, Ph.D.

Instructor, Philosophy

B.A., Philosophy, University of Southern California; B.A., Political Science, University of Southern California; M.A., Philosophy, California State University, Long Beach; M.A., Ph.D., Philosophy, University of California, Irvine.

(714) 892-7711 x51053

Office: ADMIN 225

Department Co-Chair: Sunshine McClain

Associate Professor, History

A.A. in Social Studies at Golden West College; B.A. in History at California State University, Fullerton; M.A. in History at University of California, Irvine

(714) 892-7711 x51048

Office: ADMIN 228


• William “Kemo” Krogfoss

• Thomas Frost

• Douglas Hill

• Danial Mages

• Sam Page

• Corine Sutherland