Long Beach State’s philosophy department was recently ranked 16th in the nation by Great Value College for undergraduate degrees.
According to the Great Value Colleges website, CSULB’s reputation, faculty excellence, and student goal-planning is what placed it high in the rankings.
Nellie Wieland, the philosophy department chair, said that CSULB holds the second-largest philosophy program for majors and minors in the California State University system.
“We are a good program,” Wieland said. “We do have quality research-oriented faculty who bring that to all of our undergraduates.”
The program also boasts an honors program solely for philosophy which is based on GPA and recommendations from faculty. The program usually only enrolls about five students per year, according to Wieland.
“They do a year-long research project with a faculty and supervisor,” Wieland said. “They have to write a full thesis, like 50 pages, and have to present it at the end of the year at a conference.”
The department also provides various areas of specialization for undergraduate students from philosophy of science, theory of knowledge and history of early modern philosophy. The program has undergone several changes in its curriculum, adding various courses that allow freshmen and sophomores to gain interest in the field.
“We’ve tried to improve the rigor of our course offerings,” said Lawrence Nolan, a philosophy professor. “One thing we’ve done is try to draw in students from different majors with the hope of convincing them to become philosophy majors.”
Adrian Urias, a second-year transfer student and a student in Nolan’s class, praised the philosophy faculty for his progress at CSULB.
“When I was at community college, I did not feel like the professors really cared for my future in particular,” Urias said. “I would ask for a letter of recommendation to go to a conference and it was like pulling teeth but I’ve done similar things at Cal State Long Beach and it is like a night and day difference.”