About the program
The Joint Major in Business, Philosophy and the Law combines a core education in business with a core education in philosophy.
- Interested in a career in the law, public policy, business or in academia?
- Wanting to prepare for entry to law school?
- Looking for an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to prepare you for a career in legal and policy-related fields?
The program gives a robust exposure to the way in which business practice interacts with the law, offering students the chance to master fundamental critical reasoning skills. Students will also explore a range of theoretical and practical questions about law, ethics, policy and justice, and their interaction.
For complete requirements, please see the calendar entry for the joint major program.
"Philosophy majors consistently score very highly on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) required for application to most graduate business programs -- typically 4th out of 35 surveyed majors..."
How do I apply?
Students applying must satisfy requirements for both the Department of Philosophy and the Beedie School of Business.
- Requirements for entry into the Philosophy major program.
- Requirements for entry into the Beedie BBA Business program.
- Internal transfer from an SFU faculty other than business
- Supplemental application process
- Drop-in advising
- Joint Major program checklists
Joint Major Course Requirements
The Joint Major in Business, Philosophy and the Law blends critical thinking and reasoning from the Philosophy major with the experiential aspects of the Business degree program. The program offers a unique combination of theoretical and practical training that can help prepare students for the LSAT exam or for a career in business, public policy or academia.
Students complete 44-46 lower division and 54 upper division units from Business and Philosophy, earning either a BA or a BBA:
- Philosophy - 15 lower division; 25 upper division units
- Business - 29-31 lower division; 29 upper division units.
Please consult the calendar entry for full requirements.
"Data from the Law School Admission Council shows philosophy tied with economics as the highest-scoring majors, with students in each of those two disciplines achieving average scores of 159."
Critical Skills Acquired
Students who complete this program will be able to:
- Employ core critical reasoning skills, including a) the ability to identify fallacious reasoning and b) the ability to understand and employ the foundational concepts of critical reasoning, including truth, rationality, deduction and induction
- Articulate and explain fundamental ethical concepts and theories
- Demonstrate an understanding of the relevance and importance to the law of foundational concepts and debates in ethics, social and political philosophy, logic and epistemology
- Defend an original argument against objections
- Demonstrate the ability to engage in independent research, including finding relevant primary and secondary sources, and expositing and assessing them
- Demonstrate an understanding of core business concepts, including how ethics and the law are interwoven, how torte and contract law are fundamental to business organizations' relations and how these concepts impact human resource decisions
- Identify fundamental ways in which business practice intersects with legal theories and the application of the law
Program Requirements and Core Courses
Please consult the calendar entry for full requirements.
BBA Admission Requirements and Core Courses (Business)
In addition to courses required to gain entry to the Philosophy Joint Major program, students must gain entry to the BBA program and satisfy the Business Upper Division Requirements.
Please see the Beedie School of Business website for full details.
“To remain competitive, Cuban advises ditching degrees that teach specific skills or professions and opting for degrees that teach you to think in a big picture way, like philosophy.”
Mark Cuban says studying philosophy may soon be worth more than computer science: CNBC (2017)
Joint Major FAQs
Q: Can I use courses that count toward this Joint Major to count toward a Certificate?
A: Yes. Courses used for the Joint Major may also count toward a certificate.
Q: Can I use courses that count toward this Joint Major to count toward another minor or major?
A: No. Upper division courses cannot be used for two majors, joint majors or minors.
Q: How do I apply?
A: You can apply through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, or through the Beedie School of Business as long as you satisfy entry requirements for both.
Mr. Jay Leardi
Office: Office: WMC 4604
Mr. Leardi handles program declarations, course enrollments and withdrawals, program requirements, general advising and administrative issues.
To book an advising appointment:
For help with declarations, degree progress check-ins, enrollment, course permissions, or quick questions, contact Jay by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your student number.
Philosophy and Law? Philosophy and Business?
Don't just take our word for it...here's what others are saying about how a Philosophy degree can boost your career.
- Thinkers50 Founder Declares Philosophy As Management's New Frontier: Forbes (2018)
"The business world has become enormously complex. Philosophy will enable business leaders to better understand that complexity, live with it, and make better decisions within it."
- Why Philosophers Are Hot Profiles On Corporate Job Market: Worldcrunch (2018)
"With technology rapidly advancing, what may set human workers apart is their ability to reason as much as their technical skills....the salary comparison site PayScale found that graduates with philosophy diplomas are better paid than their business administration peers."
- Robert E. Rubin: Philosophy Prepared Me for a Career in Finance and Government: New York Times (2018)
- Here’s why studying philosophy helped billionaires Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel succeed: Business Insider (2017)
"A philosophy background is invaluable here as it helps you envision how smaller decisions will eventually fit into bigger ones and how your offerings will help your company down the line."
- Billionaire LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman says his masters in philosophy has helped him more than an MBA: Business Insider (2017)
"Formulating what your investment thesis is, what the strategy is, what the risks with the approach are, what kinds of things you would be doing with it, are all greatly aided by the crispness of thinking that comes with philosophical training."
- Why 'worthless' humanities degrees could set you up for life: BBC (2019)
"According to Microsoft, Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions."