Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate

This Certificate is primarily for students who are already majoring or minoring in a science field such as the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, psychology, cognitive science, and so on. The goal is to provide an opportunity to gain philosophical insight into key questions concerning the methodology and practice of science.

Specialized courses help students acquire core critical and philosophical reasoning skills to enhance the study of science in general. Students learn to:

  • read difficult texts to discern key points and argumentative structure 
  • produce concise, focused writing that develops lucid and original arguments with clarity
  • listen and respond to points presented during constructive discussion

Clear thinking—clear writing—clear speaking...all part of being a scientist!

"In looking for a new foundation, [the scientist] must try to make clear in his own mind just how far the concepts which he uses are justified, and are necessities."  
Einstein, 1936

Specialized Courses

PHIL 144 - Intro to Philosophy of Science
An introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of science.

PHIL 201 - Epistemology
A critical overview of recent accounts of the nature and scope of human knowledge and of justified or rational belief, and of philosophical issues that these accounts are intended to address.

PHIL 203 - Metaphysics
An examination of central problems of metaphysics such as space and time, universals and particulars, substance, identity and individuation and personal identity.

PHIL 341 - Philosophy of Science
A study of the nature of scientific enquiry, classificatory systems, laws and theories, the role of observation in science, the demarcation between science and non-science, causality, the status of theoretical constructs, and teleological explanation.

Elective Courses

Subject to change; for current requirements see Academic Calendar listing

Mathematics - one of:

· MATH 125 - Intro to Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences-l (3)
· MATH 126 - Intro to Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences-ll (3)
· MATH 150 - Calculus I with Review (4)
· MATH 151 - Calculus I (3)
· MATH 152 - Calculus II (3)
· MATH 154 - Calculus I for the Biological Sciences (3)
· MATH 155 - Calculus II for the Biological Sciences (3)
· MATH 157 - Calculus I for the Social Sciences (3)
· MATH 158 - Calculus II for the Social Sciences (3)

Sciences - two of:

· BISC 101 - General Biology (4)
· BISC 102 - General Biology (4)
· CHEM 121 - General Chemistry and Laboratory I (4)
· CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II (2)
· CMPT 120 - Introduction to Computing Science and Programming I (3)
· CMPT 125 - Introduction to Computing Science and Programming II (3)
· EASC 101 - Dynamic Earth (3)
· EASC 210 - Historical Geology (3)
· ENSC 100 - Engineering Technology and Society (3)
· ENSC 100W - Engineering, Science and Society (3)
· ENSC 105W - Process, Form, and Convention in Professional Genres (3)
· GEOG 111 - Earth Systems (3)
· GEOG 213 - Introduction to Geomorphology (3)
· GEOG 214 - Weather and Climate (3)
· GEOG 215 - Biogeography (3)
· LING 100 - Communication and Language (3)
· LING 111 - Introduction to English Vocabulary Analysis (3) or LING 110
· LING 220 - Introduction to Linguistics (3)
· LING 221 - Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology (3)
· MACM 101 - Discrete Mathematics I (3)
· MACM 201 - Discrete Mathematics II (3)
· PHYS 101 - Physics for the Life Sciences I (3)
· PHYS 102 - Physics for the Life Sciences II (3)
· PHYS 120 - Mechanics and Modern Physics (3)
· PHYS 121 - Optics, Electricity and Magnetism (3)
· PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology I (3)
· PSYC 102 - Introduction to Psychology II (3)
· PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology I (3)
· PSYC 102 - Introduction to Psychology II (3)

 

Student Advisors

Undergraduate Advisor

Mrs. Laura Bologea
Office: WMC 4625
Phone: 778.782.4852
Email: philmgr at sfu.ca
Fax: 778.782.4443

Mrs. Bologea handles program declarations, course enrollments and withdrawals, program requirements, general advising and administrative issues. You can e-mail for an appointment or drop-in (don't forget to bring your advising transcript). E-mail is the preferred form of communication and will be answered promptly (include student ID#).

Program Advisor, Methodology of Science Certificate

Dr. Holly Andersen, Graduate Chair 
Office: WMC 5611
Phone: 778.782.4851
Email: philgrad at sfu.ca

Dr. Andersen can advise on course selection and certificate options. To declare the certificate, please see Mrs. Bologea (contact details above).

Program requirements, courses and other details