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Certificate in Philosophy

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  • Program requirements

The Certificate in Philosophy is an independent undergraduate program comprising 24 credits, leading to a diploma, or undergraduate certificate, approved by the Senate.

This certificate allows students to develop critical thinking skills and reflect on the major issues of our society, which contributes to the growth of the human person and his or her integration in society.

The Certificate in Philosophy is a part time program.

Do not hesitate to contact an Academic Advisor to obtain more information.

Applications: A step-by-step guide

STEP 1: Choose a program of study
STEP 2: Learn about admission requirements
STEP 3: Submit your application
STEP 4: Gather the documents needed for the assessment of your application
STEP 5: Assessment of your application
STEP 6: Accept your offer of admission
STEP 7: Choose your courses


Undergraduate programs:



Ontario applicants

From secondary school
Have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with at least six 4U or 4M level courses, including one 4U level course in English or français.

From Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT)

  • After one year of studies
    You are eligible if you have completed one year of a college program and have obtained the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with one language course (English or français) at the college or 4U level.
  • After a two- or three-year program
    If you have completed a two- or three-year college program, you can obtain up to 30 credits of advanced standing (transfer credits).

Our transfer agreements
Saint Paul University has developed a number of transfer agreements with colleges, allowing applicants to receive up to 30 equivalency credits. Find out more by consulting the tab entitled College Credit Transfer.

Quebec applicants

From secondary school
Have a Secondary School Diploma with an average of 84%, including one course in English or français at the Secondary V level.

From Cégep
Have completed 12 courses of general studies (not including physical education and refresher courses), including English (603) or français (601). Applicants who have successfully completed 12 courses of general studies may obtain up to 15 credits of advanced standing, and those who have successfully completed more than 12 courses of general studies may obtain up to 30 credits of advanced standing.

Applicants from the Atlantic and Western provinces

Have a Secondary School Diploma, including one course in English or français at the Grade 12 level.

Applicants from other universities

Applications from other Canadian or international universities will be assessed based on the applicant’s previous secondary and post-secondary studies. University equivalency credits may be granted depending on the studies completed and the program into which the person is admitted.

International applicants

Have a diploma attesting to 12 years of education equivalent to the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Persons who have completed a secondary diploma attesting to 13 years of education, such as the Baccalauréat de l’enseignement secondaire français, can receive up to 30 credits of advanced standing. 

Mature applicants

When the applicant’s academic record does not meet normal conditions for admission, it is possible to apply as a mature applicant, provided that the person has not been enrolled in full-time studies for at least two consecutive years. In order to be considered for admission, applicants must have experience that can be considered sufficient preparation for pursuing undergraduate studies.



You have two options



If you are applying for admission to an undergraduate program at more than one Ontario university, including Saint Paul University:


Apply through OUAC

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because Saint Paul University is federated with the University of Ottawa, you will find programs offered by Saint Paul University listed under the University of Ottawa.


If you are applying for an undergraduate program at Saint Paul University only, or if you are applying for a master’s or doctoral program:

  • Complete the following form.

 Apply Now




In order for us to assess your application, you must submit official transcripts for all of your previous studies (secondary, college and university). These transcripts must be sent directly from your academic institution to the following address:


Saint Paul University
Office of Admissions and Student Services
223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 1C4


However, to expedite the assessment process for your application, you can scan your documents and e-mail them to the Office of Admissions at and then send your official documents through the mail.



Once the Office of Admissions receives all the required documents, it will begin to assess your application. One of the following decisions will be sent to you at the email address you gave us, as well as to your postal address.

Possible decisions

  • Offer of admission
    The Office of Admissions will send you an offer of admission (unconditional).  
  • Conditional offer of admission
    The Office of Admissions will make you a conditional offer of admission, with specific conditions that you must meet by a certain deadline. You can still proceed to registration (course selection).
  • Deferred decision
    The Office of Admissions can inform you that some information is missing and therefore the University is unable to make a decision regarding your eligibility. If applicable, the Office will tell you which documents to send and by what date.
  • Refusal
    The Office of Admissions will inform you of the reasons for the refusal.



To accept an offer of admission and a scholarship offer, if applicable, you must sign the form entitled Admission acceptance form that accompanies your offer of admission and send it to Saint Paul University by email, before the deadline, to the following address or mail it to:

Saint Paul University
Office of Admissions and Student Services
223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 1C4



With your offer of admission, you will receive all the information you will need to choose your courses. You will also receive the contact information for our academic advisors; you can meet with them one on one or during information sessions for guidance and to help you finalize your course selection.

Compulsory courses (12 credits)

  • PHI2154 Moral Philosophy
  • PHI2181 Human Knowledge
  • PHI2182 Human Existence
  • PHI2184 Philosophy of Religion

Optional courses (12 credits)

3 credits from:

  • PHI1101 Reasoning and Critical Thinking (UO)
  • PHI1105 Introduction to Philosophical Reasoning
  • PHI1110 Elementary Logic

3 credits from:

  • PHI2380 Greek Philosophy or the Birth of Philosophy (UO)
  • PHI3185 Aristotelian-Thomistic Metaphysics
  • PHI3370 Plato: The Philosopher as Legislator (UO)
  • PHI3380 Aristotle or the Search for Happiness (UO)

3 credits from:

  • PHI2382 Medieval Philosophy (UO)
  • PHI3107 Thomas Aquinas
  • PHI3141 Augustine

3 credits from:

  • PHI2383 Modern Philosophy (UO)
  • PHI3377 Continental Contemporary Philosophy (UO)
  • PHI3398 Contemporary Analytic Philosophy (UO)
  • PHI4155 Selected Topics in Philosophy II

Some courses have specific prerequisites.

The Certificate in Philosophy is a part time program.

PHI 1105 - Introduction to Philosophical Reasoning

Understanding the nature of philosophical enquiry. Understanding the place of philosophy in culture, science and theology. Appreciation of some of the major philosophical questions regarding the self, knowledge and the world.

PHI 1110 - Elementary Logic

This course is a general introduction to logic. The course introduces students to such basic logical concepts as deduction, induction, validity and invalidity, fallacy, the relation of language to logic, and problems arising from workaday, rhetorical forms of argument.

PHI 2154 - Moral Philosophy

Survey of the major ethical systems in the Western world. Relationship between philosophical and religious thinking in ethical matters. Fundamental questions facing contemporary moral consciousness.

PHI 2154 and PHI 2174 are mutually exclusive. PHI 2154 was previously under course code PHI 3183.

PHI 2181 - Human Knowledge

From Lascaux’s cave paintings to mythology, history, philosophy, and the experimental sciences,  human knowledge is the product of diverse approaches.  The course aims to show the diversity of human knowledge, its evolution and transmission, as well as the central role philosophy plays in the structuring of this knowledge in different types of discourse.

PHI 2182 - Human Existence

Essential dimensions of human existence. Its specificity with regard to the world around it. Openness to the religious realm, self awareness, reason, political life, relation to others, relationship to the world of nature.

PHI 2184 - Philosophy of Religion

Philosophers and religion. Questions raised by the scientific study of religion in the contemporary period. Contributions of linguistic analysis to the study of the expressions of religious faith.

PHI 3107 - Thomas Aquinas

Life, intellectual context, and philosophical thought of Thomas Aquinas. Study of selected texts.

PHI 3141 - Augustine

Life, intellectual context, and philosophical thought of Augustine. Study of selected texts.

This course was previously PHI2155.

PHI 3185 - Aristotelian -Thomistic Metaphysics

The question of being. First philosophy. Fundamental notions of Aristotelian metaphysics. Several contemporary critiques.

PHI 4155 - Selected Topics in Political Philosophy II

Study of a particular topic or thinker in political philosophy.

Courses offered by the University of Ottawa:

PHI 1101 - Reasoning and Critical Thinking (UO)

Development of fundamental skills in reasoning and critical thinking through the study of argument types, logical structures, criteria used in the evaluation of arguments, and forms of fallacious reasoning.

PHI 2380 - Greek Philosophy or the Birth of Philosophy (UO)

The birth of philosophy in Ancient Greece and its development, from the 6th to the 4th century B.C. Introduction to the originality and specificity of philosophical discourse through the study of Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Democritus, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

Also offered as CLA2380.

PHI 2382 - Philosophy in the Middle Ages (UO)

Introduction to major thinkers of the fifth to fourteenth centuries (Augustine to Ockham) and to some of the great questions of the era, concerning such matters as the nature of universals, of knowledge, and of the mind. Particular attention is paid to developments in epistemology and metaphysics.

PHI 2383 - Modern Philosophy (UO)

Introduction to major philosophers, from Descartes to Kant, and philosophical systems (Rationalism, Empiricism) of the 17th and 18th centuries, with emphasis on developments in epistemology and metaphysics.

PHI 3370 - Plato. The Philosopher as Poet, Lover, Dialectician and King (UO)

An introduction to the philosophy of Plato through the reading in their entirety of a selection of dialogues that represent the diversity of his styles, methods, and ideas.

Prerequisite: 12 PHI credits including PHI2380. Also offered as CLA3370.

PHI 3377 - Contemporary Continental Philosophy (UO)

Survey of the major trends in 20th-century European philosophy: existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, critical theory, structuralism, and poststructuralist.

Prerequisites: 15 PHI credits, including PHI 2383.

PHI 3380 - Aristotle. The Pursuit of Wisdom for its Own Sake (UO)

An introduction to the philosophy of Aristotle through a reading of selected texts representing his wide-ranging interests in psychology, logic, physics, metaphysics ethics, and politics.

Prerequisites: 12 PHI credits, including PHI 2380. Also offered as CLA3380.

PHI 3398 - Contemporary Analytic Philosophy (UO)

Study of major debates and currents in analytic philosophy, with focus on the core theoretical areas of philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics.

Prerequisites: 15 PHI credits, including PHI 2170 and PHI 2383. Previously: PHI3378.

Contact Us

Office of Admissions, Registrar and Student Services
Room 154
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4

Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014

Hours of Operation

August 15 to May 31

Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

June 1 to August 14

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.