Department of Philosophy and Religion



    This four-year program is carefully crafted to develop students’ intellectuality; that is, the ability to absorb, research and reflect complex thoughts and ideas; the ability to think critically, analytically and creatively around philosophical and all other problems; the ability to express themselves clearly, logically and convincingly in all forms of communication; and the ability to engage constructively and peacefully in debates or conflicts.

         In addition to extensive Philosophy courses, students are required to take communicative English and Thai languages modules, courses in the Arts, Social Science and Sciences & Mathematics fields as well as electives of their choice. This makes graduates of the Department of Philosophy and Religion truly sophisticated and versatile.


    Key Benefits

    • Ranked as the best Philosophy department in Thailand in the 2015 QS World University Rankings (by subject index), students are therefore ensured of highest standard of teaching and knowledge;
    • Flexible course structure. Students can custom-tailor their own study by means of optional courses and study tracks to best suit their interests;
    • Exceptionally wide range of optional courses for students to choose from, ranging from the history of philosophy to contemporary thought
    • A combination of Philosophy and other fields plus critical, analytical and synthetic thinking means graduates of the Department are well-rounded and highly employable in many careers.


    Over the course of four years, students are required to complete at least 137 credits. In each semester, they will take five or seven individual courses, normally valued at 2.0 and 3.0 credits each, adding up to 15.0 to 21.0 credits for the semester. Students are also free to shape their educational paths through two tracks:

    • Independent Study and Seminar in Philosophical Problems: focusing on taught modules and coursework, students spend seven semesters on Philosophy study and attend Seminar in Philosophical Problems sessions, along with taking more in-depth modules, in the last semester.
    • Cooperative Education: focusing on first-hand work experience, students spend seven semesters on coursework and dedicate their last semester to a work placement program. 

         In the first year, students are introduced to fundamental Philosophy and then geared towards a classical study through Greek Philosophy and Eastern Philosophy modules. This enables students to gain sound knowledge and understanding of great works from great figures in the history of philosophy. Students are also required to take communicative English and Thai courses as well as interdisciplinary subjects such as Localism and Globalization, Reading and Literary World and General Psychology plus courses in Science and Social Sciences of their choice, to emphasize versatility.
         In the second year, in addition to core courses: LogicEthics and Introduction to Political Science, students can choose two modules of their liking from a vast collection of Philosophy theories, both classic and contemporary, samples of which are Political Philosophy, Philosophy of the Middle Ages, Bioethics and Philosophy in Film. Students also take an intermediate-level English course and three modules in the Social Sciences and Science & Mathematic fields and start their minor study at this level. 
         In the third year, students choose four advanced Philosophy modules that suit their interests, as well as either Descriptive Study of Religion or Mind Volunteer class, besides the compulsory Metaphysics, Human Ecology and Epistemology courses. Two communicative English courses at this stage help strengthen their bilingual capability.   
         In the fourth year, every student studies Contemporary Philosophy and Aesthetics, together with one Thai Language module of his/her choice, as compulsory courses.

    • Students on the Independent Study and Seminar in Philosophical Problems track take Independent Study module in the first semester and Seminar in Philosophical Problems plus two advanced Philosophy subjects in the second semester.
    • Cooperative Education students concentrate their Philosophy coursework in the first semester and spend the second semester on apprenticeship as a preparation for a career world.


    Through the study of Philosophy, students gain key transferable skills that are in fact essential in every career path. These include excellent communication skills, analytical and critical thinking, the ability to work both independently and in a team, and the ability to digest complex materials and ideas and come up with creative solutions, for instance.

         Many graduates of the Department of Philosophy and Religion have been recognized as competent university lecturers and researchers; others have also been successful in various fields including journalism and public administration.

The Faculty of Humanities is one of three faculties established when Chiang Mai University was founded in 1964. The other two faculties are the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Social Sciences. The three faculties offer three groups of foundation courses: natural sciences, social science and humanities as educators at that time believed it would result in a perfect graduate who is equipped with basic knowledge related to things of nature, human society and the mind as well as other qualities of mankind. In the first year of the establishment in 1964, the Faculty of Humanities had 20 full-time academic staff and 2 part-time instructors, 3 administrative staff and 77 students while offering 282 courses.

CMU Link