Advisors help students choose a suitable program of study and declare a concentration. It is very important that you meet often with your advisor to keep you on track in fulfilling program requirements.
Selected courses at the intermediate- or 300-level are intended to serve as bridges to more advanced, 400-level, courses. A couple of examples will help to illustrate some strategies for preparing yourself for advanced work.
a. One example has to do with the study of ethics. Several 400-level courses in ethics, e.g., 429, 431, 432, and 433, are best prepared for by taking 361, which is intended to serve as a bridge to advanced courses in ethics. (Ordinarily, 355 and 359 will not provide an adequate background for 400-level courses in ethics.)
b. Similarly, 345 or 383 serve as bridges to 400-level courses in philosophy of language, epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind -- e.g., 409, 477, 481, and 482. And the 300-level surveys in ancient and early modern philosophy will help to prepare you for the more advanced history courses at the 400-level.
c. Some 400-level courses do not have specific prerequisites in philosophy, but may presuppose knowledge of or aptitude for other disciplines. For example, 414 (Mathematical Logic) requires either mathematical aptitude or experience in an area of mathematics in which students are expected to understand the proofs of theorems, or familiarity with symbolic logic through the logic of quantifiers (which is covered in 303).
As these examples show, a student preparing for advanced work in philosophy needs to take into account the individual characteristics of the particular courses for which he or she is preparing. Detailed descriptions in the Course Guide change from year to year, so they are not always the most reliable resource for long-range planning. Once again, the best way to do this is to talk with a concentration advisor.