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Major or Minor in Philosophy

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is the practice of thinking. It questions the foundations of everything that we take to be true, while also constructing visions of the good life. It involves relentless interpretation and criticism of our knowledge, institutions, attitudes, and most deeply held beliefs. Philosophy asks: what is thinking and what are its limits? Is language a social intervention, an innate ability, or an imitation of nature? Is there a God, and what is this God like? How should we organize our society? Why are there inequalities, and is justice only the law of the stronger? Are the mind and body one? Is the pattern of a leaf the same as the connections of a thought? Are standards of beauty objective, or are they relative to the observer?

As a philosophy major, you will acquire a broad competence in the history of philosophy and a thorough understanding of the systematic foundations of philosophical views. You will learn logic, languages, and the interpretation of texts and arguments. You will also have the chance to work closely with active, publishing scholars as your mentors.

To review the requirements for the major and minor, and to learn more about the departmental course structure, click on the "Major/Minor Requirements" tab.

What Can I Do With a Philosophy Degree?

Employers in many fields recognize the versatility of an undergraduate education grounded by a philosophy major. Philosophy majors become lawyers, public relations specialists, policy analysts, doctors, university presidents, teachers, diplomats, and business owners. They go into consulting work, banking, financial analysis, and management. Their writing skills prepare them for careers in politics, television, film, theater, advertising and literature. They become publishers, editors, journalists, researchers, public interest advocates, lobbyists, medical and business ethicists, congressional staffers, clergy, political activists, judges, art critics and just about everything else (including, of course, philosophers).

Our course of studies will train you in the most important "transferable skills": general problem solving, the ability to assess complex data, communication skills, persuasive power and excellent written expression.

Philosophy majors have extremely high acceptance rates to doctoral programs in the humanities and social sciences, to law schools, to masters in business administration programs, and even to medical schools.