Meet Your Major

As a philosophy major, you’ll sharpen your communication and critical-thinking skills while diving into life’s most persistent questions.

Philosophy courses expose students to some of life’s most persistent and important questions. They are designed to appeal to a variety of student interests and concerns. Non-majors gain a richer education and preparation for work and life.

In addition to the general philosophy track, you may also concentrate in ethics and political philosophy. Your exposure to a range of concepts and academic skills will prepare you for a career in law, medicine, business or education.

What You’ll Learn

In the philosophy program, you will:

  • Learn how to think logically, critically, and independently.
  • Improve your ability to communicate ideas and arguments clearly and effectively.
  • Engage with ancient and modern theories of the nature of reality, knowledge, ethics, and politics.
  • Gain the problem-solving and analytical skills to thrive in whichever career you choose.

Hands-On Learning

Engage in philosophical discussion and debates by attending events hosted by the Philosophy Club. Students who have taken three philosophy courses may be eligible to join Phi Sigma Tau, the International Honor Society for Philosophy (a GPA of 3.50 in all philosophy courses is required).

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the philosophy program, you will be well-equipped to pursue a variety of careers in law, business, government, or academia. Positions may include:

  • Lawyer
  • Bioethics Consultant
  • Positions in politics and public policy
  • Journalist
  • Public relations and media
  • Professor
  • Teacher
  • Writer

What You’ll Take

All philosophy majors take a combination of required and elective courses to satisfy the 34-credit, nine-course requirement. You may elect to take the general philosophy track or concentrate in ethics and political philosophy.

General Track 

  • Any 1000 level PHL course
  • Two PHL courses in Ethics*
  • One course in History of Philosophy*
  • One PHL course in Knowledge or Reality*
  • PHL 4200 or approved equivalent 
  • Three electives. One elective may be taken in another department.  The course should include philosophical content.  See list of cognate courses below.

Ethics & Political Philosophy Track

* See list of area requirements for Ethics, History of Philosophy, Knowledge, and Reality.

Cognate Electives

One elective may be taken from this list:

Interested in a Career in Law?

Philosophy majors have consistently performed extremely well on the LSAT and have high rates of admission into law schools.

Philosophy develops skills that are recommended by the American Bar Association for pre-law students, including problem-solving; critical reading; writing and editing; oral communication and listening; and promotion of justice.

Many philosophy courses also expose students to the law by critically examining laws, proposed legal reforms and court cases. These include Philosophy of Law; Global Justice; Human Rights: Theory and Practice; Biomedical Ethics,; and Contemporary Moral Problems.

Associate Professor of Philosophy Sandra Raponi, adviser for the Law, Ethics and Society Minor, has a law degree in addition to a Ph.D. in philosophy. Email her for more information about how a degree in philosophy can help prepare you for law school.

Additional Resources

More Information

Visit the online course catalog for more information on all majors and minors.

Sample Curriculum Guide

Wondering when you’ll take certain courses? Use the Curriculum Guide—a sample four-year schedule—to get a sense of what your path to graduation looks like.