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.
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).
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:
- Bioethics Consultant
- Positions in politics and public policy
- Public relations and media
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.
- 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
- Any 1000 level Philosophy course
- Two courses in Political Philosophy:
- Two additional PHL courses in Ethics *
- One PHL course in the History of Philosophy *
- PHL 4200 or approved equivalent
- Two electives. One may be taken in another department. The course should include philosophical content. See list of cognate courses below.
One elective may be taken from this list:
- ESS 1050 – Environmental Studies and Sustainability Gateway
- MGT 3325 – Ethics and Social Responsibility
- POL 2010 – Political Ethics
- POL 2181 – American Political Thought
- POL 2581 – Intro to Political Theory
- POL 3152 – Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
- RTS 2400 – Sex, Politics, Religion, and St. Augustine
- RTS 2800 – Social Ethics: Christian Perspectives
- RTS 2820 – Bioethics & Healthcare: Theological Approaches
- RTS 2950 – Ethics in the Abrahamic Tradition
- RTS 3850 – War & Peace: Religious Perspectives
- SOJ 1000 – Introduction to Social Justice (Theory & Practice)
- WGS 3100 – Feminist Theories in Action
Please speak to your advisor about other suitable courses.
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.
- LSAT performance and admission rates for philosophy majors
- American Law Association statement on preparing for law school
Visit the online course catalog for more information on all majors and minors.