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 

PHL 1xxx

Any 1000 level PHL course
Two courses in    Ethics *
One course in History of Philosophy * 
One course in Knowledge or Reality * 
Three courses Philosophy electives
PHL 4200

Special Topics (or approved equivalent)

 

Ethics and Political Philosophy Track 

PHL 1xxx Any 1000 level PHL course
Two courses in Ethics *
One course in History of Philosophy  *
Two Philosophy electives
PHL 4200 Special Topics (or approved equivalent)

 

Two courses in Political Philosophy:

        PHL 2040 Introduction to Political Philosophy 
        PHL 2500 Theories of Justice
        PHL 3010 Human Rights: Theory and Practice
        PHL 3020 Philosophy of Law
        PHL 3030 Global Justice
        PHL 3060 Justice in Health and Healthcare

 

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

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