Department Description: Courses in Philosophy cover life’s fundamental questions, such as what do we know, and how do we know it? What is the source and function of moral behavior? What is the nature of logic and correct reasoning? Students of Philosophy learn how history’s most profound thinkers have attempted to answer these questions; students also learn the thinking and reasoning skills that will allow them to answer these questions for themselves.

Department Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an ability to recognize and critically evaluate issues that arise when people think about the nature of truth, life, the universe, morality, mind, God, and other issues of philosophical interest.
  • Become more aware and reflective individuals capable of independently assessing commonly held clichéd social assumptions and articulating informed and well-reasoned evaluations.
  • Become self motivated thinkers possessing the ability to rationally determine their beliefs and values for themselves.

Special Department Information: Because courses in Philosophy often require students to express themselves in writing, it is suggested that students complete ENGL 1410 Composition I prior to taking a Philosophy course.

Transfer Opportunities: The analytical skills honed in Philosophy courses enhance a student’s chance for success in any major. Students looking beyond a major, or considering a future specialization in philosophy, should know that Philosophy majors consistently register higher LSAT, GRE, and GMAT scores than students from other disciplines. The University of Virginia Law School found that Philosophy majors averaged 15 points higher on the Law School entrance exam than students from other majors. Courses in Philosophy greatly benefit anyone interested in law school, seminary, medicine, journalism, or attaining any graduate degree.

Career Opportunities: While there are few jobs with the title “Philosopher,” Philosophy’s focus on thinking skills provides students with a valuable asset in the rapidly changing job market. Not all philosophers become professors. Consider this partial list of philosophers (majored in Philosophy): Woody Allen, William Bennett, Bill Clinton, David Duchovny, Umberto Eco, John Elway, Harrison Ford, Vaclav Havel, Bruce Lee, Steve Martin, Pope John Paul II, Susan Sontag, George Soros, and Alex Trebeck. Some employers look for skills, but all employers value thinking.

Career Titles: Lawyer, Journalist, Professor


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