The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program nurtures habits of thinking, writing, and communicating that prepare students to respond well to the complex realities of professional, social, and personal life. Our pluralistic, socially engaged faculty guides students in critically analyzing prevailing values, norms, and institutions. We empower students to imagine and create flourishing lives and communities.
All philosophy courses focus on careful reading, thinking, and clear expression. You may select from a wide array of content—from applied ethics to non-Western philosophy—to meet the requirements of the major, which includes courses in value theory (ethics, aesthetics), social justice, knowledge and reality, the history of western philosophy, logic and critical reasoning, and global and feminist perspectives. Students master the skills of reading, critical thinking, and analysis essential to success in the professional world; and develop the abilities to think and write clearly as well as the capacity to grasp the intricacies of difficult problems facing the world today.
Philosophy majors develop widely transferable skills, including critical reasoning and critical writing, the ability to solve problems, the facility to communicate clearly and effectively, and the capability to analyze and assess a situation from diverse points of view. These skills are valuable in every profession.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Philosophy majors have a higher average starting salary than any other major in the Humanities. Further, Philosophy and Mathematics majors have higher mid-career salary growth than any other major.
Philosophy majors do exceptionally well on exams for graduate or professional schools. They score higher than any other major on the verbal and analytic writing portions of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and well above the mean on the quantitative reasoning section. Philosophy majors rank second overall on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and third overall on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
Graduates of philosophy programs are employed in many different areas, including:
- Law and public policy
- Computer programming
- Technical writing
- Editing, journalism, and public relations
- Criminal justice
- Higher education