Philosophy lies at the core of the liberal arts education. Philosophy asks fundamental questions about the world we live in: about the meaning of human life; the nature, purpose and limit of human knowledge; the character and contents of our moral experiences; and the fundamental features of human societies. Across a range of related inquires such as logic and critical reasoning, ethics, metaphysics and epistemology, political philosophy, the philosophy of law, and the history of political thought, philosophy courses challenge students to think deeply and consistently, to reflect on their own commitments and opinions, to learn about the variety of ways that the human experience has been described and interpreted, and to come to a deeper and fuller understanding of themselves.
The study of philosophy also trains students in a range of skills that are fundamental to education in its widest sense. Philosophy courses teach students how to read with attention and sensitivity to language, conceptual structure and meaning; how to analyze and construct arguments; and how to speak and write clearly and effectively. The philosophy major is valuable not only for students planning to continue the study of philosophy at the post-graduate level, but also for anyone considering a career in law, business, politics and diplomacy, the non-profit world, and any other career emphasizing analytical, linguistic and logical skills.
Philosophy majors have some of the best scores on tests such as the GRE, LSAT, and GMAT, as a result of their training. See our course offerings or consult the University Bulletin for a complete listing of requirements.
Philosophy Requirements Checklist (.pdf, 92kb)
Philosophy Requirements (.pdf, 62kb)
Last Updated: 9/9/13