Philosophy Majors

The major in Philosophy emphasizes an analytic approach to philosophical questions, which trains students to understand and evaluate arguments and to think and write precisely and clearly.

The study of philosophy is a fundamental component of a modern liberal arts education. The insights and analytical expertise that students gain through the Department of Philosophy undergraduate curriculum are of immense value in a variety of careers.

Three options within the major

The Department of Philosophy offers its majors a choice among three options:

  • The General Emphasis provides a broad view of the field of philosophy. It includes a breadth requirement at the lower division level while providing students wide choice in more advanced courses.
  • The Pre-Law and Pre-Med Emphases include courses through which students gain philosophical perspective on law and medicine, respectively, a foundation that helps to prepare them for professional school.

Learning outcomes

Students graduating with a degree in philosophy should be able to:

  • Employ analytical techniques to construct arguments that proceed via trustworthy inferences from plausible starting points. Although emphasis is on philosophical arguments, the techniques apply to all areas of argumentation.
  • Supplement their informal reasoning with an ability to employ formal techniques.
  • Communicate complex and abstract ideas clearly, orally as well as in writing.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the motivations and problems for a wide variety of positions in historical and contemporary philosophy.