Everyone has philosophical questions—about how to live, what can be known, what makes life meaningful, and what values mean. How we answer these questions can guide how we live our lives.
You will pursue philosophical inquiry in connection with history, cultural studies, literature, and the arts. By doing so, not only will you come to understand philosophical ideas, you will understand how those ideas can guide people's lives and how they can use them in their own lives.
In philosophy programs, you can become grounded in both Eastern and Western traditions and learn about:
- Political philosophy
- The philosophy of history
- The history of philosophy
Studying philosophy will show you the animating ideas behind much of what people know, believe, desire, and value. You'll learn how to make sound arguments using textual evidence and you'll understand how philosophical ideas can help us make sense of the world and each other. You may even come to love philosophical thinking for its own sake.
Graduates with a philosophy background have gone on to careers as lawyers, schoolteachers, professors, artists, and writers.
See faculty who teach in Philosophy.
How to Choose Your Path
You’ll choose what you study to earn a Bachelor’s degree that’s meaningful to you. Some students decide their programs as they go, while others chart their course in advance.
Aim for both breadth and depth; explore fields that may be related or that may seem very distant. You'll be surprised at what you discover.
If you're new to college, look for programs where you can gain a foundation, build key skills, and broaden your knowledge (FR only, FR-SO, or FR-SR).
If you already have a foundation in this field, look for programs with intermediate or advanced material (SO-SR, JR-SR, or FR-SR). These programs may include community-based learning and in-depth research. Some of these programs have specific prerequisites; check the description for details.
Talk to an academic advisor to get help figuring out what coursework is best for you.