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Department of Philosophy


Why Study Philosophy?

Studying philosophy can mean many different things to different people.  You can pursue philosophy for your reasons, your passions, your goals.  Pursue it because you love it.  Pursue it for the skills you will learn.  Pursue it for your career.  Pursue it to learn more.  Read more below to learn about the wonderful benefits of pursuing the study of philosophy.

Pursue it because you love it

The best reason to choose any major is because you like it.    You crave the challenge; you love what you learn; you look forward to discussing it with others.  The number one predictor of success in college and beyond is how much you care about what you are studying.

  • If you like asking and pondering hard questions, philosophy is for you.
  • If you want to get better at analytical problem-solving, philosophy is for you.
  • If you are intrigued by understanding how others think, philosophy is for you.
  • If you seek to understand and communicate complex ideas, philosophy is for you.

This is probably your only chance to be a college student.  Make it count.  [Read more here.]

 

Pursue it to gain invaluable skills

Philosophy asks the big questions.  But philosophy isn't just 'saying what you think'.  Addressing big questions well requires big skills, and in your philosophy classes you will learn those skills:  excellently reasoned argumentation, clear and persuasive writing and speaking, careful and accurate analysis.  You will learn these skills from the absolute best that history has to offer, as well as contemporary philosophers engaged with the challenges of our time.

Philosophy is unusual in its explicit focus on the structure of arguments across a broad range of topics, from the meaning of words to the nature of knowledge, from ethics to animal minds. It makes sense, then, that training in philosophy might be unusual in its potential to yield general-purpose tools for better thinking.

[Tania Lombrozo on NPR; read more here.]

 

Pursue it for a career

Philosophy prepares you for the real world, the world where you must adapt to ever-changing expectations and demands, where your ability to think well, communicate clearly, and understand others can secure you a rewarding career (or two or three).  Employers in the new economy understand this fact about philosophy majors, and so should you.  JournalismManagementTech and Beyond?  Your study of philosophy will prepare you for success and fulfillment without sacrificing your earnings.

 

Pursue it for an advanced degree

Philosophy majors lead the way in the pursuit of advanced degrees from medical school to law school, business school to masters degrees and PhDs.

  • Philosophy majors routinely score at or near the top of all LSAT test-takers; they are one of the most successful majors for getting accepted to, and succeeding at, law school.  [example data here]
  • Philosophy majors have the highest medical school acceptance rate of all majors.  Humanities majors in general were accepted at a rate or around 47% in 2018.  (By comparison, the rate of acceptance for Biology majors is around 40%).  [data here; see also this article from the Washington Post]
  • Philosophy majors outscore all business majors on the GMAT; the critical and analytical skills you learn in philosophy classes will prepare you for successs in business school and beyond.  [example data here]
  • Philosophy majors score the highest of any major on the GRE.  (It's not even close.)  [example data here]