Philosophy

Undergraduate Degree Programs

 

There are a range of reasons to study philosophy, all of them compelling. First and foremost, the topics explored by philosophers are inherently interesting. From the very beginning, they have asked the hard questions: What is knowledge? How should we live? Is there a god? Are we free? Philosophy is a discipline that encourages participants to think, to question, and to wonder. On these grounds alone, philosophy is life-enhancing.

But studying philosophy also offers surprising practical payoffs. Philosophy possesses a distinctive methodology in addition to a traditional subject matter. An emphasis on analysis, argumentation, evaluation, and proof can be found in every philosophy class. The habits of mind that philosophy encourages—logical precision, awareness of the assumptions undergirding any discussion, an attitude of both openmindedness and responsible criticism toward new and unusual ideas are portable—they carry over to many other endeavors. Thus undergraduate philosophy majors score better on standardized tests (the LSAT, GMAT, and GRE) than many of their classmates, and employers in many fields now actively seek out and welcome philosophy graduates. Philosophy students entering the job market can confidently claim skills applicable to a wide range of non-academic tasks.

Below are links to a variety of websites that set out and amplify the points just made. Please explore them at your leisure.

Career Outlook

A philosophy B.A. provides excellent preparation for many different careers. While a few philosophy students go on to a Ph.D. and a career in teaching, most put their degrees to other uses. An undergraduate philosophy major is an ideal choice for students interested in law school. It also provides excellent preparation for medical school, business school, and other professional degree programs. Recent statistics compiled by the American Philosophical Association show that undergraduate philosophy majors scored better than any other group on the verbal section of the GRE; their combined scores were among the highest overall. For students unsure of their career goals, majoring in philosophy helps them develop verbal and analytical skills that will position them well in today's rapidly changing workplace. Completing a philosophy major also equips students with a basic curiosity that can enhance all aspects of their lives.

Get More Information

Please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Waldemar Rohloff, at rohloffw@umsl.edu or by phone at (314) 516-6192.