Become a world-class thinker

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at St. Edward’s University immerses students in an intensive program that challenges them to analyze the world around them.

You'll exercise your intellectual muscles as you read both classic and contemporary philosophy texts to understand their applicability to contemporary problems and choices. You'll challenge assumptions and learn to use sound reasoning in the construction of your arguments. Students develop critical thinking and writing skills and an ability thoughtfully to analyze issues on a global scale. Graduates have a wide spectrum of marketable skills, including rational analysis, analytical thinking, critical inquiry and logical problem solving.

Learn to think deeply and clearly about the central challenges arising for us as humans:
  • Epistemology: What can we know?
  • Metaphysics and ontology: What is the nature of being?
  • Axiology: What should we value?
  • Morality: How should we act?
  • Political Theory: What are the limits of legitimate governmental authority?
Notable People Who Studied Philosophy in College:
  • Nobel Prize winners: Rudolph Eucken (Literature), Albert Sweitzer (Peace), Michael Spense (Economics) and Aung San Suu Kyi (Peace)
  • Business people: Flickr Co-founder Stewart Butterfield, HP CEO Carly Fiorina, LinkedIn Co-founder Reid Hoffman, Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin, George Soros, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel
  • Actors, directors, authors and judges: Justice David Souter, Susan Sontag, Wes Anderson, Ethan Coen, Ricky Gervais, Studs Terkel, Iris Murdoch, Matt Groening, Steve Martin


With a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, you'll develop the critical thinking and analytical skills in demand in multiple fields. Many students select this degree to prepare for graduate studies in such areas as law, medicine, theology or business.

Students who study philosophy acquire sophisticated analytical tools in vigorous but civil classroom debates, and extensively developed written papers and exams. Philosophy majors typically score in the highest percentiles of students taking the MCAT, GMAT, GRE and LSAT.

Examples of careers philosophy students have chosen include:
  • Policy writer for a city agency
  • Content strategist for an Internet company
  • Book, film and movie critic for a publisher
  • Fundraiser for an environmental nonprofit
  • Analyst for a Fortune 500 company
  • Professor at the college level (requires a graduate degree) 

Many of our students have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in philosophy, law and medicine. Others have accepted Fulbright Scholarships.

Recent majors have attended graduate school at many different prestigious universities, including: Stanford University, Boston College, Brandeis University, Purdue University, University of St. Louis, University of London, Loyola University of Chicago, Loyola Marymount University, Williams College, University of Missouri, University of Texas Medical School, University of Connecticut and DePaul University.

Outside the Classroom

Food and Philosophy Ethics Series 

An ongoing lecture series featuring internationally well known speakers from around the country, addressing topics designed to stimulate intellectual conversations about current topics.

Past presentations have included:
  • Decisional Capacity and the Adolescent Brain: Reconsidering the Doctrine of the Mature Minor
  • Genetically Engineering Our Children
  • Drug Peddlers & Politicians: Why Al Capone is Morally Superior to Al Gore
  • Pro-Choice Beyond Abortion: The Scope of Your Constitutional Rights to Do Things with Your Body
  • Conscientious Refusal to Participate in Evil
  • Real Judging, Fake Judging and the Myth of Judicial Activism

For more info, contact: Professor Mark J. Cherry

Fusion Discussion Group

Faculty, staff and students discuss their diverse and distinct perspectives on important and relevant issues. A brief reading is selected for discussion during lunch.

Past discussion topics have included:
  • Jan Hoffman's article, What Your Therapist Thinks About You, a New York Times article looking at the therapist’s view of the patient
  • “Small Change, Why the revolution will not be tweeted,” written by Malcolm Gladwell for The New Yorker
  • “The Disruption Machine, What the gospel of innovation gets wrong,” written by Jill Lepore for The New Yorker

For more info, contact: Dr. Jack Musselman

Meet the Faculty

View Faculty


Faculty have conducted research on a variety of topics, some of which include:
  • Ethics
  • Bioethics
  • Social and political philosophy
  • Applied ethics
  • Deliberative dialogues and democratic practice
  • Naturalism
  • Theology

Published Work

Philosophy faculty members have collectively authored or edited more than 20 books and well over a hundred articles for professional publications and major research journals. These include work in The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (Oxford University Press), Christian Bioethics (Oxford University Press), the Annals of Bioethics (Routledge), Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture (Springer), The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science and many more.

Why They Teach

“I teach because I believe it is important for students to have an intellectual “tool kit” that will help them succeed in their lives beyond college.”
— Stephen C. Dilley, PhD

“My approach to teaching, like many philosophers, is about asking individuals what an author means and how and why they agree or disagree with the author’s arguments.”
— Jack Musselman, PhD

“I hope that through my courses I’m able to show my students what is possible in the world of knowledge and learning.”
— William J. Zanardi, PhD

About the Minor

Students who wish to earn a Philosophy Minor must take the following coursework, totaling 18 hours.

Required Courses:
  • Ethical Analysis
  • Logic
  • History of Philosophy I, II or III
  • Philosophy of Religion or Theory of Knowing
  • Directed Readings or Senior Seminar
  • Electives

Students may choose any upperdivision Philosophy elective to complete their minor.

For more information about applicable coursework, please consult the undergraduate bulletin.