Learn how to think with a Philosophy major.
You’ll dive into classic and contemporary philosophical texts to understand the history of ideas. Learn how to analyze issues thoughtfully, form rational arguments and challenge assumptions — including your own.
Studying Philosophy will teach you to think creatively and solve problems. You’ll graduate prepared for a career in law, politics, academia, publishing, teaching, business, management — and the list goes on. As a Philosophy major, you’ll be able to lead thoughtfully, make meaningful choices and make the world a better place.
What do our graduates do?
Philosophy majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- English Teaching Assistant in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program
- Content strategist at AirBnB
- Team manager at Apple
- University professors at Furman University and the University of California
- District attorneys and attorneys in private practice
- Reporter for the Fayette County Record
- Graduate students at institutions including American University, Boston College, University of Edinburgh, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University and Stanford University
Conversations with Philosophy
Professors at St. Edward’s are treasures troves of knowledge. Their insights reach far beyond their classroom teaching. Jack Musselman, associate professor of Philosophy, shares advice from his teaching on how to have a hard conversation.
Major Requirements: The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy requires 42 hours of Philosophy major courses comprised of a combination of history of philosophy, ethics, and logic courses, as well as History of Christian Theology I or II. In addition, students are encouraged to take other support courses such as Art History, Political Theory, Literary Criticism, etc. in order to narrow their focus to the career of their choosing.
General Education Requirements: The Philosophy degree requires 57 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.
View and download the full degree plan for our Philosophy major (PDF).
A few examples of courses students in this major take:
- History of Philosophy I – This course covers a period of almost a thousand years, beginning with the Greeks circa 600 B.C. and continuing through the transition from the classical to the medieval period.
- Philosophy of Religion – This course explores the complex relations between religion and culture.
- Advanced Logic – This course offers more-advanced consideration of sequential logic, first-order predicate logic and modal logic (logic of possibility and necessity). (Pre-req: PHIL 2303)
Our Faculty and Student Support Services
Philosophy faculty members are active in their fields and bring their expertise to the classroom.
Mark J. Cherry, Dr. Patricia A. Hayes Professor in Applied Ethics, Professor of Philosophy, and Department Chair
Our students have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that support their success. We encourage students to take advantage these resources that help them thrive and excel:
Outside the Classroom and on Campus
Food and Philosophy Ethics Series
An ongoing lecture series featuring 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 discussions in the Center for Ethics and Leadership 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
The career counselors in the Career and Professional Development office (Moody Hall 134, phone 512-448-8530) can help you find an internship that works for you. Your skills as a philosophy major--i.e. critical and analytical reasoning to provide clear and compelling arguments--are in demand by non-profits, for-profits and government employers. So, go to Moody Hall 134 and talk to a career counselor to get an internship. After that, go talk to your philosophy faculty about how that internship can become a philosophy course under their supervision.
Why Study Philosophy?
Study philosophy to learn how to live, to get a top LSAT and GRE score, and a great job.
The importance of philosophy today: Don’t Dismiss the Humanities, by Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
John Cleese: Why Philosophy is Nothing to Laugh About
Philosophy's role in shaping leaders: How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader, by David Brendel, The Harvard Business Review
How philosophy helps in business: The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing the World of Business, by Carolyn Gregoire, The Huffington Post
And don't just take it from professors on campus. Philosophy is a Great Major spells out all the reasons to become a lover of wisdom.
Even the editorial page of Forbes magazine thinks majoring in philosophy is well worth it.
Skeptical about all these claims? Excellent! You're ready to be a philosophy major! And don't trust us just because we said all this. Ask St. Edward's English professor (and lawyer) Drew Loewe, French professor (and Department Chair) Philippe Seminet, University Studies professor Cory Lock, Associate Director of Career Services Adrian Domingo Ramirez and Associate Vice President of Admission Tracy Manier if their B.A. degrees in philosophy prepared them for life and work. They're bound to tell you it really helped them prepare for careers and more. And don't hesitate to contact the faculty in the department for more information!
About the Minor
Students who wish to earn a Philosophy Minor must take the following coursework, totaling 18 hours.
- Ethical Analysis
- History of Philosophy I, II or III
- Philosophy of Religion or Theory of Knowing
- Directed Readings or Senior Seminar
Students may choose any upper division Philosophy elective to complete their minor.
For more information about applicable coursework, please consult the undergraduate bulletin.