B.A. Philosophy

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Fast Facts: Philosophy Major and Minor

  • Designed for students who want to think carefully about fundamental issues like the nature of reality, the existence of God, race and gender, what it means to be a 'good' person, etc.
  • Provides students with the skills to think critically and for themselves: to question key assumptions, carefully analyze arguments, use sound reasoning and make good decisions in confusing conditions
  • Prepares students for leadership in a variety of fields including law, medicine, non-profit administration, business and higher education. Students work closely with professors to shape their major or minor to fit their goals
  • Low credit requirement allows students to double major if they desire
  • Annual opportunities to attend and present at professional conferences
  • Major culminates with a senior seminar — students are challenged to prove their philosophical expertise by collaborating with faculty and students in developing, articulating and defending an original philosophical position

Program requirements

Major: 36 credits
Minor: 20 credits

Careers

Trained in careful, original, thinking, philosophy majors are well prepared for a variety of careers. Nationwide, those who major in philosophy receive:

  • the highest scores on the LSATs (required exam for entrance into law school)
  • the highest scores on the GREs (required exam for general entrance into graduate school)
  • the fourth highest scores on the GMATs (required exam for entrance into business graduate school)
  • a higher rate of admission into medical school than students in any other major

Our students tailor their philosophy major/minor to fit their career goals, often working with their advisers to select a second major or minor to complement their education in philosophy. While philosophy students can pursue most careers, they most commonly go into law, medicine, non-profit administration, business, technology and higher education. St. Scholastica’s philosophy program has a special strength in ethics, offering classes in ethical theory, environmental ethics, consumer ethics, ethics in healthcare and more. This can help our students become a valued asset in a variety of fields.

Pair with a language

Boost your brain power and give yourself a competitive edge in our global economy by pairing your major with a language. St. Scholastica offers programs and courses in American Sign Language, French, German, Latin, Ojibwe, Russian and Spanish.

Sample curriculum

Here are some classes you could take as part of this major or minor. Please note that you would not necessarily need all of these courses to fulfill a major or minor. This list doesn't include general education courses. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

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Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse PHL 1105 - Logic

Thinking about thinking, this course studies arguments and proofs.Deductive and inductive inferential reasoning are used to assess validity and strength of arguments and significant theorems. Students will learn the limits of reason and where it can legitimately extend and where it enters into paradox and contradiction.

Expand and Collapse PHL 2205 - Philosophy of Person

Explores a variety of dimensions of being human in seeking to answer the question, "Who am I?" Issues read about and discussed include whether or not there is a specific "human" nature shared by all; the role of gender in reaching an understanding of what it means to be a person; tensions between freedom and community; the human relationship to nature and whether or not there is any spiritual dimension to existence. Study of both traditional and contemporary writers is included.

Expand and Collapse PHL 2220 - Philosophy of Religion

What is religion? This is the question this course seeks to answer from a philosophical perspective. Answering this question demands an examination of topics such as: the existence of God; the nature of God in Western religions; theodicy (the problem of evil); faith and reason; religious experience; religious pluralism; feminism and philosophy of religion; science and religion; modernity and religion; non-Western philosophy of religion; and life without religion.

Expand and Collapse PHL 2301 - Health, Happiness, and Human Well-being

Examines concepts like health and illness, ability and disability, and happiness and well-being from a philosophical perspective. It explores the philosophical aspects of some of the central questions in medicine and health care: What is health? What is health in relation to happiness and human well-being? What are suffering and healing? What are the goals of medicine and what is the purpose of health care? To what extent are health, disease, and illness biological realities or social constructions? How have concepts of health, disease, and illness been used to harm people? What is mental health and illness, why are their meanings contested, and how has psychiatry been abused? Further, the course considers such issues as the different types of knowledge in health care, medical knowledge and power, human rights and health care, ethical principles and practices in health care, and current ethical dilemmas and controversies in the field.

Expand and Collapse PHL 3302 - Ancient Philosophy

Roots of Western thought examined as found in the writings of the ancient Greeks through a variety of time periods and genres in differing combinations: Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Thucydides, Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Plato, and/or Aristotle.

Expand and Collapse PHL 3360 - Philosophies of Feminism

Examines theoretical accounts of the relation between women and men in present society, identification of assumptions within the feminist accounts, and evaluation of proposals for change.

Expand and Collapse PHL 4420 - Philosophy of Science

Looks at such questions as: What is science and what is it not? What are theories, models, laws and hypotheses? How do scientific theories change? What is the method and domain of science? Does science have a monopoly on "truth" about the world or does it ever achieve it?

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  • "I am a double major biology and philosophy. Biology affords me the opportunity to flex my scientific side, but philosophy has been the playground in which my mind could roam free with complex and abstract ideas of morality, reality, existence, purpose and more."

    – Henry Sluka, ’17

  • "Philosophy taught me to never cease asking questions about the nature of reality. It provides a platform for a journey of self-discovery in which it is remarkably easy to lose and find oneself simultaneously."

    – Jamie Siemsen, '17

  • "Philosophy opened my mind to the world, peeling back reality to look beneath to the constructs of value, meaning, justice, ethics, and what it means to be alive and human in the world. Most of what I've done in my life can be traced back to philosophy."

    – James Merle '12