B.A. Philosophy

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Fast Facts: Philosophy Major and Minor

  • Students learn to think critically, question key assumptions and construct critical responses based on sound reasoning
  • Students develop effective oral and written communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively
  • As students continually put their critical thinking skills to the test, they are better prepared for future leadership roles in their professions of law, medicine, health care, business, education, etc.
  • Students are given significant control over course electives to meet the major requirement
  • Major culminates with a senior seminar — students are challenged to prove their philosophical expertise by collaborating with faculty and other students in reading texts and in developing, articulating, and defending a philosophical position
  • The philosophy major can be part of a great double major, as it has a relatively low credit requirement
  • Students can tailor their philosophy minor to the majors they are pursuing (e.g. ethics classes for health science majors)
  • Lays the groundwork for further philosophy studies in graduate school

Program requirements

Major: 36 credits
Minor: 20 credits


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.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse PHL 1114 - The Philosophical Perspective

Introduces students to the philosophical perspective on issues of human concern from what it means to exist as a person, to the nature and existence of God, including freedom/determinism, the nature of reality, and the good society. It practices students in critical thinking about living a good life.

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 2214 - Introductory Ethics

Study of major ethical theories, critical examination of the adequacy of each theory and an attempt at making decisions regarding contemporary issues by using some of the theories. Topics, which vary, include current personal and social issues.

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 3304 - Modern Philosophy

Explores the works of philosophers from the 16th through 19th centuries including Descartes, Hume, and Kant. Their texts serve as the starting point for reflecting critically on major themes of modern thought related to science, art, religion, and politics.

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