Students

Becoming a Philosopher

There are many reasons why we believe that you should become a Philosophy Major.

  1. First and foremost, we believe you should become a philosophy major because philosophy wrestles with ultimate questions that permeate all aspects of our existence: Does God exists? Is abortion wrong? What constitutes a just and an unjust war? What is the purpose or reason of our existence? Can we know anything for certain? What is happiness? What is virtue? What is justice? What kind of society constitutes a just society, if there is such a thing? How do we determine what is right and wrong, if there is such a thing? What is mind? What is the difference between mind and body? What is evil and can God and evil co-exist? What are the criteria for personal identity? What about cultural, racial or ethnic identity?

In addition to dealing with these profound and significant issues, philosophy will provide you with many practical benefits:

  1. An excellent backgroung for graduate school. See The Power of Philosophy.
  2. Excellent argumentative skills which will be especially benificial for law school.
  3. A philosophy degree will also prepare you better than any other discipline in the Arts and Sciences for taking standardized exams such as the GRE.
  4. The Department offers an excellent currciulum that engages important contempoarary issues such as diversity, globalization, environmental ethics, etc.
  5. The Department has excellent faculty memebers who have published in some of the most respected journals in their profession.
  6. The Department is vibrant and provides students with many opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities through its Student Colloquium Series, Philosophy Club, Debate Team, Honor Society, Honors Program, and SOARS Program.

PHILOSOPHY FOR CAREERS

Philosophy majors rank 16th in salaries: see The wall Street Journal

Philosopher majors have the HIGHEST percentage salary increases from beiginning to mid-career at 103.5% See Wall Street Journal

"...the 1998 statistics from the Association of American Medical Colleges-the organization that runs the American Medical College Application Service-showing applicants' acceptance rates, broken down by major:

Philosophy         50%

All majors         37%
Biology              35%
Chemistry         39%
Physics              42%
Biochemistry    43%
English              46%
History              49%

As you can see, humanities majors have higher acceptance rates than science majors. This is a simple fact that many premeds simply ignore, as presumptions are handed down from one ill-informed class to the next. But the numbers are powerful-a 50 percent chance of admission means that a philosophy major can fill out a med school application, then flip a coin to determine whether or not to send it in: heads, they're accepted; tails, they're not. The rest have to take their chances with even more unreliable probabilities." Paul Jung, M.D.

“Philosophy teaches students how to think well, a quality prized by many employers. Philosophers are good at:

  • Summarizing and logically organizing complex information.
  • Prioritizing questions and issues.
  • Evaluating opposing views.
  • Determining the morally relevant features of situations, actions, and policies .
  • Taking principled approaches to problem-solving.
  • Thinking of alternative approaches and solutions.
  • Writing in a clear, focused way.
  • Reasoning persuasively, both in writing and orally.
  • Offering and accepting criticism without personalizing it, and tolerating uncertainty .

Given the marketability of these skills, it is perhaps no surprise that philosophy is becoming an increasingly popular area of study.”

American Philosophical Association
http://www.apaonline.org/publications/texts/roleofphilosophy.aspx