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Why Study Philosophy?

What is philosophy? The word itself derives from Greek roots that mean love of wisdom. A substantive and precise characterization of the field of philosophy, and its practice, is difficult. In part, this is because philosophy is so all-encompassing. Nearly every academic discipline is a historical outgrowth of philosophy; indeed, ‘PhD’ stands for Philosophy Doctorate – an advanced degree offered in most disciplines in the university. Because of its broad nature, contemporary philosophy is divided into numerous subfields, each of which would be easier to characterize than the whole of philosophy.

Why Study Philosophy?

Practical value of a philosophical education

Raise your grad school entrance exam score

 Common entrance exams – GRE (PhD programs), LSAT (Law School), MCAT (Med School), and GMAT (MBA).
 Philosophy students consistently earn top overall scores. [Sources]

Boost your career and salary

 Philosophy is a Great Major
The Guardian
, "I think, therefore I earn".
 Wall Street Journal, "Degrees that Pay You Back" (philosophers and mathematicians tied for highest percentage salary increases).
 Business Week, "Philosophy is Back in Business".
Wall Street Journal, "Doing the Math to Find the Jobs" (philosophy's ranking in study of 200 careers).
 Huff Post, "The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing The World Of Business".
 Salon, "Be employable, study philosophy".
 The Atlantic, "Earning Power of Philosophy Majors".
 "Graduating with a philosophy degree? There's more than Starbucks in your future".

Intrinsic value of a philosophical education

Improve your skills

 Learn to think, write, and speak more clearly and rationally.
 Master the arts of logical persuasion and debate.
 Learn techniques for problem-solving.

Expand your knowledge

 Study some of history's greatest thinkers.
 Investigate big questions and enduring ideas.

Boost meaning and satisfaction in your life

 NY Times, "In a New Generation of College Students, Many Opt for the Life Examined".
 NY Times, "Philosophers Find the Degree Pays Off in Life And in Work".
 Google's in-house philosopher, Damon Horowitz, "Quit Technology Job and Get Humanities PhD".
 SL Trib, "Colleges defend humanities amid tight budgets".

Why Study Philosophy at the UofU?

Our faculty and degrees


 All our faculty are engaged in research and teaching.
 Many have teaching awards. [Recent examples]
 We have been officially recognized as a woman-friendly department. [Sources]

Degree programs

 Philosophy Major (BA / BS):   36 units
 Philosophy Minor:   18 units
 Additional Minors:   Cognitive Science; Applied Ethics

Flexibility of coursework

Our philosophy courses cover topics in ethics, biology, cognitive science, scientific method, logic, practical reason, art, literature, law, political theory, feminism, metaphysics, epistemology, and history of philosophy.

Coursework is organized around four main areas of inquiry:

 Area I:   Ethics and Value Theory. [Courses]
 Area II:   Metaphysics and Epistemology. [Courses]
 Area III:   History of Philosophy. [Courses]
 Area IV:   Logic and Formal Methods. [Courses]

The requirements for the Major and Minor allow students to choose courses within these four areas, thereby tailoring their coursework to their own particular interests.

Benefits for double Majors

Interdisciplinarity:   Philosophy coursework has bearing on inquiry in nearly every other discipline. [Example courses]

Scheduling flexibility:   Double Majors and Minors can easily schedule philosophy coursework around their other Major.

GenEd credit:   Most philosophy courses meet at least one of the following GenEd requirements:

 HF: Humanities Exploration. [Courses]
 QB: Quantitative Reasoning-Stats/Logic. [Courses]
 QI: Quantitative Intensive. [Courses]
 IR: International. [Courses]
 DV: Diversity. [Courses]
 CW: Upper Division Writing. [Courses]

Philosophy Department web         Undergraduate Programs         Undergraduate Advising

We're located on the 4th floor of CTIHB   [Find CTIHB on map]      Phone (801) 581-8161

Last Updated: 3/22/17