The Philosophy Department consists of six full-time faculty members and approximately 25 majors and 15 minors. Majors enroll in either the regular Philosophy program or the Religious Studies track within the major. Some students choose to double major, increasing the marketability of their primary major because of the relevance of philosophical/logical skills for a whole variety of majors and careers. Majors receive help from their advisors in deciding which program and courses to enroll in, given their particular interests and goals.
Our reasonable size allows us to meet the needs of individual students. For example, Senior Seminar in Philosophy consists of an individualized tutorial on a topic of the student's choice. We try to match each student with a faculty member who has a similar interest. We have also been able to offer Independent Studies (one-on-one tutorials) on topics such as African-American Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, and Environmental Ethics. Students have also received tutorial instruction in Latin and Greek. Independent Studies may be available in cases in which a student has a special interest, but there is no regular course offering.
Our upper level classes are relatively small, so students receive more individual attention. All philosophy courses emphasize the development of skills in logical analysis, critical thinking, and writing -- skills that graduate schools and employers in a wide variety of fields look for in applicants. The program is particularly good preparation for law, business, civil service, publishing, computer and systems analysis, the ministry, and a variety of graduate programs, including, of course, Philosophy. Indeed, some of our graduates have gone on to study philosophy in some of the best graduate schools in the country. Others have obtained gainful employment in a wide variety of fields. See where our students are now.
In addition to our strong commitment to teaching, the Philosophy Department is one of the most active departments at the university in terms of research. The faculty publish books and articles on a broad range of philosophical issues and historical figures. It is often possible to involve students in faculty research, which is a great way for majors to get hands-on experience. The Philosophy Student Association or "Philosophy Club" is also very active and provides a forum which brings both national and international scholars to the university for visiting lectures. The meetings also provide an opportunity for students to present their own research, discuss interests, or float new ideas. Students in the club regularly present papers at regional philosophy conferences and publish their work in undergraduate philosophy journals. Click here for more information.
Questions about the major? Contact Prof. John Lizza, Department Chair.