Do you wrestle with the questions that seem to have no answers: What is truth? What is the nature of existence? What is free will? If so, philosophy – the love of wisdom, the science of argument – might be the major for you. Our bachelor’s program teaches you to think critically, communicate clearly, and be open to opposing views – rich skills for all fields.
Students majoring in Philosophy who complete all requirements earn the degree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Philosophy and Religious Studies.
Areas of Study
Explore introductory logic and ethics, ancient Greek philosophy, and early modern philosophy. Then choose from additional courses covering medieval philosophy; social and political philosophy; aesthetics; feminism; existentialism; phenomenology; practical, medical, or environmental ethics; Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism; Asian and comparative philosophy; 20th-century philosophy; Freud’s greatest hits; and in-depth examinations of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche.
Philosophy is great preparation for grad school, law school, seminary, or a career in business, consulting, or politics. UMW philosophy graduates have continued study in such disciplines as law, research, and teaching. Some have headed directly into business, journalism, publishing, and other professions that demand critical thinking and clear writing.
Undergraduates have opportunities to complete research and present at conferences, making valuable contacts for the professional world.
To graduate with honors in philosophy, you must have at least a 3.5 grade-point average in the major. You’ll complete a research project and write and defend a senior thesis.
The philosophy major requires 30 credits from 10 courses including logic, ancient Greek philosophy, and early modern philosophy; a selection of courses from other philosophy disciplines; and two additional courses, including one at the 300 level or above.
Scholarships are available for all disciplines in the Department of Classics, Religion, and Philosophy.