Bachelor of Arts | College of Arts and Science
What is Philosophy?
Philosophy is the study of the most basic moral, legal, aesthetic, religious, and metaphysical assumptions that govern our beliefs about ourselves and our universe. It introduces students to our cultural heritage through the works of such great thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Kant, and Marx, and broadens the range of concepts to understand and enjoy.
Philosophy helps you develop the ability to reason clearly, to distinguish between good and bad arguments, to think through complicated questions, and to use reason in situations that are often governed by emotions. You learn more about yourself, and in turn develop self-esteem, an appreciation for individuality, and a sense of direction in life.
What are the features of Miami's program?
Miami's philosophy instructors are dedicated to undergraduate teaching. In fact, all courses are taught by faculty members.
Most classes are small with upper-level classes averaging 10-20 students. The faculty is prepared to teach students individually, either through independent study courses or work outside the classroom.
Miami's philosophy department is diverse, providing students with access to different approaches and interests. You will be able to learn from professors using the Anglo-American analytic, as well as the phenomenological and other continental European approaches. Our faculty's specialties are widespread, including history of philosophy, ethics, political philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, Marxism, Eastern philosophy, and feminist theory. An annual colloquium series presents scholars from around the country on topics of current interest and debate, and the department periodically hosts major conferences.
Are there special admission requirements?
There are no additional admission requirements for this program.
What courses would I take?
The philosophy major is designed for flexibility so you can develop your own course of study. In your first year, you will begin with introductory philosophy courses of your choice. During this time you will also concentrate on the Global Miami Plan, a well-rounded course of study that provides you with an excellent liberal arts education. Through the Global Miami Plan, you will get a solid base in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, fine arts, and formal reasoning.
During your sophomore and junior year, you will concentrate on more advanced philosophy courses related to your chosen course of study. You will also take the only required courses: Ancient Philosophy and Modern Philosophy. And you will continue with the Global Miami Plan.
In your senior year, you will take a capstone course, which rounds out your Global Miami Plan liberal education. You will also have time to explore other areas of interest and complete more advanced philosophy courses.
What can I do with this major?
While jobs in philosophy itself are primarily academic jobs requiring graduate degrees, the discipline offers many skills directly applicable to a variety of career fields. Philosophy students have a background in analysis, interpretation, and logic. They possess the ability to solve problems, communicate and organize issues and ideas, assess pros and cons, and condense complex data into usable forms.
Philosophy graduates are employed in government, education, administration, business, computer science, publishing, social work, the ministry, and library work. Others have gone on to professional schools in medicine, religion, and especially law.
New careers are opening up to philosophy majors as well. Training in applied ethics is becoming more valuable to hospitals as new technology raises new or more difficult versions of old moral dilemmas. Industry and government are finding that an individual trained in logic and methodology of inquiry may be placed in areas such as computer programming and operations research.
Who can I contact for more information?
Department of Philosophy
212 Hall Auditorium
Oxford, OH 45056