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Undergraduate Major Goals and Structure

An education in philosophy is mainly aimed at equipping students with general-purpose conceptual resources that are needed for rationally penetrating problems of any nature and for communicating the results. Strength in philosophical work requires superior reasoning and writing skills. Critical reasoning, clarity in thought and language, and competence in synthesizing a good deal of information into a systematic, coherent picture are thus the main skills students acquire through the systematic engagement with the main accomplishments and milestones in philosophy.

Given its own curriculum, but also its central position between the special sciences (humanities, social and natural sciences alike), philosophy is relevant to foundational and conceptual questions arising in almost all other disciplines, with which it often shares its subject matter. By rigorous engagement with main figures, theories and concepts in philosophical fields, students also accumulate knowledge of principled approaches to ideas and conceptions that form a guiding background of our culture and the sciences.

Success in the program can thus be measured by assessing two related kinds of competence:


Objectives I: Skills

Students completing the major in philosophy acquire the core skills involved in the philosophically competent written and oral presentation, interpretation and critical discussion of important philosophical positions. These abilities are widely applicable in all fields that require superior writing skills and superior abilities in theoretical research and imaginative problem-solving, such as


Objectives II: Knowledge

The course of study requires students to develop a broad competence in general issues in philosophy from an appreciation of classics, followed by focusing on central positions in at least two of the areas metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of language, of science, logic, phenomenology, feminist philosophy, critical theory, critical race theory, hermeneutics, history of philosophy. Upon completion, the student will show

Expected Outcomes: Excellence in critical, enlightened and engaged global citizenship

Students who have completed our major will be in an excellent position to take on responsibilities a complex, diverse, multicultural world because of their training in communicating and writing on complex and abstract matters with clarity. The resulting mindset typically can be expected

Students who have acquired this overall range of abilities will typically have higher chances than average to successfully enter certain post-college careers in law, education, politics, medicine, social activism, but also in the cutting-edge regions of the natural and social sciences.