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Getting Started

If you're brand new to philosophy, consider an "Intro" series course:
  • PHIL 1000 - Survey of Philosophy
  • PHIL 1001 - Ethical Dilemmas
  • PHIL 1002 - God, Faith, & Reason
  • PHIL 1003 - Human Nature

Making Progress

  • Flexible degree requirements help you progress through our programs
  • There's no list of must-take courses, but instead possibilities; customize a course list tailored to your interests & goals
  • Since there's no prerequisite for 3000/4000-level courses, take courses that meet your interests while addressing requirements in the Area Requirement grid
  • And of course, consult an advisor for support or guidance

Finishing Up

  • Enroll in advanced coursework includes 5000-level courses & the Senior Seminar
  • These come only after appropriate 3000/4000-level coursework (refer to requirements for Major & Minor)


Getting Started

There are many ways to get started connecting with students & faculty:
  • A student-run Philosophy Club meets weekly
  • A philosophy lounge provides a great hangout for socializing, lunch, etc.
  • Our faculty are friendly and accessible

Making Progress

  • You encounter a lot of the same people around in classes, the elevator, the halls, at Caputo's; introduce yourself
  • In each of your courses, help form study groups - you'll earn better grades & make friends
  • Attend regular colloquia or workshops in the department where you can get to know other students & faculty
  • Make sure you know the advisors!

Finishing Up

  • Along with making connections within our department, try connecting with the broader philosophical community online, & with social media; likewise, for the broader academic community.

Knowledge & Skills

Getting Started

Our Area Requirements provides a terrific overview:
  • Area I: Ethics & Value Theory
  • Area II: Metaphysics & Epistemology
  • Area III: History of Philosophy
  • Area IV: Logic & Formal Methods
Every course falls into this scheme

    Making Progress

    • Make sure your coursework satisfies the Area Requirements
    • Do you understand the differences in the four Areas? Do you feel you could learn more more in any of the specific Areas?
    • Try taking a logic course (Area IV) sooner rather than later - logical skills are fundamental to all philosophy courses
    • How is your writing progressing? Measure it against department rubrics and connect to the writing center

    Finishing Up

    • Consider taking steps to elevate your research profile - e.g. conducting individualized research with a professor
    • Check out the Undergraduate Research page on our department website


    Getting Started

    • If you are just getting started as a philosophy major, join the Philosophy Club; you will meet other students and learn about their experience as philosophy majors.

    Making Progress

    • Use office hours to connect with instructors & learn how to succeed
    • Become an avid in-class contributor to discussion
    • Apply your growing philosophical skills set to other venues - e.g. other courses, your extracurricular reading, or efforts with social activism.
    • Work with faculty on an undergraduate research project to put your skills into action

    Finishing Up

    As you finish up your major, recall how the Ancient Greeks envisioned philosophy's goal well to "Know Thyself":
    • Your transformation has just begun
    • You will continue to apply the skills you learned in philosophy courses throughout your life.


    Getting Started

    • You can make an impact by getting involved with campus clubs and activities
    • Become a Community Engaged Scholar at the Bennion Center

    Making Progress

    • Consider presenting your ideas; what are you passionate about?
    • Present your ideas - give a talk at the philosophy or another student club, write an opinion for the Salt Lake Tribune, write a blog, or form a Facebook group
    • Take on a leadership position in the clubs and activities in which you have engaged

    Finishing Up

    • Consider presenting your ideas to an undergraduate conference or submitting a paper to a student journal; these impactful achievements may help with grad school admissions.


    Getting Started

    • Consider combining philosophy with another degree - e.g. another major or minor
    • Increasingly, employers value students with strong interdisciplinary backgrounds & philosophy combines fantastically well

    Making Progress

    Finishing Up

    • Think about instructors who might write you letters of recommendation
    • Think about potential graduate schools or internships
    • Gather the application forms

    Start Your Career Journey

    Find support at the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC)

    Visit cpdc


    About the Major

    Philosophy means "love of wisdom" and a philosophy major at the U provides a solid foundation to just about any career path. Our majors have been admitted to top-ranking graduate programs in philosophy, science, law, business, medical, and professional schools - unsurprising given that philosophy majors achieve some of the highest scores on the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and other graduate entrance exams. Our philosophy program features flexible requirements encouraging students to tailor a course of study to their particular interests and goals. For those with interdisciplinary interests, this flexibility simplifies the task of coordinating scheduling between multiple majors. Our department is among the most interdisciplinary on campus with 27 majors using our courses for their degrees. This reflects how philosophy is one of the oldest academic disciplines and the way it cultivates a deep understanding of the foundational issues at the heart of nearly all disciplines.

    Philosophy is a great choice if you seek an understanding of history's big ideas and thinkers; logical analysis; practical rationality; the logic of scientific inquiry; moral theory and its applications to medical, professional, and other societal issues; political theory; ancient Chinese thought; and much more. The department offers a number of programs targeting the undergraduate experience including a philosophy club, regular colloquia, an annual student-run conference, ongoing workshops, and undergraduate research opportunities. The department's internationally recognized faculty is well known for its diversity, teaching excellence, and research; we are consistently recognized as leaders in gender equity in the field; two-thirds of our faculty have won teaching awards; and the department is among the most research productive in the world, ranking as a top 20 program in many areas of philosophy. Most importantly, alumni report that the study of philosophy contributes to a deep sense of meaning and satisfaction in life. With an emphasis on intellectual rigor, studying philosophy helps you develop skills in analytical reading and writing across a wide range of fields, preparing you for a lifetime of creativity, innovation, and leadership.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Develop proficiency in logical, analytic, ethical, and quantitative reasoning skills.
    • Expand knowledge across the central areas of philosophical thought and become familiar with history's big ideas and thinkers.
    • Hone highly developed reading and writing skills that carry lifelong value across fields and disciplines.
    • Learn to negotiate, revise, and defend clearly stated propositions in order to develop a consensus. Philosophy provides a model for having productive, hard conversations with those with whom you disagree.
    • Enhance the meaning and satisfaction in one's life by "knowing thyself."

    Plan & Prepare

    At the U, we plan for our students to have an exceptional Educational Experience identified by four broad categories we call the Learning Framework: Community, Knowledge & Skills, Transformation, and Impact. This major map will help you envision, explore, design, and plan your personalized Exceptional Education Experience with the Learning Framework at the core. In addition to assisting you in planning your coursework and navigating the requirements of your major, this map will help you incorporate other kinds of experiences to expand your knowledge, support your development, and prepare you for the future you want.

    Discover More.


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    Last Updated: 7/19/24