Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at Marian University.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Philosophy

"...philosophy is nothing other than wisdom itself so far as it is accessible to human nature."  — Jacques Maritain   

Many students choose to earn a degree in philosophy because they are concerned about social issues and desire to make contributions toward a more just world.

The philosophy program at Marian University will provide you with a thorough introduction to a range of topics in philosophy, including subjects like ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and political philosophy.

You'll explore these subjects by completing a systematic curriculum emphasizing their historical approaches. In addition, you'll explore philosophical topics as they relate to the Catholic intellectual tradition.

What will you study?

You can choose to earn a bachelor's degree in philosophy or minor in philosophy at Marian University.

If you choose to major in philosophy, the structure of our curriculum enables you to pursue a second major in another field of your choosing, such as history, psychology, sociology, or theology.

Philosophy majors may complete coursework to earn an academic minor in subjects like Catholic studies, gender studies, global studies, history, or peace and justice studies.

Academic concentrations in fields like ethics, pre-law studies, and social work are also available.

B.A. in philosophy: 36 credits

  • PHL 130: Human Nature and Person
  • PHL 150: Logic
  • PHL 215: Personal and Professional Ethics
  • PHL 240: Social and Political Philosophy
  • PHL 320: Philosophy of Knowledge
  • PHL 330: Philosophy of Being (Metaphysics)
  • PHL 490: Senior Philosophy Seminar
  • 15 credits of PHL electives

Minor in philosophy: 18 credits

  • PHL 130: Human Nature and Person
  • 15 credits of PHL electives
Four-year plan Course checklist

Why choose philosophy at Marian?

Philosophy courses provide you with knowledge about:

  • LOGIC
    Argument versus description; forms of judgment; categorical versus hypothetical argument; validity versus truth; formal and informal fallacies.

  • ETHICS
    Theories of virtue and obligation; strengths and weaknesses of those theories; major contemporary ethical issues; ethical foundations of political and social ideologies.

  • EPISTEMOLOGY
    Ways of knowing: scientific, religious, artistic, philosophical; classical theories of knowledge; issues in contemporary philosophy of science.

  • METAPHYSICS
    Major theories of being; metaphysics and empirical science; natural theology; metaphysics and ethics.

  • HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
    Plato and Aristotle; Augustine and Aquinas; modern and contemporary philosophy.

Your knowledge translates into skills and abilities like:

  • Analysis of reasoning

  • Critical thinking

  • Writing and speaking competence

  • Research skills

  • Enhanced self-knowledge

  • Creative thinking and problem solving

  • Thoughtful and engaged citizenship

Your skills and abilities are well-suited to careers in:

  • Law

  • Journalism

  • Ministry

  • Human resources

  • Teaching

  • Management

  • Administration

  • Research 

  • Public service

  • Foreign service

  • Social Work

What are your available career paths?

Did you know some of the nation's top business leaders majored in philosophy? Here are just a few:

  • Sheila Bair, former chair of the FDIC
  • Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr
  • Patrick Byrne, founder and CEO of Overstock.com
  • Peter Thiel, co-founder and former CEO of PayPal
  • Carly Fiorina, former president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard 
  • Gerald Levin, former CEO of Time Warner

The study of philosophy will give you valuable skills, including communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and an analytical ability to look at all sides of a problem or thesis to identify the core issues.

Majoring in philosophy also provides you with good preparation if you plan to attend law or other graduate schools in fields like education, political science, and business.

Among the career paths you might choose are:

  • Teaching or research
  • Politics or government service
  • Public relations, publishing, or advertising
  • Business or banking

In its 2017-18 College Salary Report, PayScale.com finds that while philosophy majors may have relatively low salaries in the early stages of their careers with an average of $44,800, by the time they reach the midpoint of their careers, are earning a median salary of $85,100.

PayScale's findings put philosophy majors ahead of college graduates who earned degrees fields including marketing, business management, history, and accounting, among others.

You can also find information about careers and salaries from the American Philosophical Association.

Dr. Karen Spear, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Business Ethics

Karen Spear, Ph.D. is an associate professor of philosophy at Marian University. Director of the Center for Organizational Ethics, she teaches courses on personal and professional ethics and guided research in philosophy.

 

For admission information

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300
(800) 7720-7264
admissions@marian.edu

For program specifics

Matthew Sherman
Department Chair & Assistant Professor of Theology
msherman@marian.edu

 
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