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Develop critical thinking skills. Explore fundamental questions about reality, knowledge and morality.

What is Philosophy?

The word “philosophy” derives from the Ancient Greek words philo sophia, or “love of wisdom.” Philosophy advances our understanding of ourselves and the nature of reality, mind, knowledge and morality. It deals with fundamental questions about these topics, critically investigating what other disciplines, and other human activities, take for granted.

Program Overview

You’ll have the opportunity to study writings of major western philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Leibniz, Hume and Kant as well as writings of an increasingly diverse range of more recent contributors to philosophy. You’ll also explore contemporary work on philosophical issues related to logic, language, science, identity, psychology, knowledge, value, law, ethics and justice. And you’ll learn to think critically, constructively and independently about important issues in today’s world.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

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An undergraduate major or minor in philosophy provides excellent preparation for:

  • Jobs that require critical and constructive thinking, including administration, consulting, editing, programming, journalism, management, public service, research – and business, institutional, nonprofit or political leadership.
  • Professional training in fields as diverse as law, library science, management, medicine, nursing and clinical psychology. 
  • Graduate programs in fields closely related to philosophy, such as computer science and political science.
  • Graduate programs in philosophy (which can lead to employment in universities and colleges as well as in corporate, non-profit, and government organizations that require skills of research and analysis that are developed by advanced study in philosophy).

Because today’s world is changing so rapidly, most students will probably have several different kinds of jobs during their working careers, including jobs we can’t even yet imagine. Training for specific jobs in fields in which there may be little demand after ten or twenty years will not serve your long-term interests as well as the transferable knowledge and skills you will develop through the study of philosophy.

For more information, see:

To give you an idea of where your degree can lead, here’s a list of job titles for some of our alumni:

  • Estate Planning and Real Estate Attorney, Southern Pines
  • Software Development Engineer, Amazon
  • Budget Officer, North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts
  • Captain, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Pediatrics Resident, UNC School of Medicine
  • Corporate and Private Equity Attorney, Charlotte
  • School Psychologist, Western Carolina University
  • Global Business Services Consultant, IBM
  • Teacher, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
  • Data Analyst, Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Associate Director, ESPN
  • Developer, Thoughtbot
  • Psychiatry Resident, Yale School of Medicine
  • Software Development Engineer, Amazon
  • Special Education Attorney, Philadelphia

Activities and Events

The department hosts a number of public lectures in philosophy and related fields throughout the year, including the Philosophy Colloquium Series, the Logic and Cognitive Science Lecture Series and the annual World Philosophy Day Lecture.

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The Practical Value of Philosophy

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Studying philosophy opens doors to many different careers. Lawyers, doctors and executives often begin their secondary education by studying philosophy, but it can prepare you for far more. Here are some interesting facts:

Connect With Us

Undergraduate Program Contacts

Dr. Catherine Driscoll, Director of Undergraduate Advising
Phone: 919-513-7846

Ms. Kendall Hubbard, Student Services Associate
Phone: 919-515-6100

Meet Our Faculty

Our faculty come from a variety of backgrounds. Find a full listing here.