- Declare your Philosophy Major, Philosophy Minor, or Ethics Minor online
- 2019-2020 Handbook for Philosophy Majors
Philosophy engages fundamental questions concerning human identity, the nature of knowledge and reality, moral virtue and responsibility, the nature of community and political authority, aesthetic judgments and values, and other concepts central to the meaning and value of human existence.
Through the study of primary texts and concrete issues drawn from various historical periods and cultures, philosophy facilitates reflection on actions, beliefs, and values while developing critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Philosophy also strengthens the ability to reason, enlarges the imagination, and refines aesthetic sensitivity.
With over 200 undergraduate majors and minors, the Philosophy major at the University of Oregon is one of the most vibrant in the country. Our program emphasizes the study of ethics, social and political philosophy, American philosophy, continental philosophy, feminist philosophy, philosophy of mind, the philosophy of race, the history of philosophy, and environmental philosophy.
Popular courses include Human Nature, Love & Sex, Existentialism, Philosophy and Cultural Diversity, Philosophy of Religion, and Philosophy of Film. Faculty members regularly offer Freshman Seminars, recent topics of which include “Thinking About the Self,” “Approaches to Death,” and “Philosophy through Film.”
The philosophy department provides a wide range of opportunities for majors outside the classroom. These include public lectures by prominent visiting philosophers as well as an undergraduate philosophy club. The department also routinely hosts regional, national, and international conferences, and all undergraduates are invited and encouraged to participate in these events.
The study of philosophy provides excellent preparation for a broad range of careers that require critical intelligence as well as oral and written communication skills. In addition to careers in business, students with a background in philosophy pursue careers in law, education, government, and work connected with social concerns. The undergraduate program is also structured to prepare students for graduate study.
Many research studies and articles in the national press have touted the value of a philosophy major for career success, preparation for graduate and law school, and personal development. Here are a few examples:
- “Philosophy Majors Make More Money Than Majors in any other Humanities Field”
DailyNous, January 3, 2019
- “Mark Cuban says studying philosophy may soon be worth more than computer science—here’s why”
CNBC, February 21, 2018
- “Robert E. Rubin: Philosophy Prepared Me for a Career in Finance and Government”
New York Times, April 30, 2018
- “For philosophy majors, the question after graduation is: What next?”
Washington Post, June 20, 2017
- “Is a Philosophy Degree Useful?”
Psychology Today, May 4, 2016
- “Best Majors for GRE Scores in 2013: Philosophy Dominates”
Physics Central, July 29, 2013
- “5 Reasons Why Philosophy Majors Make Great Entrepreneurs”
Entrepreneur, July 5, 2017
- “Philosophers Don’t Get Much Respect, But Their Earnings Don’t Suck”
FiveThirtyEight, November 11, 2015
- “The Earning Power of Philosophy Majors”
The Atlantic, September 3, 2015
- “I work therefore I am: why businesses are hiring philosophers”
The Guardian, March 29, 2018
- “A philosophy degree earns more than an accounting degree”
Yahoo Finance, January 30, 2015
Guide to Undergraduate Study in Philosophy
Statistical Data showing the success of Philosophy Majors on the GRE and LSAT:
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