Why should I major in Philosophy?
As with most Liberal Arts majors, two related questions are often asked: Why major in this area? What can I “do” with this major?
The questions go together, but let’s consider the second one first. While at first glance, the study of Philosophy may seem rather impractical, the research data demonstrates just the opposite!
First, if you are interested in graduate school – in any area of study – the study of philosophy is an excellent way to prepare for the admissions exams. Research indicates that Philosophy graduates score consistently better on the GRE, GMAT, and LSAT tests than graduates from any other disciplines in the liberal arts or social sciences.
Second, in terms of “transferable skills” that employers seek, a degree in Philosophy provides those that are applicable in a wide variety of careers. Philosophy develops intellectual habits such as the ability to think critically and reason logically, the ability to evaluate information insightfully, the ability to argue and demonstrate clearly, and the ability to communicate effectively in both speech and writing.
This is why Philosophy majors can enter and succeed in diverse careers, such as
In addition to those in graduate schools, Philosophy alumni from DSU are employed in all these areas. We’d be happy to put you in contact with any of them if you’d like to learn more!
As to the first question, what you’ll learn from our alumni, as we have, is that the study of Philosophy offers so much more than just practical preparation for any career. After all, Philosophy is an academic discipline that pursues not just information, but wisdom! It helps you to gain awareness of the meaning of life in the midst of the complexities of human existence. All areas of study are important, but with this goal in mind, none is more necessary than Philosophy. As Joseph Pieper puts it:
After we have accomplished, with an admirable amount of intelligence and hard work, all that is necessary, after we have provided for the basic needs of life, produced the essential foodstuff, protected the realm of life itself -- after all this, what is the meaning of the life itself that we have thus made possible? How do we define a truly human life?
Here at DSU, we believe that the study of Philosophy opens the door to a worthwhile future. We have even structured the Philosophy program in such a way that it’s easy to combine this with a dual major in another area of study. Our faculty is convinced that Philosophy, particularly as it is studied within the Catholic intellectual tradition, can help you begin to grasp that wisdom that leads to authentic human living.
Here are some links to learn more about majoring in Philosophy: