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Degree Overview: Bachelor Degree Programs in Philosophy

Majors Overview February 2, 2015

Receive information about bachelor’s degree programs in philosophy and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education options.

Information on Philosophy Degree Programs

Many schools offer bachelor’s degree programs in philosophy. Students enrolled in these four-year programs learn about examining issues pertaining to numerous disciplines, including religion and science. Those that complete a bachelor’s degree in philosophy can seek work in various careers or opt for continuing education by earning a graduate-level degree.

Students enrolled in the program must complete general education courses in subject areas such as history, math, and English composition. Coursework is devised to help students hone their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Students can gain a firm grasp of the manner in which their arguments were constructed and their beliefs expressed by examining famous philosophers.

Students may choose specialized programs wherein the study of philosophy is a combination of fields such as political science and literature. Schools also offer some programs suitable to the needs of students aspiring to attend law school.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Programs in Philosophy

Students enrolled in philosophy programs can expect to become adept at investigating theoretical questions and issues germane to various humanistic and scientific disciplines.

Students learn about the manner in which philosophers’ arguments are constructed, in addition to analyzing and articulating philosophical texts by themselves. Students learn to address problems such as the way society should be structured, the cosmology of the universe, the relationship between the brain and the mind, and the nature of existence.

Many schools offer concentration tracks in numerous areas, including biomedical philosophy, scientific history, philosophy and literature, and philosophy and law. These tracks usually require interdisciplinary coursework in various areas, including national literature and political science. Schools designate some undergraduate philosophy tracks as pre-law tracks that often need a curriculum focused on civil liberties and constitutional law.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Some schools expect students to complete high school courses in a foreign language, history, and English before allowing them to begin core coursework.

Coursework

Coursework often features introductory courses in humanities or philosophy followed by core coursework in the history of philosophy and logic. Core coursework commonly includes topic areas such as:

•History of philosophy
•Epistemology
•Philosophy of the mind
•Philosophy of law
•Philosophy of language
•Philosophy of science
•Symbolic logic
•Ethics
•Ancient Greek philosophy
•Metaphysics

Career Choices

Careers in journalism, government, or business are often pursued by those that complete the philosophy degree program. They may seek job titles such as:

•Public relations specialist
•Technical writer
•Foreign service officer
•Insurance broker
•Reporter

Continuing Education Choices

Those that complete a bachelor’s degree program in philosophy may seek continuing education by earning a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in the field. Some schools offer joint degree programs, whereby students can earn a combined degree that includes an M.A., Ph.D., and Juris Doctor (J.D.). The coursework may integrate the classics and/or law.

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