The study of philosophy and religion offers a vital contribution to humanistic education. Both fields deal with various ways in which human beings have tried to understand and give expression to the nature and meaning of reality, knowledge, the self, values, and the purposes of human life. Our department is a lively learning community that fosters critical and creative thinking in courses, symposia, student interaction, and close work with renowned faculty.
Students gain a heightened ability to think critically and develop well-reasoned arguments. They learn how develop meaningful questions, read and interpret complex texts, and write and communicate clearly and effectively. They also form their own meaningful beliefs and values and conduct independent research.
The Major or Minor in Philosophy acquaints students with the significant philosophical concepts in Western thought and provides training in the major currents of contemporary philosophical investigation. Stress is placed on philosophy as an activity, combining a knowledge of important philosophical issues with the bases for developing an analytical judgment that is both critical and productive.
The Major or Minor in Religion provides students the critical thinking skills to examine the incredible diversity and pervasiveness of religious life, religious experience, and religious thought throughout human history and today. Students learn to employ a variety of literary, historical, philosophical, theological, phenomenological, and social-scientific methods of religious study.
Majors and minors on both sides of the department are provided excellent preparation for various areas of graduate study and careers in law, politics, writing, communications, journalism, education, business, social services, international relations, public relations, social policy, and much else. For more information on careers, see Frequently Asked Questions. See also Why Study Philosophy.