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"...philosophy is nothing other than wisdom itself so far as it is accessible to human nature."  - Jacques Maritain   

Philosophy at Marian University provides students with a basic and thorough introduction to the range of issues in philosophy, including the issues typically grouped under the areas of ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and political philosophy. These issues are pursued in a systematic fashion, but with significant emphasis on the different historical approaches to them.

Attention is also given to understanding the various approaches in relationship to the Catholic intellectual tradition. Philosophy majors often pursue philosophy because of a practical concern about social issues and a desire to contribute to the building of a more just world.

The major in philosophy is 36 credit-hours, which allows philosophy majors to pursue a second major, a minor, or electives in other areas such as pre-law, theology, social justice, psychology, or other areas of interest.



Philosophy courses provide knowledge about:

  • Logic
    Argument versus description; forms of judgment; categorical versus hypothetical argument; validity versus truth; formal and informal fallacies

  • Ethics
    Theories of virtue and obligation; strengths and weaknesses of those theories; major contemporary ethical issues; ethical foundations of political and social ideologies

  • Epistemology
    Ways of knowing: scientific, religious, artistic, philosophical; classical theories of knowledge; issues in contemporary philosophy of science.

  • Metaphysics
    Major theories of Being ; metaphysics and empirical science; natural theology; metaphysics and ethics.

  • History of Philosophy
    Plato and Aristotle; Augustine and Aquinas; Modern and Contemporary Philosophy;

This knowledge translates into such skills and abilities as:

  • Analysis of reasoning

  • Critical thinking

  • Writing and speaking competence

  • Research skills

  • Enhanced self-knowledge

  • Creative thinking and problem solving

  • Thoughtful and engaged citizenship

These skills and abilities are well-suited to careers in:

  • Law

  • Journalism

  • Ministry

  • Human resources

  • Teaching

  • Management

  • Administration

  • Research 

  • Public Service

  • Foreign Service

  • Social Work

Get a job with your Philosophy Major

"Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show philosophy graduates are in growing demand from employers. The number of all graduates in full-time and part-time work six months after graduation rose by 9 percent between the 2002-03 and 2005-06 school years; for philosophy graduates in particular it went up by 13 percent. The Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU), which also collates data of this kind, agrees philosophers are finding it easier to secure work. Its figures show that, in 2001, 9.9 percent of philosophy graduates were unemployed six months after graduation. In 2006, just 6.7 percent were (Academy of Arts and Sciences).

PayScale.com reports on salary potential of bachelor degrees, and finds that philosophy majors are in the top 25% by mid-career, the highest among the humanities." (http://www.apaonline.org/?page=data, accessed 21 October 2015)

For more data and information on the profession of philosophy, consult the website of the American Philosophical Association, apaonline.org.

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

Major: 36 credits

PHL 130 – Human Nature and Person
PHL 150 – Logic
PHL 215 – Personal and Professional Ethics
PHL 240 – Social and Political Philosophy
PHL 320 – Philosophy of Knowledge
PHL 330 – Philosophy of Being (Metaphysics)
PHL 490 – Senior Philosophy Seminar
15 credits of PHL electives

Minor: 18 credits

PHL 130 – Human Nature and Person
15 credits of PHL electives

For more information

Matthew Sherman, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Assistant Professor of Theology




Dr. Karen Spear, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Business Ethics


Dr. Karen Spear directs the Center for Organizational Ethics.

Her courses include Personal and Professional Ethics and Guided Research in Ethics.



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Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.