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Why Major in Philosophy?*

For the money, of course! (This is a common joke among professional philosophers, but read on.)  In order to do philosophy well, one must have a high level of reading comprehension, clarity of thought, and good communications skills (both oral and written). Put simply, then, philosophy teaches one how to read, think, speak, and write well. This might sound like a very modest set of outcomes, but even a little reflection reveals that these skills are fundamental to all intellectual endeavors. It's no coincidence that some of history's greatest scientists, theologians, and artists were also philosophers.

Here are some interesting facts1:

If we consider these four tests cumulatively by summing the respective rankings by major, philosophy majors come out on top (15), followed by math majors (18). Examinees majoring in chemistry (26), economics (30), and engineering (30) round out the top five; no other major is even close.

Conclusion: if you want to develop a broad range of skills that prepare you for a wide variety of intellectual challenges, you should seriously consider becoming a philosophy major.

   1 Based on standardized test performance by undergraduate major between the years of 1977 and 1982, where rankings were calculated by average mean differential. The data were reported in Clifford Adelman's The Standardized Test Scores of College Graduates. Despite the fact that such a detailed compilation of recent data is for the most part unavailable, all evidence suggests that current performance is practically identical to that of Adelman's study.

* Taken from the Boise State University website.

What do Philosophy majors study?

As a philosophy student you will have the opportunity to take courses in the areas that follow:

What career opportunities are there for Philosophy majors?

Career Opportunities

Because the study of philosophy teaches students to think logically, critically, and ethically, philosophy majors are well prepared to pursue any number of challenging careers. The cognitive skills learned as a philosophy major are important in any number of professions such as:

Graduate Training

Philosophy graduates are well prepared to seek graduate training in:

What Clubs and Extracurricular activities are sponsored by the Philosophy Program?

The Philosophy Program sponsors the Philosophy Club. Membership in the Club is not restricted to Philosophy majors or minors. All are welcome.

The faculty advisor for the Philosophy Club is Professor Mary Lyn Stoll. She can be reached at 812/461-5244. Her email address is mlstoll.

How am I assigned an advisor?

When you declare Philosophy as your major, you may request that the department chair assign you a specific advisor from among the fulltime faculty in the Philosophy Program (Professors Drebushenko, Merriam, or Stoll). If you do not request a specific advisor, an advisor will be randomly assigned. You may change your advisor at any time. Just let the chair of the Philosophy Department know which fulltime philosopher you want to be your new advisor.

Can I change my advisor?

Yes. If you are a Philosophy major, you may change your advisor at any time. Just let the department chair know which fulltime philosopher, Professors Drebushenko, Merriam, or Stoll, you want to be your new advisor.

If you have just declared Philosophy as your major and do not have a philosophy advisor, you may request that the department chair assign you a specific advisor from among the fulltime faculty in the Philosophy Department -- Professors Drebushenko, Merriam, or Stoll. If you do not request a specific advisor, an advisor will be randomly assigned.