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Philosophy

You can begin this program at an
off-campus site through a satellite campus or regional partner.

Does life have meaning? What should we believe? What duties do we have to each other, to our society and to the environment? Philosophy addresses the fundamental questions in our lives, and if you’ve asked yourself questions like these you’re already thinking philosophically. Philosophy offers the chance to explore and debate these issues and our department provides students with the tools necessary to systematically analyze these types of questions.


Program Options

Bachelor of Arts - Philosophy

  • B.A. Four-year
  • B.A. Three-year
  • B.A. Honours
  • Double Honours
  • Minor

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

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What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is critical and creative thinking about fundamental questions, such as what is meant by a worthwhile life, what sense there is to the universe and what makes a just society. The program at the U of S provides systematic training in the analysis of these types of questions. It requires a willingness to consider both sides of a question and to test statements by raising possible objections from many points of view. A student in Philosophy learns to make careful distinctions, to see logical relationships and to argue rationally.

In fact, philosophy touches on almost every area of study, as all major developments in biology, economics, mathematics, physics and psychology started out as philosophical hypotheses. It is an especially beneficial area of study for students considering law, journalism, medicine, politics, theology or any other career that involves critical thinking, writing and skills related to communications or problem solving.

Philosophy: Is it for you?

  • The Department of Philosophy offers a well-rounded curriculum with interesting and challenging courses on topics such as morality, the nature of the mind, and the structure of human thinking (logic, decision theory, theory of knowledge).
  • Enrolments in most intermediate and senior classes are small enough that students have ample opportunity for lively discussions and one-on-one contact with the professors.
  • The Philosophy faculty is a diverse group engaged in a variety of research projects, thereby making for a stimulating atmosphere for both faculty and students. This is further enhanced by the activities of the Philosophy Club and by various events – such as conferences and guest speakers – put on by the Department.

Sample Classes

  • PHIL 206: Early Modern Philosophy
    A critical examination of key works of selected figures of the 17th and 18th centuries, the period which inaugurated the epistemological turn in philosophy, the emergence of science and the enlightenment. Included are the major continental "rationalists," Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and the British "empiricists, "Locke, Berkeley and Hume.
  • PHIL 333: Metaethics
    Concerned with topics such as the cognitive status of judgements about what is right and good, about the grounds of ethical judgement and the logic of ethical argument, and about the role of rules and principles in ethical dispute.
  • PHIL 455: Philosophy of Social Science
    Examines current conceptual, ontological, epistemological, and methodological issues in philosophy of social science; generalization and prediction in the social sciences, reasons vs. causes, interpretation and meaning of social phenomena, intentionality, explanation of action, reductionism, supervenience, individualism vs. holism, objectivity, realism, constructivism, relativism, facts vs. values, feminism, postmodernism, sociology of knowledge.

Career Opportunities

  • Archivist
  • Biographer
  • Conservator
  • Exhibit designer
  • Fundraiser
  • Historian
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Special librarian
  • Research assistant
  • Writer

Skill Sets Gained

  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Research skills and methods
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Communication skills: written and/or oral
  • Creativity
  • Decision-making skills
  • Goal setting
  • Honesty, integrity, and ethical standards
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational/Planning skills

Ever wonder... what you can do with philosophy?

  • Thinking of starting Work after Graduation?
    • Employers look for Critical Thinking and Communication skills.
    • Make sure you’re prepared by taking PHIL 140: Critical Thinking, where you will learn theskills you need to succeed as a student, as a professional, and as a citizen.
  • Thinking of going to Law School?
    • Philosophy Majors receive the second highest average score on the Law SchoolAdmissions Test (LSAT), required as part of your application package for Law School,including the U of S College of Law.
    • Make sure you’re prepared by taking PHIL 140: Critical Thinking
    • Make sure you’re prepared by taking a Certificate in Ethics, Law, and Justice.
  • Thinking of getting your MBA?
    • Philosophy Majors do better than business majors on the Graduate ManagementAdmissions Test (GMAT), required for entrance into graduate programs in business,including the Edwards School of Business at the U of S.
    • Make sure you’re prepared by taking a Certificate in Applied and Professional Ethics
  • Thinking of going to Grad School?
    • Philosophy Majors outperform all other majors on the verbal and analytical writing partsof the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), required for many Graduate Programs.

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