Philosophy Department

303 College Hall
600 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412 396 6500
Fax: 412 396 5353

Ron Polansky

Daniel Selcer
Director of Graduate Studies

Michael Harrington
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Joan Thompson
Administrative Assistant

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Major or Minor in Philosophy

Here you will find several resources for undergraduate students interested in pursuing either a major or a minor in Philosophy. Click here to access the Philosophy Department’s webpage.

Why Study Philosophy?

Philosophy is a fascinating course of study that investigates important questions about

  • who we are,
  • what we ought to do,
  • how we think about cultures, societies, and political institutions,
  • the nature of reality,
  • and how to think and argue logically.

As a Philosophy majors or minor, you will acquire a broad competence in the history of philosophy and a thorough understanding of the systematic foundations of philosophical views. You will study the logic and discourses surrounding the conceptual interpretation of texts, arguments and ideas.

We see philosophy as the cultivation of dialogue and informed reflection on the fundamental issues of human life, and we look forward to you joining our conversation.

To review the requirements for the major and minor, and learn more about the departmental course structure, review the Majors/ Minors Guide (under the “Undergraduate” section of the webpage).

Career Possibilities

Employers in many fields recognized the versatility of an undergraduate education grounded by a Philosophy major. Philosophy majors become lawyers, public relations specialists, policy analysts, doctors, university presidents, teachers, diplomats, and business owners. They go into consulting work, banking, financial analysis, and management. Their writing skills prepare them for careers in politics, television, film, theater, advertising and literature. They become publishers, editors, journalists, researchers, public interest advocates, lobbyists, medical and business ethicists, congressional staffers, clergy, political activists, judges, art critics and just about everything else (including, of course, philosophers).

Our course of studies will train you in the most important “transferable skills”: general problem solving, the ability to assess complex data, communication skills, persuasive power and excellent written expression.

Philosophy majors have extremely high acceptance rates to doctoral programs in the humanities and social sciences, to law schools, to masters in business administration programs, and even to medical schools.