Students in a bachelor's degree program must complete general education courses in subjects including English composition, mathematics and history. Courses in a philosophy program teach students to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills. Students look at famous philosophers and gain an understanding of how they constructed their arguments and expressed their beliefs.
Students may be able to choose specialized programs that combine the study of philosophy with other areas of study including literature or political science. Some programs are designed for students who intend to apply to law school. A bachelor's degree in philosophy prepares for graduates for work in many types of careers or for further education at the graduate level.
Prior to entering a philosophy program, applicants must have a high-school diploma. Some programs also require students to have had English, history and/or a foreign language in high school.
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
Philosophy programs generally instruct students in the investigation of theoretical questions and issues pertaining to a variety of scientific and humanistic disciplines. Students learn both to understand how philosophers construct their arguments and to clearly express their own analyses of philosophical texts. Through this study, students can gain problem solving and critical thinking abilities.
Many programs offer concentration tracks in areas such as philosophy and law, philosophy and literature, scientific history or biomedical philosophy. These tracks usually require interdisciplinary coursework in areas such as political science or national literatures. Some undergraduate philosophy track options are designated as pre-law tracks; these options usually require coursework in constitutional law and civil liberties. Common course topics include:
- Ancient Greek philosophy
- Philosophy of law
- History of philosophy
- Philosophy of language
- Philosophy of the mind
- Philosophy of science
- Symbolic logic
Popular Career Options
Philosophy degree holders often pursue careers in business, government or journalism. Possible job titles include:
- Insurance broker
- Foreign service officer
- Public relations specialist
- Technical writer
Continuing Education Info
Students with a B.A. in Philosophy might apply to a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in the same field. Some institutions offer joint degree program that award some combination of an M.A., Ph.D. and Juris Doctor (J.D.). Law and/or classics might be integrated into these graduate curricula.
A bachelor's degree program in philosophy is a 4-year program in which students study the work of famous philosophers and develop problem solving and critical thinking skills.