- Philosophy as a discipline attempts to answer perennial questions about values, human existence, and the nature of reality.
- Studying philosophy provides a better a understanding of yourself and the world around you, and it can lead to a deep sense of satisfaction.
- Philosophy teaches analytical and critical thinking, develops oral and written communication skills, and contributes to interdisciplinary understanding.
- Philosophy majors consistently score in the top percentiles for all majors on the GRE, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT and other graduate and professional admissions tests.Philosophy cultivates a skill-set and knowledge base that can make you marketable in a number of fields, including law, medicine, management, education, government, journalism, computer science, psychology, sociology, and ministry among many others. But don't just take our word for it. Here's what some others are saying: “The Rise in Stock of Philosophy Graduates,” J. Shepherd, The Guardian, 2007.
Philosophy Bachelor of Arts, BA Learning Outcomes
- Be able to display capacities for and skills in critical thinking
- Be able to write clear, logical, and grammatically correct philosophical arguments
- Be able orally to express clear, logical, and grammatically correct philosophical arguments
- Be able to display detailed knowledge of the current literature or historical background of a philosophical problem
- Be able to demonstrate research skills in locating and using resources and extending inquiry on philosophical questions
More Information About
Major & Minor Requirements
The bachelor of arts degree in philosophy requires 30 semester hours with grades of C or above; a maximum of 54 hours can be applied to the degree. At least 21 out of the 30 hours must be upper division courses (this may include Senior Project). The philosophy minor requires 18 hours of course work. The philosophy major may choose either the general requirements or the student may specialize in one of four optional programs.
Required Courses for the Philosophy Major
One course in Logic selected from:
- PHIL 1120 – Critical Thinking
- PHIL 3420 – Symbolic Logic I
- PHIL 4420 – Symbolic Logic II
- PHIL 4950 – Senior Project
Requirements for the Philosophy Minor
The department offers minors in areas of philosophy that complement various major fields. Minors require 18 hours of course work, including PHIL 1120. A minimum of 9 hours of upper-division courses as part of the major is required.
Double Major Partnerships
Adding a philosophy major to one's major in another discipline, thereby creating a double major, is an option for students who wish to obtain a broader perspective in their discipline for post-graduate work. All requirements for the philosophy major apply to double majors. Students may have two different majors in two different colleges or in the same college.
The Department of Philosophy currently enjoys Double Major Partnerships with the following departments at UCCS: Psychology, Political Science, History, Sociology.
Specialized Options Within the Major
The Philosophy Department offers options in areas of philosophy that focus on particular fields of study, including Religion and Classics; Justice and Global Society; Cognition, Science, Phenomenology, and Linguistics; and Culture and Aesthetics. Students completing the requirements in any of the options will receive a certificate from the department recognizing their competence in a particular area. To quality for an option, the student must fulfill the requirements for the major including at least 30 hours of course work, 9 hours of which must be in the option area.
The Philosophy Department houses three Centers, each of which offers specialized options for study within the major:
Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life
The primary aim of the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life is to foster a healthy and fruitful relationship between the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the surrounding community as it concerns religious issues and public life. View Website
Classics at UCCS
The field of Classics extends through all aspects of Greek and Roman culture from antiquity through the medieval period. The Classics Minor at UCCS is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the study of art, culture, history, literature, philosophy, religion, theatre and women’s studies in conjunction with language training in Greek and Latin. The program aims to integrate these into a larger picture of Greco-Roman culture and, from this perspective, to deepen our understanding of our own. View Website
Center for Legal Studies
The Center for Legal Studies coordinates the pre-law minor and organizes programs and events for students considering a legal career. View Webpage
Career & Future Prospects
Employers of all sorts value highly the education and training Philosophy majors acquire; accordingly, career opportunities for Philosophy majors abound. Philosophy majors know how to think—they see the big picture, question assumptions, analyze arguments, and understand alternative perspectives. They can speak and write clearly, in both expository and argumentative modes. Philosophy majors can find themselves at home in the humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, the exact sciences, and in all manner of professions—for they have been trained to take up basic questions that range across all these areas. Philosophy majors have found careers in business, medicine, law, journalism, media, government, teaching, science, social services, and advocacy organizations. And of course some have gone on to graduate work in Philosophy and to academic careers as Philosophers. Speaking of graduate work, in a recent publication from The American Philosophical Association Philosophy reports on "the average score for each of the three sections in the GRE," on verbal, mathematical, and analytic reasoning, that: "Philosophy is the best performing major overall, ranking first in the verbal and analytical writing sections of the test and 19th in the quantitative portion. And these data are consistent from year to year, both before and after the recent revision of the GRE." This data is confirmed by the 2014 Magoosh Guide to GRE Scores which shows Philosophy majors score higher than students every other major on the Verbal and Analytical Writing sections. Further, on the Quantitative section, Philosophy majors score higher than almost every other major in the life sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts, education, and business. See also a recent paper by Prof. Robert ("Rex") Welshon (UCCS) on Some Benefits of Philosophical Training
So: Philosophy majors do very well in the job market, much better than you might initially think. Indeed, a recent (2015) study found that, by mid-career, Philosophy majors earn on average over $84,000 a year—more than students majoring in (e.g.) Journalism, English Literature, Political Science, and International Relations. Granted, this could be because students who choose to major in Philosophy are brighter and more capable to begin with than students who choose to major in these other areas. But it seems likely that it is (also) because students who choose to major in Philosophy find themselves well-trained for success in a wide range of careers, thus improving their lifetime employment and earnings potential; you might recognize some famous philosophy majors in an online poster created by Daily Nous. As with most majors, your immediate post-graduation employment prospects and earnings will be determined not only by your major, but by your grades, your work experience (including internships), and your planning. For further information about employable skills after you graduate, see Employability - Where next? Unlocking the Potential of Your Philosophy Degree
Ethics Bowl is a competition where teams from various colleges and universities debate and discuss complex, real-world ethical challenges in an attempt to determine what we ought to do about them.
As a team, you’ll prep in the fall for the Rocky Mountain Regional Ethics Bowl competition, and attend the competition itself, which takes place in November and includes several rounds of competition over the course of 1 day. If the team succeeds at the Regional Ethics Bowl competition, we will prep for and compete at the National Ethics Bowl competition in March, which takes place over 2 days.
Being on the UCCS Ethics Bowl team involves meeting once a week for an hour or so. During this weekly hour, we’ll talk through the various cases and figure out what ethical positions the team wants to take in regards to the cases, and why.
The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy is now being offered as an online degree program. The philosophy major may choose either the general requirements or the student may specialize in one of four optional programs.
Here is a sample of the online courses currently offered by the Department of Philosophy:
- Introduction to Philosophy (PHIL 1000)
- Introduction to Ethics (PHIL 1020)
- Critical Thinking (PHIL 1120)
- Cosmology and Culture (PHIL 3000)
- Cyborgs and Monsters (PHIL 3050)
- World Religions (PHIL 3100)
- Ethics of Life and Health (PHIL 3130)
- Philosophical Issues in Death and Dying (PHIL 3160)
- Politics and the Law (PHIL 3200)
- Modern Islamic Philosophy (PHIL 4930)
- Senior Thesis (PHIL 4950)