Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
The BA in Philosophy introduces the methods of philosophy in the context of engagement and contact with the world and its problems—from the personal to the global to the cosmic. A degree in philosophy prepares students for success in any field that values thoughtful reflection, logical thinking and clear communication about real issues and concerns, but is particularly valuable for careers in law, graduate study in philosophy, or in fields related to philosophy like critical media studies, public policy or science, technology and society (STS).
Philosophy Major Curriculum
Drexel philosophy majors take a mixture of historical and topical courses in the major fields of philosophical inquiry. These fields include ethics, metaphysics (philosophy of reality), epistemology (philosophy of knowledge), aesthetics (philosophy of art and beauty), social and political philosophy, philosophy of science, and logic. Our elective classes cover a wide range of applied subjects including technology, medicine, law, religion, science, the environment and more. Our upper-level seminars are discussion-driven, reading- and writing-intensive classes usually limited to 10-12 students. Prior to the end of sophomore year, students may choose to focus their philosophical studies in one of three concentrations:
- Ethical Theory & Practice
- Philosophy & Law
- Philosophy, Technology & Science
Students may also remain in the general philosophy concentration, which gives them the widest range of options from which to select their courses. Prior to the end of junior year, students may opt to work on a nine-credit senior thesis. This is a yearlong, self-designed independent research and writing project, culminating in a defense before the program's faculty and students. This project consists of three one-on-one tutorials with a faculty member of the student’s choosing. The Bachelor of Art in Philosophy includes about 50 credits of free electives, which makes it possible for many students to double major.
Learn more about the degree in the Course Catalog
What is Philosophy?
The study of philosophy involves the extensive use and development of rational inquiry and dialogue in the widest variety of human circumstances and issues. Such work enhances a person's sense of his or her own values, goals, prospects and possibilities in life. Philosophical study is likely to improve and refine the ability to think, write and communicate with others. It can also enhance a student's education and life in ways that are harder to quantify. These have to do with coming to understand oneself and others better; being more open to experiences in life that are especially challenging; developing a sharper ability to think for oneself; and being better prepared to reflect critically and creatively upon questions we confront as persons, as citizens and as human beings.
Drexel Co-op for Philosophy Majors
Through Drexel’s cooperative education program, students embark on up to three, six-month periods of employment, exploring their career options and building a professional network in the process. Philosophy majors are encouraged to seek out interesting co-op opportunities related to potential career options and the skills developed through their philosophical studies. Students interested in ethics have worked for a hospital’s board of institutional review, while those interested in aesthetics and politics have worked with the Philadelphia Mural Arts program in liaison with community groups. There is also a substantial amount of law and research-related co-op opportunities for students interested in pre-law and academia.
Recent philosophy majors have competed co-op positions such as:
- Paralegal assistant, Duane Morris LLP
- Compliance officer, U.S. Department of Labor
- Legal assistant, Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP
Learn more about Drexel Co-op
Philosophy Invited Lectures, Colloquia and Conferences
The Drexel Philosophy program frequently invites distinguished guests from philosophy departments around the country to present and discuss their ideas. We regularly hold colloquia in which faculty present “work in progress” for discussion with students and faculty. Drexel is also a member of the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, which pools the resources of 15 regional programs including Temple, University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore, The College of New Jersey and LaSalle, to present panel discussions and symposia on topics and themes at the forefront of international philosophy today. The GPPC holds one of the longest-running annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conferences in the nation each spring, which Drexel has hosted numerous times.
Philosophy prepares students for success in any field that values thoughtful reflection, logical thinking and clear communication. Because philosophical work helps students develop superior reasoning and analytical skills, it can be an ideal choice for pre-med or pre-law students. The philosophy major is also excellent preparation for careers in industry, law, government, education and the nonprofit sector, as well as many fields of graduate study and research.
Drexel’s Philosophy program emphasizes career guidance and support, helping students meet their goals in whatever field they may choose. Graduates of our program have gone on to exciting careers in:
- Higher education administration
- Labor rights advocacy
- Law Management
- Political Consulting
- And many more!