Why study philosophy?
We provide students with solid background in the history of philosophy, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethical theory, and other subjects, while including courses in our faculty areas of specialization in environmental philosophy, philosophy of science and technology, and political philosophy, as well as cutting edge courses on climate change, energy, food, water, and religion and ecology.
We have a complete program of study in the history of Western Asian and European philosophy and religion, and South and East Asian philosophy and religions. Our course work not only provides insight into the world's cultural intellectual heritage but also into literally every other field of study in the sciences and humanities. Philosophy is the bedrock of all other disciplines.
Our rigorous curriculum introduces you to methods of thinking about timeless questions as you encounter these central areas of philosophy:
- Aesthetics (What is beauty and art?)
- Epistemology (What do I know and how do I know it?)
- Ethics (What should I do and who should I become?)
- Human nature (What am I and who am I?)
- Metaphysics (What is reality?)
- Politics (What is justice and what is a good government?)
- Environment (What is nature and how should we treat it?)
The best reason to study philosophy is that you find these kinds of questions fascinating and important. But studying philosophy also equips students with crucial skills, including:
- Critical thinking
- Persuasive argumentation
- Creative problem solving
- Consideration of many different perspectives on a single issue
- Clear written and oral communication on complex topics
Here's a video that offers five good reasons to major in philosophy.
Philosophy majors are well-prepared for a variety of graduate programs and careers, including law, medicine, public policy, business, education, non-profit management, social services, and high tech -- any area where critical thinking, reading, writing, and thoughtful analysis is needed. Here are some other careers where philosophy majors thrive.
Philosophy and law school
Philosophy is an excellent major for those interested in pursuing a career in law. The skills you develop while studying philosophy - such as the ability to think and write clearly and to analyze and present arguments - are highly valued in the legal profession. Philosophy majors typically do very well on the LSAT and have one of the highest rates of acceptance at law schools. Recent UNT graduates have been admitted to law programs at school such as UT - Austin, Texas A&M, SMU, Baylor, LSU, Arizona State, and University of Georgia. For more information on philosophy and law school, see:
- a chart showing how philosophy majors do well on the LSATs.
- an article about how philosophy majors do best when it comes to getting into law school.
Philosophy and medical school
Philosophy is also an excellent major for those interested in medical school. Medical schools look favorably upon candidates with a liberal arts degree, especially from philosophy departments. The requirements of the philosophy major are quite managable, so it is possible to major in philosophy while completing pre-med requirements. For more information on the benefits of studying philosophy for a career in medicine, see:
- an article by a Harvard medical school professor on the benefits of studying philosophy for a career in medicine.
Philosophy and graduate school
Since studying philosophy teaches the skills required for any field that requires clear and creative thought, majoring in philosophy provides excellent preparation for graduate study in any field. Recent UNT graduates have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in fields such as Philosophy, English, Education, and Urban Planning. For more information on how studying philosophy helps with admission to graduate school, see:
- an article on how philosophy majors do well on the GREs.
Philosophy in the workplace
Majoring in philosophy is excellent preparation for whatever you decide to do, as these articles argue:
- Washington Post, "For Philosophy majors, the question after graduation is: What next?"
- New York Times, "Philosophy prepared me for a career in finance and government"
- Salon, "Be employable, study philosophy"
- Forbes, "That 'useless' liberal arts degree has become tech's hottest ticket"
- CNBC, "Mark Cuban says studying philosophy may soon be worth more than computer science--here's why"
- Huffington Post, "The unexpected way philosophy majors are changing the world of business"
- Entrepreneur, "5 reasons why philosophy majors make great entrepreneurs"
Philosophy and earning potential
Contrary to popular belief, majoring in philosophy will not lead you to a life of poverty. These articles show that philosophers can earn a very good living.
- Forbes, "Surprise: Humanities degrees provide a great return on investment"
- The Atlantic, "The earning power of philosophy majors"
- Daily Nous, "Philosophy majors make more money than majors in any other humanities field"
- Wall Stree Journal, "Degrees that pay you back"