Philosophy program

MUndergrad major mUndergrad minor

Question your deepest assumptions about the world and your life.

The study of philosophy demands that we think about the values we hold, the lives we contemplate leading, and the nature of the universe where we find ourselves.

In UW-La Crosse's Philosophy program, students are empowered to think logically, critically and rigorously about these topics and many others. They learn to read carefully and write argumentatively by examining responses to the big questions of thinkers from a variety of time periods and cultures. Philosophy is the oldest academic discipline, but because of its relevance, it continues to prepare students with broad skillsets for a successful future.

Philosophy definition

Philosophy means the love of wisdom. It is the academic study of questions related to fundamental truths: What is a meaningful life? How should I treat others? What are my responsibilities to the environment? What is truth? What is beauty? What is the nature of reality and the mind? Philosophers ask these questions and many others. The field teaches people how to assess the positions of others and more precisely articulate their own.

Philosophy jobs

Philosophy majors develop broad skills in creative and critical thinking, problem solving, innovation, attention to detail, the ability to see multiple perspectives, and more. For this, they are prepared for a broad array of careers and graduate school programs. Graduates go on to lead successful careers from education to business to law. Even more importantly, studying philosophy enriches one's personal life.

Philosophy careers

  • K-12 educator or university professor
  • Financial or computer analyst
  • Government service
  • Business management
  • Peace Corps
  • Missionary
  • Physician
  • University admissions counselor
  • Psychiatrist
  • Humanities teacher
  • Medical, environmental or business ethicist
  • Politics
  • Attorney
  • Entrepreneur
  • Congressional staff member
  • Environmentalist
  • Diplomat
  • Environmental farmer

Further education

  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Social sciences
  • Counseling
  • Humanities communication
  • Law school
  • Medical school

What distinguishes UWL's philosophy program?

Broad-based academic background leads to preparation for diverse career paths

Philosophy pairs well with other majors as the skills students learn are broad and can apply to any field. UWL's program is dedicated to helping students develop skills in a number of areas:

  • Critical and creative thinking for the rapidly changing, interdependent world in which we live.
  • Enhanced problem solving skills, and the ability to view matters from a variety of different perspectives.
  • An ability to analyze and understand philosophical problems met by professional people and intelligent citizens.
  • Sensitivity and competence in thinking across disciplinary, gender, and racial lines.
  • Foundational skills and abilities for post undergraduate study.
Student-involvement opportunities

Students have numerous opportunities to connect such as the Phenomenology Lecture Series, Philosophy Club, Departmental Honors Program, and Apprenticeships in Philosophy.

Undergraduate research opportunities

In the Philosophy Department, students engage in independent research projects or collaborative projects developed with a faculty mentor. Philosophy projects are often interdisciplinary in nature, and may include creative projects as well as traditional research papers.

Professional association connections

Faculty in the program are connected to a variety of professional associations including the American Philosophical Association, the Wisconsin Philosophical Association, the American Association of Philosophy Teachers and the Society of Women in Philosophy.

Diverse faculty backgrounds

UWL philosophy faculty members, all of whom have doctorates in philosophy, represent many different philosophical viewpoints and diverse competencies and interests. The coursework available in the Philosophy Program represents not only all of the important traditional areas of philosophy but also new interests and developments in the field.

Life preparation

The knowledge, skills, and perspectives gained through the study of philosophy not only prepare one for professional success, but also provide countless ways to engage life’s complexities.

Sample courses