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Philosophy Department Mission

Do you ask why? Do you want to understand what reality is, what can be known, and what makes actions right and wrong?

Philosophy will appeal to your sense of curiosity about the world, as you explore topics such as justice, knowledge, reality, and truth: the ideas that have shaped our world over time.

Yet the study of philosophy also prepares you for many challenges, as you analyze and evaluate the ideas of others, and clarify and defend your own ideas.

You will develop problem solving abilities, communication skills, persuasive powers, and writing skills—skills needed to develop a rewarding career and a meaningful life.

With its emphasis on logic, analysis, and clarity of thought, philosophy is an excellent preparation for professional fields such as artificial intelligence, business, communications, government, information sciences, law, medicine, public relations, and writing—as well as graduate study in philosophy, theology, and many other disciplines.

Philosophy Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Content: Describe, discuss, explain, or review major topics in any of the following sub-fields of philosophy: (a) the history of philosophy; or (b) moral, social or political philosophy; or (c) metaphysics or epistemology; or (d) non-traditional philosophy.
  • Skills: Identify and evaluate formal (deductive, inductive, abductive, etc.) or informal arguments based on explicit criteria (e.g., validity, soundness, strength, cogency, etc.), or identify common argumentative fallacies.
  • Skills: Locate, analyze, summarize, paraphrase, or synthesize philosophical arguments in primary or secondary texts.
  • Capstone Skills: Generate, develop, and defend one’s own original thesis either orally or in writing.

The Philosophy Department is committed to diversity, equity, access and inclusive excellence across our curriculum.

Check out the department's brochure (PDF)

Below are some links to information about Successful Career-building and Philosophy:

Best Majors for GRE Scores in 2013: Philosophy Dominates            

Be Employable, Study Philosophy

Why Future Business Leaders Need Philosophy

With four full-time members and several dedicated part-time members, the UMD Philosophy Department forms a rigorous, friendly, and pluralistic community of inquiry, offering courses and emphases in the major areas of philosophical study. 

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