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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.

The philosophy department is committed to diversity, equity, access and inclusive excellence across our curriculum.

Philosophy majors who know they want to pursue a career in law may add a pre-law concentration to their degree to add additional focus on legal studies and entrance exam preparation in their coursework while requiring the same number of credits as the regular philosophy major.

Our faculty represent a diversity of backgrounds and areas of specialization, including ethics, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of science. Our curriculum focuses on four areas:

  • moral, social, or political philosophy
  • history of philosophy
  • metaphysics and epistemology
  • critical philosophy

For the major, you'll complete 33 credits, consisting of five core courses and electives for an overall total of 120 credits.

Core courses

  • PHL 110: Principles of critical thinking (3 credits)
  • One 3-credit course from moral, social, or political philosophy
  • One 3-credit course from history of philosophy
  • One 3-credit course from metaphysics and epistemology
  • One 3-credit course from critical philosophy
  • PHL 409: Seminar 3-credit course

When you minor in philosophy, you'll develop analytical skills and learn to cultivate clarity of thought. The philosophy minor makes an excellent addition to your academic career, because training in philosophy is highly regarded in professional fields such as law, medicine, business, and government.

For the minor, you'll complete 18 credit hours.

Enrollment in the 3+3 joint degree program with UMass Law allows offers an accelerated pathway to an undergraduate and law degree, enabling qualifying students to substitute the first year of law school for the final year of their undergraduate program, thereby earning both a bachelor’s degree from UMass Dartmouth and a Juris Doctor from UMass Law in six rather than seven years.

Enrollment in the 4+1 Teacher Preparation program allows undergraduate students to begin the education coursework towards a master’s degree in teaching (MAT) as early as the sophomore year. Half of the degree is completed as an undergraduate, reducing the time and costs of earning a graduate degree.

Student success

Professor Keota Fields

Watch as Professor Fields explains the importance of philosophy.

Graduate School Placements

  • Bridgewater State University
  • Hunter College, CUNY
  • Simmons School of Social Work
  • University of Connecticut
  • UMass Amherst
  • UMass Dartmouth

Career Placements

  • The Bebis Group
  • Junior Achievement of New England
  • Massachusetts Department of Conservation
  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
  • Partners HealthCare
  • South Coast Serves
  • Southern New England Behavioral Health & Trauma Center
  • Tech-Etch Inc.
  • USS Massachusetts Memorial Inc.

UMassD advantages

  • Get involved by joining the Philosophy Association and our chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the Philosophy Honors Society
  • Attend conferences and department events, where you'll meet world-renowned philosophers
  • Join faculty in their research or consider becoming a tutor for your peers
  • 3+3 Law degree: UMass Law’s accelerated program allows you to receive both an undergraduate degree and a law degree in 6 rather than 7 years. In your fourth year, you would matriculate at UMass Law as a first-year law student.

Philosophy faculty

Interim Association Director of the Honors Program
Catherine Villanueva Gardner, PhD
Jennifer Mulnix Profile Picture
Jennifer Mulnix, PhD
Picture of Keota Fields black and white image
Keota Fields, PhD
Maureen Eckert
Maureen Eckert, PhD
Timothy Nulty, PhD
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