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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University





Now is the best opportunity in your life to explore philosophy.  Examine your life and your world while you have the chance!


Philosophy majors do better on the LSAT than any other majors except math and economics — ten percentile better than political science majors!


Philosophy majors do better on the MCAT than biology majors!  Take a few physics, biology, and chemistry courses, but use your philosophy major to excel on the writing and verbal reasoning sections!


Philosophy majors do better on the GMAT than all but math, CS, physics, and engineering majors!  Be prepared for the new “Integrated Reasoning” section!


Philosophy majors do better on the GRE total than any social science or humanities majors offered at MSU!


You don’t need to get an advanced degree to benefit from a philosophy major.  Philosophy is good for any career. 

Employers want people who:

  • Comprehend what they read
  • Raise the right questions
  • Know how to evaluate others’ claims
  • Write and speak clearly and persuasively
  • Value multiple perspectives and find common ground

Today’s jobs demand sharp, creative, inquisitive minds!  

Contact the Undergraduate Program Director, Professor Debra Nails, for more information.  Her drop-in office hours for fall 2015 are 2:30-3:30 MW.  Email her for an appointment if dropping in is inconvenient.

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy critically examines our most basic beliefs about the world and our place in it. Inquiry in philosophy grapples with such basic questions as "Can we be sure of our beliefs?" "What are the grounds for correct judgments?" "How do we distinguish between right and wrong?" "What is a person?" "Are we free or causally determined?" "Is there a God?"

Philosophy strives to develop the ability to reason clearly, to distinguish between good and bad arguments, to navigate through a complicated maze of questions, to clarify puzzling concepts, and to use intelligence and logic in situations ruled all too often by prejudices. It helps one understand points of view in a variety of controversies. Philosophy can help expand a student's horizons by enabling him or her to see beyond the social, political and economic world as it presently exists and develop a controlled but imaginative awareness of alternatives. Philosophy makes available to the student a significant portion of the world's great literature, and makes him or her aware of the extent to which scientists, artists, poets, educators and theologians have depended upon philosophical thought and argument in the course of their own development.

The foregoing suggest the multiplicity of links between philosophy and other disciplines and professions such as the sciences, the arts, medicine and law. Philosophy serves to place the study of such disciplines within a broader intellectual perspective and provides logical and analytical tools for understanding them. Since philosophy can enter into so many different programs, philosophical studies may be pursued as an intrinsic component of any liberal or professional education.