Department of Philosophy

Explore the world, discover yourself

In philosophy, you will explore the greatest ideas in human history and think deeply about how they apply to life today. You will engage in rich dialogue with peers that will help you not only to learn what others believe, but also to discover deeper reasons for your own beliefs. And as part of a vibrant intellectual community, you will develop skills needed more than ever in the workforce and in society, including how to read carefully, think critically, communicate clearly, and seek truth.

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High earning potential and career success

Whether you choose a career in law, business, politics, the tech industry, journalism, teaching, or another field, your philosophy major will serve you well. Philosophy majors have among the highest mid-career earnings of all majors. But at Saint Mary’s, we know that success means more than high salaries and positions of power; it’s about doing something meaningful in life and finding happiness. As a philosophy major, you will explore what that means for you.

  • 93% said their education prepared them well or very well for graduate school
  • $82k median salary of philosophy majors mid-career
  • 53% of philosophy majors study abroad

Pair with another major

The philosophy major pairs well with other majors, and you may choose to join philosophy with any number of disciplines, such as English, psychology, political science, computer science, history, business, religious studies, or even our Five-Year Dual Degree Engineering Program with the University of Notre Dame.

New Concentration in Law, Ethics, and Politics

Is your ultimate goal to go to law school? Do you dream about a career in politics? Are you passionate about the moral issues of today?  By majoring in philosophy with a concentration in law, ethics, and politics, you can explore what is just and unjust, learn how to construct a cohesive argument, and evaluate our nation’s justice system through a series of courses that will prepare you for a career in the legal or political fields. 

Philosophy is historically a male-dominated discipline, but Saint Mary’s community of inquisitive women are leading the charge to make the discipline more inclusive and representative, and will help prepare you to take on the challenges of any career. And if the legal profession is your goal, you will be well-prepared with this concentration as philosophy majors are consistently top performers on the LSAT. This flexible option is an exciting addition to the philosophy coursework, as well as an excellent complement to other majors.

Unique research opportunities and faculty mentorship

Our philosophy faculty have a wide range of individual interests---from philosophy and justice, philosophy to nature, philosophy and art, philosophy and disabilities, and more. But they are all passionate about working with you. They will encourage you to ask your own questions and mentor you through the process of developing your own philosophical perspective.

Part of that process includes a senior comprehensive project that involves working one-on-one with a faculty member to do research on a topic of your choice over the course of a full year. This project will allow you to investigate an area of philosophy that is of particular interest to you and use all you’ve learned to put the final stamp on your Saint Mary’s education.

Kate Kulwicki, class of 2017 at OxfordExpand your worldview

Studying philosophy, you will begin to understand the ways of the world on a much deeper level. For this reason, many philosophy students choose to study abroad. Whether you choose a program in Oxford, Rome, Morocco, China, or elsewhere, you can immerse yourself in a new culture and develop a broader perspective that will both enrich and be enriched by your study of philosophy.

Noteable Alumnae

  • Katlynn Dee ’17
    Philosophy and history double major
    Law student, DePaul University
    Chicago, IL

  • Kate Kulwicki '17
    Philosophy and English literature double major
    Graduate student, University of Oxford
    Oxford, UK

  • Grace Pingel '17
    Philosophy and psychology double major
    Associate Product Manager, Patient Experience at Press Ganey
    South Bend, IN

  • Emily Schmitt Baroz ’12
    Philosophy and theatre double major
    Playwright and producer with Sleeves Up Productions
    New York City, NY

  • Allison Beyer ’07
    Philosophy and religious studies double major
    Assistant Director at Dominican Volunteers USA
    South Bend, IN

  • Katie Harrison ’04
    Philosophy and religious studies double major
    Attorney at Campbell & Levine, LLC
    Pittsburgh, PA

  • Jennifer Lackey ’94
    Philosophy major
    Professor of philosophy at Northwestern University
    Evanston, IL

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