Philosophy at SIUE
At SIUE, pursuing a degree in philosophy allows you to follow your interests. Since classes in the College of Arts and Sciences are often centered on a discussion, you can be an active participant every day. Philosophy is fun, but it also requires hard work. In order to help develop your ability to solve complex problems, generate ideas, communicate clearly, respond to others, adapt to change and think creatively, faculty in the Department of Philosophy will challenge you throughout your course of study. Being challenged each day helps students develop deep analytical skills that will translate into everyday life, as well as their chosen profession.
Degrees Available at SIUE
- Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
- Bachelor of Science in Philosophy
What is Philosophy?
Philosophy is the attempt to think carefully, critically, and systematically about the most challenging questions that face humanity. Philosophy is the oldest academic discipline, with roots that can be traced to ancient Greece and to thinkers who asked probing questions to help them understand themselves and the world around them. Philosophy is sometimes called “the queen of the sciences” because every major academic discipline-from math to psychology-was part of philosophy, at one time. Today, philosophy continues to spawn new cutting edge fields, such as cognitive science. Some classic philosophical questions include:
- What makes something good?
- What is a person?
- What is virtue?
- What makes something just or unjust?
- What are minds and bodies, and how are they related?
- What is knowledge, and how is it best acquired?
- What makes something beautiful?
A degree in philosophy focuses primarily on clear thinking and writing. Due to this focus, students will be prepared for a wide range of careers, including law, medicine, bioethics, finance, diplomacy, journalism, public relations and business. Students earning a degree in philosophy are also well-prepared for graduate and professional school. Philosophy students tend to score higher on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and the verbal and analytical writing portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) than students from other majors, and are among the highest scorers on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
Famous philosophy majors include: Thomas Jefferson, Carl Icahn, George Soros, David Souter, Steven Colbert, Mary Higgins Clark, Phil Jackson and Bruce Lee. Philosophy majors can end up wherever they desire since the basic skills they develop help ensure they will thrive wherever their interests take them.