- Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy wonders about the world, that there is one and what sort of place it is. Philosophical wonder, however, does not just think about these important matters; it thinks them through. In this process, we gain self-knowledge, knowledge of others and most profoundly the courage to think for ourselves and to be who we are.
The study of philosophy - and the love of wisdom it engenders - is thus an excellent foundation for further study and for careers in many fields. More importantly, the study of philosophy helps us to develop what Socrates called "the examined life," which for him was the only life worth living. Philosophical studies lead us to examine ourselves and to clarify our own basic commitments and values. Why study philosophy? Because it deepens and enriches our lives.
The philosophy departmental seminar provides a forum for faculty members and students to interact in a thoughtful way. Each year, the entire philosophy faculty joins students for an upper-level course. One faculty member chooses the topic and leads the class, but all participate, allowing students to experience and engage in philosophical dialogue in a collaborative environment.
Learn more about the Department of Philosophy.
We have developed a distinctive research track that culminates in grant-funded presentations at conferences.
The Senior Project is the capstone course in the philosophy curriculum and is designed for students seeking the bachelor of arts degree with a major in philosophy. This project takes the form of a senior thesis and is usually undertaken in the Fall of their Senior Year.
This project includes a one-on-one, faculty-supervised process of planning, research, writing and oral defense of the thesis, and provides philosophy majors with an opportunity to integrate and focus their philosophical interests and skills on a subject of their own choosing. It also allows philosophy majors to demonstrate their disciplined ability to conduct academic research of a selected topic. Guided by a supervisor from the philosophy faculty, students are expected to exemplify skills of independent research, critical and creative thinking, formal writing and oral presentation of the project.
Students are required to take Research in Philosophy during the Spring of their Junior Year in order to prepare them for their Senior Project. After defending their Senior Project, students are encouraged to present their findings undergraduate conferences. Substantial funding has been set aside by the philosophy department to support these presentations.
Opportunities for students include participation in the philosophy club, a monthly meeting of the minds involving faculty, philosophy majors and minors, and students interested in pursuing advanced studies in philosophy. A student convener sets the agenda and distributes texts for discussion. Philosophy club meetings allow students and professors to continue their philosophical dialogue outside of class in a congenial atmosphere.
Undergraduate Awards and Honors
The Ronald L. and Margaret Smith Hall Philosophy Award is a $1,000 award honoring the most outstanding graduating senior in philosophy.
The university awards three Lawson Scholarships annually to students of unusual ability, academic achievement and commitment to principled citizenship. This award can be renewed up to four years. Preference is given to students intending to major in philosophy and/or related field within the humanities.
Rob Brady Memorial Scholarship in the Humanities is to provide scholarships for students in the Humanities who are succeeding academically at Stetson University but have difficulty meeting their costs.
Our distinguished and dedicated faculty put their students' success as their number one priority.
Many of our majors go on to law school and many go on to do graduate work in philosophy and law at distinguished universities, including
- Oxford University
- University of Miami
- Vermont Law School
- Cornell Law
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- Virginia Tech
- Columbia University
- University of Sussex
- University of Chicago
- Georgetown University
- Stetson College of Law
- University of Albany
Our majors worked in law, education, the tech industry, and medicine.
A bachelor's degree in philosophy opens many doors to students across multiple industry sectors. Nearly three-fourths of all positions related to this degree program are asking for a bachelor's-level education. with the majority of the positions falling in the professional and technical services sector, followed by finance and insurance. A degree in philosophy also is one of the top academic paths for students considering graduate school, especially students considering law school. The program's emphasis on logic is considered a critical stepping-stone to some legal careers.
Source: Burning Glass Technologies 2019.
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