Philosophy teaches you how to think. “I already know how to think!” you say. You’re right—to a degree. But to thrive in our anxious, tangled world, you need to think at a whole new level, which you learn in philosophy courses.

Philosophy is a subject, but it’s also a method. It emphasizes analytical skills connected with logical thinking, careful reading, and clear writing.  The focus on developing these skills, coupled with philosophy’s connections with many other disciplines, make studying it an excellent preparation for graduate work in a variety of fields. If you prefer to seek a job after graduation, employers across the career spectrum highly value the skills you learn in philosophy, too. Just a few of these skills include how to:

  • Think critically and analytically
  • Express yourself effectively in writing
  • Assess and integrate information
  • Make a case using evidence
  • Discover solutions to problems based on a broad perspective

While teaching valuable career skills, philosophy also explores fundamental questions about human beings and our place in the world. For example:

How do we define reality? Is the definition fixed or fluid? Or: What evidence is there that God exists? How about evidence for life after death?

You only need 33 credits to complete the philosophy major-related requirements. This makes philosophy an especially appealing choice if you want to double major or you’ve already earned many credits and want to finish a degree.

Only a small percentage of philosophy majors go on to teach philosophy. Instead, they pursue careers in business, communications, education, health care, information technology, law, public policy, and a host of other fields. The bottom line: Wherever you want to go with your life, a philosophy degree will help you get there.

Why UM-Flint?

The quality of our faculty is the most important reason to study philosophy at UM-Flint. They’re scholars who are engaged in research, but they’re here because they love teaching and helping students succeed. As a philosophy major, you have a faculty mentor with whom you can discuss selecting classes, internship opportunities, career possibilities, graduate school, and more.

Here are a few other reasons you should study philosophy at UM-Flint:

  • For your convenience, philosophy courses are available in person or online.
  • As you complete courses, you gain opportunities to lead the next generation of students as a student instructor for an introductory philosophy course.
  • The UM-Flint Philosophy Club offers opportunities to meet other students with similar interests and participate in club activities.
  • The Philosophy Department is affiliated with the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics, which promotes the exploration of the conceptual foundations of the neurosciences and the study of the legal, political, social, and ethical implications of their advances.
  • You can attend, volunteer to help run, or present a paper at the annual Michigan Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, which is organized by the UM-Flint Philosophy Club and sponsored by the Philosophy Department and the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics.
  • You can rise through the ranks to become a student editor of compos mentis: Undergraduate Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics, which is published online twice a year.
  • Internships are available at the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village, which is affiliated with the Philosophy Department and the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics.
  • In a paid or volunteer role, you can develop your research skills while working side-by-side with faculty on state-of-the-art research in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program or its summer counterpart, the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, which offers full- and half-time positions.

Buzz recently opened his own law practice, The Plan Firm, and helps people with wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and giving legal help to families after a disability or death. Buzz stated, “The skills and experience I gained in critical thinking, reading, and writing at UM-Flint prepared me for success in law school. I can’t imagine making it through my law school courses without the rigorous practice in reading and writing I had in my philosophy courses.”

Buzz Suuppi
Philosophy 2004

Buzz Suuppi

The Philosophy Department offers a major in:

We also offer an 18-credit philosophy minor.

UM-Flint offers two scholarships specifically for philosophy students:

  • Candace Marie Bolter Scholarship
  • Ralph M. and Emmalyn E. Freeman Philosophy Scholarship

Our Office of Financial Aid offers a variety of other scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. They’re all part of our effort to make your world-class UM-Flint education affordable.

With so many educational opportunities and career paths available to our philosophy majors, we strongly encourage you to meet regularly with two people: your faculty mentor and your academic advisor. Our academic advisors can help you choose classes, navigate program requirements, overcome personal issues, find internships, explore career and graduate school options, and more.

Nicole Altheide is the dedicated philosophy advisor. You can contact her at [email protected] or schedule an advising appointment.

Major Maps logo

To help you envision what your experience as a philosophy major will look like, we’ve created a major map. It provides year-by-year details about classes you take, experiences available both on and off campus, preparing for life after graduation, and more. Download the major map today and start planning your future.

Career Opportunities in Philosophy

Your Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree from UM-Flint will open the door to a huge range of graduate school and career options. Consider these projections for just a few career possibilities from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Financial Analysts
    • Job growth through 2031: 9 percent
    • Job openings annually through 2031: 32,000
    • Typical entry-level education required: Bachelor’s degree
    • Median annual salary: $95,570
  • Lawyers
    • Job growth through 2031: 10 percent
    • Job openings annually through 2031: 48,700
    • Typical entry-level education required: Doctoral degree
    • Median annual salary: $127,990
  • Market Research Analysts
    • Job growth through 2031: 19 percent
    • Job openings annually through 2031: 99,800
    • Typical entry-level education required: Bachelor’s degree
    • Median annual salary: $63,920
  • Operations Research Analysts
    • Job growth through 2031: 23 percent
    • Job openings annually through 2031: 10,300
    • Typical entry-level education required: Bachelor’s degree
    • Median annual salary: $82,360
  • Postsecondary Teachers (all subjects)
    • Job growth through 2031: 12 percent
    • Job openings annually through 2031: 132,600
    • Typical entry-level education required: Master’s or doctoral degree
    • Median annual salary: $79,640
  • Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers
    • Job growth through 2031: 25 percent
    • Job openings annually through 2031: 162,900
    • Typical entry-level education required: Bachelor’s degree
    • Median annual salary: $109,020

More information about careers for philosophy majors is available from the American Philosophical Association.

If you want a degree that provides a strong academic foundation and skills that open the door to a wide range of exciting career opportunities, apply to UM-Flint’s Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program today. If you have questions, you can contact the program’s dedicated academic advisor, Nicole Altheide, at [email protected] or schedule an advising appointment.

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