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Bachelor's in Philosophy (BA)

Of the dozens of majors offered at Roosevelt University, philosophy is perhaps the one most closely aligned with the university’s mission to educate socially conscious citizens. Through deep and precise reading in philosophical texts, students not only interrogate essential human questions, they learn thinking, writing and speaking skills that they may use in service of social justice. Philosophy students often go on to careers in law, education, medicine, business, science, mathematics, ministry, social work and many other areas.

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Location: Chicago
Start Term: Fall, Spring
Program Type: Major, Minor

In asking students to reevaluate their understanding of the human condition, philosophy courses encourage students to question fundamental beliefs and to appreciate the complexity of controversial subjects. Students learn to discern the important issues in life and become civically engaged. Studies demonstrate that philosophy majors generally have the highest scores of any major on law and graduate school standardized tests, and that the study of philosophy improves performance in STEM fields.

What Differentiates Us

Unique Engagement Opportunities

Unique Engagement Opportunities

The philosophy program has inquisitive, passionate fellow students from diverse walks of life and a world-class faculty that consistently grapples with the fundamental questions of life. Students have opportunities to engage with world-renowned scholars and a variety of educational programs through the Montesquieu Forum for the Study of Civic Life.

A Life Well-Lived

A Life Well-Lived

Students learn to read fundamental philosophical texts with precision, nuance, and subtlety, and learn to live a life of wonder, inquiry, and thoughtfulness.

Work Closely With Your Professors

Work Closely With Your Professors

Full-time faculty teach in small classes and provide mentoring to students. Students complete a senior research project designed by the student in consultation with faculty.

Expectations & Requirements

Standards

  • A dynamic and constantly evolving curriculum.
  • Thematic courses that explore how individuals lead their lives.
  • Courses focused on substantial and timely philosophical questions, such as "What is happiness?" "What is a family?" Or on critical ethical issues, such as life and death in medicine.
  • Emphasis on history/history of ideas.
  • Writing-intensive classes.
  • Affiliation with the Montesquieu Forum, which gives students scholarly experiences outside the classroom.
  • Accessible faculty committed to student academic success.

Sample Courses

  • Justice, Liberty, Equality
  • On Happiness
  • Philosophical Psychology
  • Utopias
  • Philosophy & Tyranny
  • Philosophy in Film
  • Existentialism

Outcomes

Graduates go on to pursue careers as attorneys, teachers (high school and university), administrators, policy makers, entrepreneurs, doctors, social workers, ethicists, publishers/editors, journalists and writers. They might work for law firms, think tanks, universities, public or private high schools, churches, newspapers, research labs, medical practices, medical schools, hospitals, civil service, businesses, consulting firms, nonprofit organizations, publishing firms or university presses.

Positions held by Roosevelt philosophy alumni
  • National accounts manager, University of Chicago Press
  • Senior manager of operations, GrubHub
  • Attorney, Chicago Stock Exchange
  • Professor of public health, Weill Cornell Medical College (New York)
  • Deputy legislative director, UN Foundation
  • Assistant librarian, Special Collections, Newberry Library
  • Administrator, study abroad program, Université de Paris
Notable alumni
  • Mary Simmerling, assistant professor of public health, Weill Cornell Medical
  • Robert Hoffman, senior sales and distribution associate, University of Chicago Press
  • Stéphane Douard, administrator, study abroad program, Université de Paris
  • Marina Denischik, PhD candidate, philosophy, Boston College
  • Alex Limanowski, PhD candidate, philosophy, Tulane University
  • Mark Partain, JD candidate, Brooklyn Law School
  • Kevan Loy, computer programmer
  • Jeff Schaller, assistant librarian, Special Collections, Newberry Library
  • Nicole Wallen, yoga instructor
  • Micah Spangler, deputy legislative director, UN Foundation
Graduate schools attended
  • Boston College
  • Brooklyn Law School
  • DePaul University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Marquette University
  • Northwestern University
  • New School (New York City)
  • Tulane University
  • University of Chicago

More Opportunities

Clubs & Activities

  • Montesquieu Forum for the Study of Civic Life
  • Debate Club

Testimonials

"The program trained me to think critically and consider thoughts from all points of view. It nurtured my inexperienced writing into a succinct and eloquent style. The professors provided strong guidance for my academics and my career. The skills learned in this program made me a better student and a better attorney."

​Harrison Keyes - BA '12
Attorney, Chicago Stock Exchange

"At RU, philosophy is a way of life — being thoughtful and passionate about big questions; taking pleasure in thinking about the world and our place in it; realizing our first thoughts should not be our last thoughts; and always being guided by the motto, 'Never Ask the End,' for our thinking and engagement about the world is a lifetime commitment."

Stuart Warner
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Roosevelt University