Philosophy: BA, BS
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental human problems and questions, including existence, religion, reality, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The philosophy program at Utah State is designed to provide students with an understanding of the origin and nature of philosophical issues, the development of these issues, the debates surrounding them, and their implications for various fields of study.
The philosophy program is a small, intimate program where students have the opportunity to pursue undergraduate research and receive individual mentoring from faculty. Through the program, students develop skills that allow them to generate ideas, solve problems, and communicate effectively.
The curriculum is designed to meet a wide variety of student interests and provide a rigorous foundation for students planning to further their education in law, medicine, or other graduate work. On average, philosophy majors outperform students in business, the sciences, and humanities on the MCAT, LSAT, and GMAT exams, which makes them excellent candidates for graduate and professional programs.
The preferred degree is the BA, in which students gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages in addition to regular coursework. If students wish to pursue a BS, they need to complete four extra science courses in addition to the regular course requirements for the major.
Because philosophy majors develop strong research and critical-thinking skills, they most often continue their education and go on to law school, medical school, or graduate studies in philosophy.
If students wish to work right after graduation rather than pursuing further education, they should dual major. Students will most likely work in the field related to their second major but will have an advantage in the workforce because of the expertise gained through their philosophy courses.
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the philosophy program has additional requirements:
- Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
- Transfer Students: Students transferring from other institutions and from other USU majors must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 to be accepted into the major.
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
Phi Sigma Tau: This honor society awards students who have high scholarship and personal interest in philosophy, promotes student interest in research and advanced study of philosophy, provides opportunities for the publication of student research papers of merit, encourages a professional spirit and friendship among those who have displayed prime ability in this field, and popularizes interest in philosophy among the general collegiate public.
Philosophy Club: This club is open to all who are interested in philosophy. The purpose of the club is to give members and visitors an opportunity to participate in philosophy, bring together students and faculty in a mutual learning atmosphere, promote philosophy in the local community, provide social activities and events for members and visitors, and provide a forum for the discussion of all issues in the domain of philosophy.
Speech and Debate Team: This is a small group that competes against approximately 32 schools and programs from the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The team took first place in the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament in 2010. USU is the only school from the state of Utah in the Northwest Forensic Conference. Being part of the Speech and Debate Team helps students improve skills in public speaking, research, politics, and more.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.