About Philosophy

Philosophy is being recognized more and more as one of the strongest and most versatile undergraduate degrees you can obtain. In fact, we live in an age where employers want employees to be more than just knowledgeable in their chosen field, but also critical thinkers, clear communicators, and ethical decision makers. These skills are central to the study of philosophy. Philosophy encourages exploration and discussion of fundamental questions and issues that proceed from a commitment to the virtues of the Catholic Franciscan tradition, including contemplation, hospitality, integrity, and a commitment to truth, faith, hope, and charity.

What does Philosophy teach students?

  • to think objectively and critically
  • to write clearly and effectively
  • to break down complex problems and ideas and present them convincingly to others
  • to analyze different policies for consistency and fairness
  • to develop creative solutions to complicated problems and issues
  • to recognize when people are being manipulated
  • to appreciate the value of intellectual history and the power of ideas
  • to contemplate the larger meaning and purpose of life
  • to see the value of questioning and intellectual curiosity
  • to make transparent, defensible, and reliable ethical decisions

Why major or minor in Philosophy?

A philosophy major or minor is an effective way of making your application and resume stand out, which shows both employers and graduate schools that you have a strong interest in thinking critically, welcome challenges, and value innovation. Many disciplines teach critical thinking and ethical decision-making indirectly through their course content. Philosophy focuses on these subjects directly. If you are interested in improving these skills for whatever reason, then philosophy is for you. The advantages of studying Philosphy at Viterbo are:

  • The philosophy degree is very flexible, making it easy to graduate in four years and get a minor or even double-major along the way.
  • A recent study by PayScale found that students who graduate with a degree in philosophy earn some of the highest salaries among humanities majors, with a medium income of $82 000 annually.    
  • Viterbo offers both B.A. and B.S. degree options in philosophy and a 3+1 degree track.
  • Small classes (most upper division classes have less than 15 students) ensure that students get the maximum attention they deserve.
  • Gifted, research-centered and committed faculty who are dedicated to mentoring students.
  • An active Philosophy Club and many opportunities for students to present their work at conferences or compete for publication. 
  • Annual Humanities Scholarship Competition, with a total of $9,750 in awards to students pursuing an undergraduate major in the humanities. 

For more information, contact:

Rev. William Reese
Department Chair, Professor