Philosophy is an excellent major to prepare you for the critical thinking and careful analysis required in many careers. The questions studied in philosophy are profound. At Bethel, we study answers from a variety of traditions, and give you the opportunity to come up with your own. All of this is done from a distinctly Christian perspective.
Why should I study philosophy?
Studying philosophy is excellent preparation for nearly any career. It gives you skills that set you up for the long term. A recent Wall Street Journal survey of mid-career earnings of college graduates indicates that median earnings for philosophy majors more than doubles within 10 years of graduation.
Philosophy is interesting. It deals with the perennial questions of human existence, from the nature of reality to how we should live. What could be better than to study these issues in a small department, together with other students with similar interests, led by professors whose passion is to teach?
The Philosophy major is small and flexible, requiring only 30 core credits (about 9 courses). This allows philosophy to be paired with a second major, which may allow for more flexible career choices. It also allows for off-campus study and graduation within 3 years. Many of our courses also fulfill general education requirements, and some are required for majors in other departments.
What can I do with this degree?
- Graduate school in philosophy, including Ph.D.s at universities such as Yale, Emory, Marquette, and Minnesota.
- Law school: some of our alumni work at private law firms and in government.
- Other graduate programs, from theology to counseling to kinesiology.
- Thrive in the business world, including US Bank, Optum, and Securian Financial.
- Advance non-profit organizations, such as Wycliffe, Lifetrack Resources, and ACR Homes.
What skills will I develop?
- Excellent writing and research
- Oral communication
- Critical reasoning skills: the ability to recognize and assess arguments or claims
- Creativity: the ability to approach problems in new and interesting ways
Philosophy majors consistently score highest (or nearly highest) among all other majors on graduate school entrance exams such as the GRE, LSAT, and GMAT.
What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?
- Spend a semester abroad studying philosophy (for example, at Oxford University)
- Present a paper at an undergraduate philosophy conference
- Have a paper published in an undergraduate philosophy journal
- Participate in Philosophy Club events at Bethel
- Serve as a teaching or research assistant for a philosophy professor