Earn Your Philosophy Degree at UW

What is true? What is real? What is the good life and how can we know? Explore some of life's greatest questions in a supportive learning environment at the University of Wyoming's philosophy department.

Philosophy majors are the ones who ask questions about life, humanity and the world around us, trying to understand it in terms that can be absolute and unyielding, or supple and flexible. Like the scholars and philosophers of old, we grapple with questions of importance and try to adapt their answers to our times or to create new reasoning for old problems.

What Is a Philosophy Major?

The philosophy major at UW is fundamentally about learning to think well. Sound, logical thinking is the foundation of effective writing and speaking, which students will practice during their course of study.

Drawn from ancient Greek, the word philosophy literally means the love (Philo-) of wisdom (Sophia). Thus philosophy has long been associated with the art of living well in all spheres of life, career and otherwise. UW philosophy majors will learn to examine both ancient and contemporary texts, as they probe some of life's deepest questions and apply what they discover to their own lives.

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Critical thinking skills: The cornerstone of philosophy is the ability to reason and to think critically, logically and come to conclusions based on reasoning. This skill is learned and practiced throughout the entire program.

Understand concepts of right, wrong, good and bad; understand moral principles and their application in everyday life: A practical understanding which grounds students and prepares them for applications in professional and personal life.

Read and interpret philosophical texts: Reading texts and interpreting them is fundamental to all philosophy classes. Using original texts by ancient and modern philosophers, combined with textbooks and other literature as assigned, skill at accurate interpretation and analysis is developed.

Recognize, express and analyze arguments in philosophical texts: This is a critical skill to develop in all students, regardless of the program, but is especially important for philosophy students. Students must be able to extract arguments from philosophical texts and from the world around them.

Skill in summarizing and explaining difficult ideas and concepts: This goes hand in hand with the prior outcome. It is achieved through analysis and critical thinking and student practice in class discussions, presentations and argumentation. Furthermore, the ability to distill complicated information into a more easily digestible form has applications in every field and profession.

Writing that reflects careful attention to language, logic and subtleties of reasoning: A writing-intensive major, students are taught skills as to how to write concisely and clearly, as well as how to thoroughly analyze subject matter.

Write philosophical essays that have coherent theses and reasonable supporting arguments: The ability to craft arguments that are both logical and reasonably supported by evidence is a crucial skill for the modern philosopher.

Learning to understand reality from different perspectives and thus understand that different people will define issues in different ways: The ability to separate the self from one's frame of reference is a critical skill in the modern world and encourages both empathy and the willingness to engage with the world from different standpoints.

Skill in research methodology: Research methodology includes learning to utilize online resources as well as those located at libraries for conducting philosophical research. It involves learning the standards for citation and bibliographies, abstracts and prospectus writing. Most importantly, research methodology teaches students how to pick an appropriate topic, in subject and length, for various academic and professional projects.

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What Can You Do With a Philosophy Degree?

If you think that the only use you can put a philosophy degree to is by sitting on a mountain and contemplating your navel—think again. A degree in philosophy will train you for the rigors of almost any demanding job, whether in academia, law, business, or any number of other areas that require written, verbal, or reasoning skills.

Philosophy Careers

  • Academia
  • Business
  • Cognitive science
  • Computer science
  • Consulting
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Graduate study
  • Insurance
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Medicine
  • Publishing
  • Real estate
  • Religious ministry
  • Research
  • Sales
  • Technical writing


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Graduate schools UW Philosophy alumni have attended:

  • University of Wyoming
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Texas
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Philosophy Bachelors Degree Program Highlights

Philosophy students at UW benefit from expert faculty, interesting coursework and small, energizing classes. Here are a few other program highlights you can look forward to:

Philosophy Club

The Philosophy Club offers a chance for students to meet with their peers for activities, games, mutual support and socialization. Sometimes you'll discuss Kant's third Categorical Imperative; other times you'll just hang out.

Stoic Camp

Engage in a rigorous study of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius at Table in the Wilderness Camp in Centennial, WY, led by Professor Rob Colter. Group studies along with early morning and evening hikes, lots of good food and some downtime ensure everyone will return to society with a better sense of "stoic calm."

Contact Us

We're Eager to Help!

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Ross Hall Rm. #223

Department 3392, 1000 E. University Avenue

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3204

Email: philosophy@uwyo.edu