Academic Programs

Why Study Philosophy?


Reason #9

Through studying philosophy, you will achieve a solid education in the liberal arts.

The liberal arts were developed during the middle ages and were based upon ancient forms of educational practice. They are composed of seven fields of study, grouped under two headings, the "trivium" (or verbal studies) and the "quadrivium" (or rational/mathematical studies).

The trivium is composed of these three areas of study: grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic. (Philosophy gives students a fine education in all three.)

The quadrivium is composed of these four: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. While philosophy does not address these fields directly, it does serve the goals to which they aspire. Through the study of logic and other philosophy courses, one gains sharply-honed skills in deductive reasoning—just as one does in arithmetic and geometry. Like some music, many forms of philosophy work to bring harmony and balance to one's life. Like astronomy, many forms of philosophy are concerned with the nature and composition of the universe, with developing solid forms of science, and with—dare we say it—"higher" things.

Be liberally educated! Think well! Be a philosophy student!

Reason #8

Studying philosophy will make you free.

The point of the liberal arts is to develop ways of thinking and living which are, literally, liberating. Philosophy makes it possible for you to think openly, to consider issues from many different angles, and to do so in a disciplined fashion. In contrast to liberal forms of thinking and living are what might be called "slavish" forms—forms of life and thought that are like those of a slave. Whether enslaved to a parent, to one's friends, to the commercials one sees on tv, to custom, or to some other commanding voice, the slavish think and act principally on the basis of coercion, bribery, ignorance, habit, and simple authority.

Liberal thinkers, by contrast, are free from ignorance and blind submission to others' beliefs. When they commit themselves to a set of beliefs, they do so as the result of careful, informed, deliberate, and uninhibited thought. They know when to believe, when to doubt, and when to withhold judgment. They are open, tolerant, curious, respectful, and understanding. While the liberal arts, contrary to common myth, offer a fine preparation for income-producing careers, they also serve a more important function, that of helping to develop free beings.

Be free! Be a philosophy student!

Reason #7

Studying philosophy will prepare you for a productive, satisfying, and lucrative career after you graduate.

Contrary to what many believe, philosophy graduates are exceedingly successful at building rewarding careers after they leave university.

Get a great job! Be a philosophy student!

Reason #6

Studying philosophy will prepare you for medical school and for careers in the health professions.

Philosophy students are exceedingly successful at gaining admission to medical school.

Indeed, the complexity and rapid change characteristic of medicine today make a strong background in ethics imperative.

See Transylvania's special page devoted to Philosophy as Preparation for Medical School.

Be a sophisticated physician! Be a care giver! Be a philosophy student!

Reason #5

Studying philosophy will prepare you for law school and careers related to law.

Philosophy is simply unsurpassed as preparation for careers in the law.

Be an attorney! Be a judge! Be a legislator! Be a philosophy student!

Reason #4

Studying philosophy will prepare you for graduate school and improve your GRE scores.

If you are considering a career that typically requires post-graduate education, you will improve your chances of getting accepted into a graduate program and being successful in your field if you study philosophy. Studying philosophy sharpens  your verbal and analytical skills and develops your ability to master difficult texts and write clearly about complex subjects. In fact, ETS data shows that philosophy students outscore students  from other disciplines on the GRE in both verbal reasoning and analytical writing. Exceptional scores on the GRE will make you an attractive graduate school candidate.

Be a successful graduate student! Prepare for a rewarding career! Be a philosophy student!

Reason #3

The philosophy professors at Transylvania are the best there are, ever have been, and ever will be—in the entire universe.

OK, so maybe we're exaggerating a bit—a bit! But, really, you will find in the Transylvania philosophy faculty professors of significant accomplishment who love philosophy and Transy. Because at Transylvania teaching is of paramount importance, the Transylvania philosophy faculty all make special efforts to ensure that each and every student may receive individual attention.

Enjoy great teaching and personal attention! Be a philosophy student!

Reason #2

Many of the world's most accomplished and entertaining personalities were philosophy majors. 

Steve Martin was a philosophy major at California State University Long Beach. You may have noticed that he quotes a philosopher at least once in each of his films—a personal signature.

Pope John Paul II held a doctorate in philosophy from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and was a professor at the University of Lublin. He taught social ethics at Krakow Seminary and published articles on phenomenology.

Woody Allen was a philosophy major at New York University. Many of his films contain philosophical themes and references.

John W. Henry, commodities broker and principal owner of the Boston Red Sox who purchased The Boston Globe in 2013, studied philosophy at the University of California.

Another high achieving philosophy major is investor Carl Icahn. Icahn took a bachelor of arts in philosophy from Princeton University.

NBC Today show weather presenter, Willard Scott, took a bachelor's degree in philosophy from American University.

Need we say more? Be a philosophy student!

Reason #1

Philosophical thinking is in itself among the most pleasant and excellent activities in which one can participate.

The proper question is not, "Why should one study philosophy?" Rather, it is, "How can one not study philosophy?"

Be excellent! Be a philosophy student!

© 2003-2016 Transylvania University. All rights reserved.

Transylvania University admits students regardless of age, race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, national origin, or any other classification protected by federal or state law or local ordinance.Transylvania University is committed to ensuring that the institution is free of harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, citizenship status, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief or veteran's status, or any other category protected by applicable state or federal law or local ordinance. Click here to read our full non-discrimination policy. Title IX information