Philosophy | Major & Minor

Philosophy challenges assumptions and encourages fresh perspectives, cultivates creative thinking, logical reasoning, clear writing, broad learning, and teaches principles of valid argument.

About the Philosophy Major

Studying philosophy at Southern Virginia University makes you a clearer thinker, a better writer, and a more persuasive speaker while pursuing truth, beauty, and goodness. While some areas of study prepare students narrowly for a specific career path, a philosophy major develops a skill set that is highly agile, transferrable, and respected. Southern Virginia philosophy courses cover major thinkers in the history of Western philosophy (Greece through modern Europe and America) as well as contemporary debates in metaphysics, ethics, epistemology and political philosophy.

The study of philosophy complements and enhances career goals and vocations by providing students with the skills and knowledge that are highly desired in many career paths. Students grounded in a solid philosophy education are better prepared for professional careers as they are able to apply sound logic, construct complex objective arguments, and quickly absorb, evaluate, and synthesize new information.

On average, philosophy majors outperform most other majors on the GRE, LSAT, GMAT, and medical school admission rates. Southern Virginia’s philosophy major provides outstanding preparation for graduate study in law, medicine, business, high tech, and other fields, with students attending graduate programs at MIT, the University of Virginia School of Law, the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Health Administration Program, and other high-ranking schools and programs.

Learning Outcomes

  • Basic knowledge of the history of Western philosophy.
  • Basic knowledge of formal and informal logic.
  • Understanding of central areas of philosophy and of some major historical figures or movements.
  • Ability to explain and argue for philosophical positions in clear written English.

Getting Started in the Philosophy Major

  1. Enroll

    Begin by taking Reason and the Self (LIB 110) in your first year

  2. Contact Your Advisor

    Get in touch with Professor Jan-Erik Jones to discuss your interests and goals

  3. Declare

    Turn in a completed Declare Major form to the Registrar’s Office


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“Philosophy is unavoidable. All humans do philosophy because life is full of big questions and we need equally big answers. In class we think about the fundamental questions of life and critically evaluate the most historically important answers to those questions.”

– Professor Jan-Erik Jones