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Philosophy Programs

Why Study Philosophy?

The Philosophy Program at UNF emphasizes a pluralistic approach to philosophical questions, traditions, and concerns. Our faculty are award-winning teachers and internationally recognized scholars engaged in cutting-edge research in analytic, continental, historical, and comparative or cross-cultural philosophy. 

Do you enjoy asking questions? Thinking deeply? Arguing or debating issues great and small? Learning about new or different perspectives? Analyzing ideas? If so, philosophy might be for you. Our program offers three major concentrations as well as four minor programs. Each semester we offer a range of lower and upper division courses open to any UNF student, regardless of major. View our full course offerings in the UNF Course Catalog and check in with us for offerings in the current and upcoming terms. We aim to introduce students to philosophy in ways that will serve them well, professionally and personally, for wherever their lives may lead.

Watch this video to debunk some common myths about philosophy majors:

Students who study philosophy gain key skills for the rest of their lives:

  • Critical, creative, and collaborative thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Argument identification, construction, analysis, and evaluation
  • Clear and effective writing
  • Strong oral communication
  • Active and contemplative listening, impartial examination, and perceptive critique
  • Critical reading skills
  • Initiative and ability to work independently
  • Identify and work with assumptions and values in your own culture and across cultures
  • Teamwork and collaborative dialogue 
  • Articulate your own deepest questions and convictions
  • Research skills
  • Sifting complex information
  • Leadership
  • Reflection on values, ethics, and the nature of a flourishing life
  • Love of learning

Undergraduate training in philosophy helps to prepare students for meaningful lives and successful careers. 

Graph of LSAT scores by field

Are you thinking about graduate school? Did you know that philosophy majors consistently do the best of all majors on the LSAT and the MCAT, and rank higher than any other humanities major in scores on the GMAT and the GRE? In fact, there is evidence that an education in philosophy creates real improvements in academic skills, especially reading and writing, when compared with other majors. The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools, Law School Admission Council says, “While no single curricular path is the ideal preparation for law school, you should choose courses that sharpen analytical reasoning and writing skills. Law schools prefer students who can think, read, and write well, and who have some understanding of what shapes human experience.” Philosophy is a great fit for those interested in law...and other graduate fields! Philosophy majors on average do better on the GRE (graduate entrance exam) than majors in psychology, sociology, history, chemistry, and mathematics (claim based on data from 

Did you know? Among people with undergraduate degrees, the median earnings of philosophy majors exceed those of majors in any other humanities field, and are the 16th highest among all majors, according to a recent U.S. study.

Graph of mid career salaries of non stem majors showing philosophy as the best

Mid career salaries of philosophers are also the highest among humanities fields, and come in above fields like Chemistry, Biology, and Communications. Learn more about this from Dr. Justin Weinberg, "Philosophy Majors Make More Money than Majors in any other Humanities Field," at the Daily Nous website.

Did you know? In 2017, Mark Cuban (of Shark Tank fame) made a prediction that “In 10 years, a liberal arts degree in philosophy will be worth more than a traditional programming degree…Knowing how to critically think and assess [things] from a global perspective, I think, is going to be more valuable than what we see as exciting careers today which might be programming or CPA or those types of things.”

Studying philosophy leads to a wide range of careers in fields including:

  • Law
  • Business
  • Computing and Technology
  • Education 
  • Engineering
  • Finance & Banking
  • Local, State, and Federal Government
  • Non-Profit
  • Insurance
  • Journalism
  • Media and Activism
  • Marketing
  • Medicine
  • Literature, writing, and publishing
  • Research: Business, Educational, Governmental
  • Technical Writing

There are so many options for what you can do with a philosophy degree! Check out this US News and World Report "What you can do with a philosophy degree" or this Times Higher Education "What can you do with a philosophy degree" for more ideas. 

Famous philosophy majors include:

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Bruce Lee
  • Stephen Colbert
  • Pearl S. Buck
  • Kumail Nanjiani
  • Stephen Breyer
  • Susan Sarandon
  • Angela Davis
  • Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Malala Yousafzai
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Jack Dorsey
  • Reid Hoffman
  • Harrison Ford
  • Steve Martin
  • Peter Thiel
  • Carl Icahn
  • Sheila Bair
  • Patrick Byrne
  • Your name here

Check out the American Philosophical Association website for more information on who studies philosophy.

Philosophy Major

The Philosophy Major consists in 11 courses (33 credit hours).  Students are under no obligation to select a particular track; those who make no selection will automatically be assigned to Track 1. Students in any track must still complete all courses required for the major. Considering a double major? Philosophy is a great complement to many other majors. Talk with us for more information!

Regardless of the track, philosophy majors are encouraged to engage in experiential learning opportunities in the major, including undergraduate research, study abroad, directed readings, internships, and thesis work.  

Track 1: General Philosophical Studies

Students in this track are free to select their 15 elective hours (five courses) from any courses offered by the program; they are encouraged, however, to include in their program of study courses identified by the different philosophy prefixes--PHH, PHI, PHM, and PHP.

Track 2: Legal, Political, and Social Studies

This track is available for students planning careers in public affairs, law, management, international relations or for those planning graduate work in social or political theory.

Track 3: Studies in Applied Ethics

This track is available for pre-professional students who wish to develop a comparative understanding of value issues across professions or are planning graduate work in theoretical or applied ethics.

View the Osprey Map [Course Sequence Guides] to keep on track for graduation. Osprey Maps should be used in consultation with an academic advisor after admission to UNF. 

To declare the major, contact COAS Philosophy Advisor Ms. Alex Lackard:

Philosophy Minor

The Department of Philosophy offers four minors: One in philosophy generally and three others in subfields tailored to specific interests or career objectives. All are 15 credit hours.

Current Courses

View our full course offerings in the UNF Course Catalog

 Spring 2024 Provisional Course Offerings, subject to change

Required for Majors and Minors

PHI 3084 Philosophical Methods

Value Theory

Philosophy of Democracy


Environmental Ethics


ST: Art of Living

ST 4000 Level: Ethics, Religion, and Global Discourse

History of Philosophy

Special Topics: Roman Philosophy

Knowledge and Reality

Special Topics: Inquiry: Philosphical Perspectives

Diverse Perspectives

Philosophy of Zen Buddhism

Feminist Theory: Ethics of Sex and Gender

REL Myths and Rituals

REL Religion and the Arts in the US

REL Religion in America

REL Sociology of the Bible (tentative)



GM Introduction to Logic


New: Mindfulness and Meditation Practicum (0-1 credits)


General Education: multiple sections and times available

HUM 2020 Introduction to Humanities

PHI 2100 GW Critical Thinking

PHI 2630 Ethical Issues

PHI 2101 GM Introduction to Logic

REL 2300 CD Comparative Religion

PHI 2010 GW Introduction to Philosophy


Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning for Philosophers

UNF Philosophy Majors participate in many different kinds of experiential learning, including but not limited to:

  • One on one or small group work with faculty on directed independent study (DIS) or senior honors thesis
  • Collegiate Ethics Bowl 
  • High School Ethics Bowl coaching, judging, interning, and volunteering
  • Internships (paid or non-paid) and volunteer positions in the community
  • Peer mentoring at UNF
  • UNF Ethics Academy Internships
  • Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Ambassador Internship
  • Study Abroad

 Are you interested in an internship? Thinking about interning is a lot like thinking about career goals -- the key factors are:

  • What do you want to do? (e.g. how do you want to spend your time)
  • What are you good at? (e.g. what skills do you have)
  • How can you help/serve others?


You can intern through private opportunities or with Career Services. Getting an internship is a PROCESS that takes TIME: you should begin the process a semester before you plan to intern. If you are specifically interested in legal internships you should contact Dr. Lerner (UNF's Pre-Law Advisor) for access to the Pre-law Canvas page. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Make an appointment with Career Services to create/revise your resume ( They can help you translate your experiences (paid, volunteer, classroom) into concrete skills internship sites and employers will recognize. You can learn more about Career Services here, or on their website: 
  • Attend a Career Fair (talk to potential employers and internship opportunity folks)
  • Identify 1+ sites that interest you, and work with Career Services to put together an application. NOTE: this can include sites that already have relationships with UNF or new sites. New sites take more time, but are doable. 
  • Identify a faculty mentor who can work with you to connect your internship experience to your philosophy coursework. Not sure where to start? Talk with Dr. Mattice (
  • Intern! Have a fantastic learning experience. 


UNF Philosophy students have interned at all kinds of different places. Remember, philosophy is a major that sets you up to do lots of different kinds of things for a career. Prior internship sites have included:

    • Prosecutor's Office
    • Attorney Offices
    • City Ethics Board
    • Arc Village
    • Local schools
    • Non-profit centers
    • and more!

Another fantastic kind of experiential learning available to philosophy majors is Study Abroad. You can study abroad individually, through partner agreements UNF has with schools all over the world. You can do this while learning/practicing a foreign language (Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, ...), or entirely in English. You can also study abroad on a UNF sponsored program, with UNF faculty. Check out the International Center for more information: . Keep your eyes peeled for a study abroad program offered by Philosophy and Religious Studies faculty! And think about taking language courses to expand your options!


What do UNF students have to say about experiential learning in Philosophy? Here is what Madison Mendiola had to say about her Summer 2023 internship at Jacksonville Legal Aid:

"As an aspiring law student, I’ve heard all about the benefits of getting an internship. Experience! Connections! Knowledge! All great and true things, no doubt. The lawyer I worked under was wise, patient and had a wonderful sense of humor; I would love to stay in contact with her in the future. I also learned a lot about the law, especially with probate cases. From homestead tax exemptions to the processes of formal notices, I saw both the abstract and the applied at play. Yet, as I think back to my time going into the office, my mind wanders to the ease of getting dressed in my fancy black shoes, walking with a crowd to differing shades of tall buildings, and passing through rooms filled with phone calls and keyboard clicking. The experience and practicum of briefly being given a role filled my passion for a dream I had but never fully realized. After my first day at the internship, I was convinced I had to work in an office and do lawyer-y things."

And here is what James Hayes had to say about his Summer 2023 Peer Mentorship experience working with incoming freshmen in Intro to Logic: 

"What I learned most was the value of learning through teaching and group work. I feel as though I more deeply understood the material due to my experience working through homework with my classmates in a group setting where we could work together to solve the homework problems. It was equally edifying and gratifying to both work through problems that necessitated a collaborative approach amongst many students and also working one on one with students who may have been struggling with the homework. The opportunity to be a peer mentor has not only allowed me to feel confident in a basic understanding of SL, logic proofs, and the various related rules that are involved, but it has also taught me how to more clearly communicate and explain complex concepts. By the end of the semester, I felt as though I had learned how to convey complicated information in a way that could not only expand the knowledge base of a student but also, hopefully, expand their understanding as well." 


UNF Ethics Academy Summer 2023 Interns:

Cheyenne Burlingame: "I really enjoyed the camp, and I would do this again next year if possible. Overall, I feel like my group discussions went really well with the kids."

Madison Mendiola: "From the beginning, I was ecstatic about the idea of Ethics Academy. I loved judging for the First Coast Ethics competition, and I hoped the camp could get more students into Ethics Bowl... All in all, I love to see people being nerds, and there’s no better opportunity for that than a philosophy-centered summer camp. Learning about intellectual safety and gentle Socratic inquiry gave me a new perspective on being a discussion leader. As the leader, I have control over the pace of the conversation. This means that a good leader can keep conversation flowing, while also allowing for thoughtful silence. Meanwhile, an overly talkative leader can run the risk of speaking over the students. Creating an intellectual safe environment then allows the students to be free-thinkers, willing to be curious instead of searching for an approved answer. Working with my peers in the camp helped me see how a group leader should act. They would ask questions instead of giving answers, and dive into assumptions without being aggressive. Overall, the Ethics Academy taught me the difficulties but also the value found in leading an intellectual discussion."

Raymond Hall: "I enjoyed working the camp... I found that what helped me find my groove was mentally going back to when I was in high school and pretending I enrolled in this camp. I asked myself what I would have liked to take home from each day and what I’d like my counselor to be like... I found what worked for me was just letting the kids choose their own path."

Nathanael Coronado: "After thinking back on this Public Philosophy Leadership, I have gathered three important experience points that I focused on, and journaling of my own notes. The first experiential point being that I noticed that there is a necessity for a layout of philosophical ideas. The Moral Reasons Matrix, was the swiss army knife for this course. We first established an understanding of the Matrix as the team leaders to be familiar with its format and its strengths with certain ethical pnderies. What I realized is that certain discussions have a stronger hand in particular reasons, such as the consequentialist, deontilogical, or virtue having more points. This also helped strengthen my own preconceived options of only thinking from one viewpoint when approaching certain ethical questions. This made me have to approach the situation and dig for another reason outside of my standard train of thought."

Isabel Hiday: "This has been a great experience for me overall. I think I learned a lot about my personal thoughts on certain moral frameworks. I also learned more about my own leadership style and how to interact with high schoolers with respect while still letting them feel like they have their own ideas."