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Department of Philosophy

Philosophy encompasses the systematic study of some of the most fundamental questions regarding existence, nature, knowledge, reality, politics, and morality. It allows students to develop an outlook on life that is broad and reflective and to engage the world rationally and critically. A basic understanding of philosophy and philosophical methods serves as a framework for various other disciplines.

Philosophy Careers

Philosophy majors pursue careers in many fields including education, law, public administration, journalism, health care, communications, and pastoral work.

Programs of Study

Philosophy majors at John Carroll have the option of focusing their study within one of four specialized options: History of PhilosophyCritical Social PhilosophyPhilosophy, Law, and Politics, and Health, Ethics, and Science.



A philosophy major or minor is universally beneficial since it teaches you to analyze and resolve problems, see problems from different points of view, communicate cogently and persuasively, and integrate knowledge.

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You can complement your major program with six philosophy courses (just three courses beyond the core curriculum requirements).

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Conduct a philosophical analysis of power and the social and political conditions that create and perpetuate oppression and injustice.

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If you wish to pursue careers in healthcare or the sciences, or areas such as applied ethics, science and technology studies, cognitive science, and philosophy of science, this is for you.

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This option provides an excellent foundation if you are interested in enhancing your liberal arts education or in preparing for advanced study in the field.

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This option provides you with excellent preparation for careers in the legal profession, politics, and government.

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Department Highlights

students in classroom sitting at desk

Through its Don Shula Chair in Philosophy, the department annually sponsors and supports campus events (including conferences, speakers, and colloquia) aimed at enhancing undergraduate education in philosophy and promoting awareness and discussion of timely and important issues within the university and broader Cleveland communities.

  • Our students will write and speak knowledgeably about central aspects of and problems within the history of philosophy, as well as about philosophy’s major historical figures.
  • Our students will critically evaluate arguments and evidence.
  • Our students will understand the relationship between philosophy and other academic disciplines.
  • Our students will develop the skills necessary to engage critically with contemporary social issues.