Philosophy engages the most deep, important, and persistent questions, questions concerning the nature of the good life, why we believe and how we know, the nature of the self and its connection with the world and with society, and the foundations of justice. Philosophy engages such questions through critical analysis of textual evidence, clear and rigorous argumentation, and questioning of unexamined personal and cultural assumptions. The study of the history of philosophy is central to this pursuit. The BA in philosophy not only provides excellent preparation for graduate and professional school in a variety of areas; it also provides marketable skills in high demand and a broad range of employment opportunities.
UT Dallas benefits from an unusual structure in the School of Arts and Humanities, which lacks traditional departments and has many levels of coordination and integration across programs, including our interdisciplinary Humanities PhD program. Far from being an abstruse, removed, and self-contained subject, philosophy degree at UT Dallas is an engaged and interdisciplinary pursuit. It is particularly suited to the STEM excellence of UT Dallas, with a practical and theoretical emphasis on the philosophy of science, technology, and medicine. and the presence of the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology.
A degree in philosophy provides graduates with skills that are highly sought after in today’s market. According to the Committee on Economic Development, which surveyed CEOs and business leaders, the two skills that were deemed both essential and in short supply are critical thinking and problem solving. Writing skills were the third most essential skill among those desirable skills that are difficult to find in new graduates entering the job market. These three skills are among the most central to philosophical education.
Philosophy courses strive to teach students not only about the basics of effective communication in writing and speech, but ultimately about the way to argue a position based upon a critical analysis of textual evidence. Philosophy students learn how to craft persuasive arguments that attunes them to the interpretive power of writing.
Philosophy provides some of the best preparation for graduate and professional schools, as measured by test scores like GRE and LSAT, of almost any other majors.
To major in philosophy, students should have a curiousity about a wide array of subjects from history and economics to biology and physics in both Western and non-Western viewpoints. Prospective students should also demonstrate a high aptitude for reading comprehension, writing and language arts.
After graduation, a Philosophy major from UT Dallas will be able to meet the following objectives:
The School of Arts and Humanities prepares students for the changes they will face in a media-rich 21st century. By connecting the visual and performing arts with the humani- ties (philosophy, literature, history), students learn how to think creatively as well as critically. More than 75 full-time faculty members, many of whom are internationally recog- nized scholars and performers, provide quality instruction on topics ranging from the history of the Holocaust to the world of Harry Potter.
Bachelor of Arts: Art and performance, historical studies, literary studies, philosophy
Master of Arts: History, humanities, aesthetic studies, history of ideas, studies in literature, Latin American studies
Doctor of Philosophy: Humanities, aesthetic studies, history of ideas, studies in literature
If your academic focus leads you elsewhere at UT Dallas, but you would still like to pursue studies in the School of Arts and Humanities, the following minors are available: