Majors & Minors

Philosophy asks, and tries to answer, the deepest and most important questions that there are. Is there a god? Is there a real difference between right and wrong? What am I? What is the best kind of life for a person to lead?

Notre Dame's Department of Philosophy offers students a number of different ways to find for themselves the answers to these questions, and many others. As the largest philosophy department in the country, we can promise that whatever questions interest you, we have the resources to help you pursue them in a rigorous and serious way.

Some students pursue a traditional major or minor in philosophy, while others pursue an interdisciplinary course of study in Philosophy, Science, and Mathematics or Philosophy and Theology. What all of these have in common is that they give students the opportunity to take small, discussion-based classes (typically between 7 and 12 students) with the faculty of a world-class philosophy department. Our different courses of study are all designed to give our students an unusual degree of freedom; the major in philosophy is less a pre-set series of classes than it is a course of study which each student decides upon for him or her self. This makes philosophy a major or minor which is easily combined with other courses of study.

Career Preparation

Many students wonder what they can do with a major in philosophy. This is a reasonable question, since the study in philosophy is not linked up with an automatic career path in the same way that, for example, a major in accountancy is. But the study of philosophy turns out to be an excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers and courses of graduate study. Philosophy majors outperform virtually all majors on the LSAT and the GRE, and even outperform business majors on the GMAT. And philosophy majors who don't attend graduate school of any kind are unusually successful in the workplace.  Find more information about what our recent graduates have gone on to do. 

Interested in learning more? Contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Alex Jech, or simply schedule a meeting with him to talk about your options. We look forward to welcoming you into the department!