Philosophy, BA | University of Portland

Philosophy, BA

Why major in Philosophy? 

Philosophy plays a central role in a liberal arts education, as an integrating discipline across the curriculum. Training in philosophy develops the student's ability to explore and critically reflect upon the most fundamental questions about human beings and society, the universe, and God. By focusing on its own history, philosophy both acquaints students with the intellectual foundations of Western civilization and provides an opportunity to question that tradition’s assumptions. Our department also provides opportunities to encounter philosophy as it has been pursued in other times and places and seeks to expose students to the rich diversity that exists in philosophical method and focus. By enabling students to become reflective, critical and articulate about their own beliefs and values, philosophy makes an essential contribution to the education of individuals, whatever their vocational plans, and to the development of the community.

Career Paths

  • Lawyer/Paralegal
  • Writer/Editor
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Public Policy
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Researcher


There are three options for BA in philosophy. Option 1 is features a strong emphasis on the history of philosophy and is designed for students planning to go on to graduate work in philosophy, or whose primary interest is in the history of philosophy. Option 2 is designed for students who desire to complement an interest in philosophy with an interest in a related field such as business, education, or any of the liberal arts. Option 3 is the philosophy, politics, and policy option which results in a double major in philosophy and political science

Sample Courses

  • Metaphysics: Self and Identity
  • Education and Politics
  • Philosophy of Law