Why Study Philosophy?

Philosophy professors and students. Have you ever wondered: Why am I here? What is life all about? How should I live my life? Do I have free will? Should I be afraid of dying? Is there a God? What must God be like? Can anyone really know anything at all? Is abortion or the death penalty or eating meat morally right/wrong? These are questions about issues that lie at the core of what it means to be a human being. Many of them are questions that people have struggled with for thousands of years. These are some of the questions that philosophers ask, think about, and discuss.

When you study philosophy you get to do something that is intrinsically valuable — you gain a deeper appreciation of these most important of questions and some of the answers to them. By studying philosophy you get the chance to really dig into some of the deepest questions there are. You may even gain some true insight into the answers to these questions. Through the study of philosophy, you can come to better understand who you are.

Is Philosophy Right for Me?

You might be wondering if studying philosophy is the right thing to do. Here are answers to some of the questions we hear often.

If you plan to pursue any advanced degree after your undergraduate education, then earning a philosophy major or minor — or even simply taking some philosophy classes — can be a big help. Going to graduate school? Philosophy majors have the best overall scores on the GRE! Maybe you’re thinking about law school after graduation? Philosophy majors ace the LSAT too! Business school? Guess which four majors score the highest on the GMAT: Physics, Math, Engineering, and … Philosophy. Is medical school is in your future? The new MCAT includes sections on verbal reasoning — a specialty of Philosophy! Also, philosophy majors do quite well when it comes to medical school admissions.
It is quite common to change careers many times. Sometimes this is because specialized skills have been rendered obsolete by new technology, while other times a better opportunity comes along. Whatever the reason for career changes, it is good to develop skills that will serve you well regardless of your career. Employers seek people with these transferable skills, and Philosophy provides training in them.

When you study philosophy you learn to read texts carefully, analyze concepts, draw careful distinctions, recognize hidden assumptions, construct and critique arguments, and explain complex ideas. In short, studying philosophy develops the most important of transferable skills: the ability to think and communicate clearly. These skills make philosophy majors very employable.
One of the great things about the philosophy major at UAB is its flexibility. You are not required to take a lot of courses in a particular order. Instead, you choose the 10 courses you are interested in and that best fit your schedule. This makes philosophy an ideal second major. You want to stand out in your chosen field of study? Be a double major! Add a philosophy major and enhance whatever else you are studying.
The flexibility that makes a philosophy major at UAB so great is shared by the philosophy minor. Adding a philosophy minor, or a minor in philosophy and law, only requires a few classes — classes that can greatly enhance your other studies. They can also help you to develop some of those all-important transferrable skills. You want to stand out from the crowd? Take some philosophy classes!

What Now?

If your curiosity has been piqued, take a look around our site. Meet the faculty. Take a look at the courses we’re offering. Ask us some questions. You know you want to. See you in class!