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Philosophy

Detroit Mercy Philosophy 'Hard Thinking Man' image

What Are You Going to Do with a Major in Philosophy?

Plenty!

You’re going to take your new abilities—mastering and organizing new ideas; thinking analytically; communicating clearly and persuasively; evaluating evidence; reasoning soundly—into a fluid new economy and do very well for yourself.


You’re going to master the LSAT and go to a great law school; dominate the MCAT and go to med school; vanquish the GMAT and go to business school; or conquer the GRE and go to grad school.

You’re going to apply your newfound critical thinking skills to see through cultural and intellectual fads; protect yourself from the often empty posturing of politicians; be wise to the slippery claims of advertisers; and shield yourself from baseless opinions.

You're going to grow in self-esteem, confidence and foresight; know yourself better as an individual so you have a better sense of where you want to go in the long run; understand and enjoy more in life; and be well situated to take up the most important and fundamental human questions about reality, knowledge, morality and all other aspects of the human experience.

What are you going to do with a major in philosophy? Anything at all.


Undergraduate Programs

Did you know that in the normal course of study at Detroit Mercy most students will take two to three philosophy courses? This makes most Detroit Mercy students prime candidates for an 18-credit hour philosophy minor or a second major that will add good value to any degree.

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    Major - Philosophy

    It's true that most students who first major in philosophy are either pre-law or intending to do graduate study in philosophy. But philosophy is an excellent second major that complements any student's primary area of study, offering you extremely practical and in-demand skills that will serve you well in any career. Whatever your first major, philosophy will help you see more deeply into its founding principles and concepts, see all sides of the various issues in your field, hone your critical thinking skills, help you to apply rigorous logic in solving problems, and to communicate more effectively.

    University of Detroit Mercy's philosophy major consists of 10 courses, three of which you can use to complement your primary area of study.

    To obtain this undergraduate degree, the student must fulfill the requirements of the University core curriculum, the requirements for the 30-credit-hour program major and have completed a minimum of 126 credit hours.

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    Minor - Philosophy

    A University of Detroit Mercy philosophy minor is an excellent complement to any major, offering you extremely practical and in-demand skills that you can take from classroom to career.  Whether you will begin your career path after graduation or continue on to graduate school, a philosophy minor will hone your critical thinking skills and help you to see all sides of an issue, apply rigorous logic and to communicate more effectively.

    Detroit Mercy's philosophy minor consists of six courses, three of which you can customize to your specific interests, including business, law, history, health care, architecture, science, religious studies or psychology.         

Recent Detroit Mercy Alums! Testify!

Kevin DiSalle
Investment/Commercial Real Estate Analyst, Talmer Bank and Trust

Bachelor of Arts with majors in Philosophy and Financial Economics, 2014
I would recommend a philosophy major to students because I think it will give them a sense of how a purposeful life might be lived. It's difficult to find that with another, more professional major. The ability to recognize and create meaning in my life has been a product of my studies in philosophy. I also think it has formed my character in a good way.

Stacy A. Latta
Legislative Aide, Toledo City Council

Bachelor of Arts with majors in Philosophy and Political Science, 2009
The skills developed through my philosophy courses better prepared me for law school than any of my other courses in college. The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has nothing to do with one's knowledge of the law, but rather with one’s logical capabilities. My required logic courses in my philosophy major were the best preparation I could have had for the LSAT. These courses made me much better at crafting arguments that were difficult for others to poke holes in, and argumentation is central to the practice of law. The way philosophers reason to get from an issue to a resolution is very similar to that used by court judges in writing their opinions. My study of philosophy got me through law school and it continues to help me in my present position with regard to drafting legislation and assisting council members perform their duties.

Steven Kustra
Attorney, Clark Hill PLC

Bachelor of Arts with majors in Philosophy and Political Science and a minor in Business Administration, 2011
Philosophy is the foundation of any good education because it teaches you to think and to process information, and it is relatable to every other subject in college because it deals with people in the most sublime way. It has helped me make important value judgments and has contributed to both my personal and professional success. I have successfully applied many of the skills I learned in philosophy--reasoning skills, logic, analysis, ethics, and my overall understanding of various ideas and opinions--in the field of law.

Amy Lapisardi
Novelist

Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy, 2007
Philosophy has influenced how I think about things and how I look at the world. Of course, it helps in evaluating information critically and making arguments, but above and beyond that, philosophy raises profound questions that require one to think deeply about life. It also cultivates open-mindedness, since one has to be open to ideas and positions they wouldn't otherwise consider. Here I don't just mean ethics, but also areas such as metaphysics and epistemology.

Elysia Khalil
Community Outreach Officer
The Center for Michigan

Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Philosophy, 2013
Students should seriously consider a major in philosophy. In a world in which our generation is told to expect at least three career changes in a lifetime, I chose philosophy as a major because I knew whatever I ended up doing professionally, studying philosophy would make me a better person. There are infinite personal and professional benefits in studying philosophy, including but not limited to increased critical thinking abilities; the ability to produce concise and effective verbal and written statements; a developed process of methodological analysis that facilitates creative problem solving; and a more thorough understanding of the origin and evolution of the concepts, ethics, and political structures that drive our world forward. A philosophy major gives you the power to understand, articulate and act.

Andrew Laszczyk
Designer/Project Manager, Arconcepts Inc.

Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy and a Master of Architecture, 2013
The critical thinking skills used in philosophy have greatly enhanced my ability to work in the field of architecture. The ability to view one concept/project from a multiplicity of viewpoints enables me to satisfy clients whose ideas differ greatly from my own. As a designer, the complexities of existence provides an infinite pool of inspiration and the study of philosophy provides an avenue for focusing that inspiration into theories that further enhance the built environment. Through the study of philosophy we become more conscious of who we are and how we choose to live. A major or minor in philosophy requires a sincere desire to understand the world in which we live. Choosing to put valuable time and energy into a philosophy degree is an investment in one's self and a sure way to better understand the profound topics that often affirm who we are and how we view ourselves.

Jason Brown
Master's Student in Education, Wayne State University

Bachelor of Arts with majors in Philosophy and English, 2009
I am currently working on earning my master's degree in elementary education and I firmly believe that the critical thinking, argumentation, and writing skills I learned through philosophy have all contributed to my success. Moreover, they are skills I wish to instill in my future students and foster those abilities from a young age. I believe that the education one receives in philosophy is invaluable and can be applied to any other area of study or life even if one does not choose to become a scholar of philosophy. I don't believe that the critical thinking skills can be replicated in any other field of study.

George Latimer-Knight
Pastor &
Author

Bachelor of Arts with majors in Philosophy and Computer & Information Systems, 2003
Studying philosophy at [Detroit Mercy] taught me to think more deeply. While some see critical thinking as a "soft skill," I see it as an essential key to success. As an entrepreneur, I'm able to develop effective strategies that have proved lucrative. As a pastor, my philosophical training helps me resist the temptation to hide behind dogma and to actually keep my ministry relevant. As an author, philosophy honed my writing skills. As a current law school student, my philosophy foundation has kept me at a high class rank.

Valmir Merkaj
Teacher of English in Spain

Bachelor of Arts with majors in Philosophy and Political Science with a minor in Leadership, 2013

A philosophy major opens doors to many different fields, including law, politics, and education. Studying philosophy has made me a better consumer of information, enabled me to decipher complex rhetoric, and respond with persuasive arguments. As a teacher of English I am able to better interact with students from different ethnicities, socio-economic levels, and backgrounds due to the open mindset that the study of philosophy instills.

Michael Taylor, Registered Nurse
Trauma ICU, Beaumont Health

Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy, 2009
My philosophy degree gave me a foundation from which to understand western philosophical thought, especially as it relates to my interest in theology and faith. Philosophy also allows one to process information and arguments presented in a logical way. This helps in nearly all aspects of life. It is my personal opinion that every college student should be required to take Introduction to Philosophy as well as Logic.

Andrew Ball, Lecturer in Philosophy
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy, 2007
Philosophy helps you think better. If you think better, you will do better in life. Philosophy has equipped me with the conceptual tools for thinking more deeply and constructively about all sorts of things in life--everything from relationships to politics to big life purchases, to things like morality, personhood, and community. Because I understand what these things are at a philosophical level, it better informs the way in which I think about them. You will have a better understanding of the presuppositions and assumptions that make everything else "tick," like religion, science, art, etc. And, for that reason, you'll gain incredible insight into whatever work or career you take up.

Meet the Faculty

Elizabeth Oljar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Department Chair

Juan Carlos Flores, Ph.L., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy

David Koukal, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy

Martin Leever, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy & Director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program

Gail Presbey, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy & Director of the Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive


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