Great Academics

18-Hour Minor

30-Hour Major (BA)

"What are you going to do with a major in philosophy?"


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.

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Recent Detroit Mercy Alums! Testify to the Power of Philosophy!

Kevin DiSalle, Investment/Commercial Real Estate Analyst, Talmer Bank and Trust (BA in Philosophy and Financial Economics with a minor in Business Administration, 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. 

More praise for philosophy →

Elysia Khalil, Community Outreach Officer, The Center for Michigan (BA 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.

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George Latimer-Knight, Pastor and Author (BA in Philosophy and Computer & Information Systems, 2003)


Studying philosophy at UDM 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.

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Stacy A. Latta, Legislative Aide, Toledo City Council (BA in Philosophy and Political Science, 2009)


The skills developed thorough 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.

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Andrew Laszczyk, Designer/Project Manager, Arconcepts Inc. (BA in Philosophy and MA in 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.

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Valmir Merkaj, Teacher of English, Spain (BA 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.

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Steven Kustra, Attorney, Clark Hill PLC (BA in Philosophy and Political Science with 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.

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Jason Brown, MA Student in Education, Wayne State University (BA 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. 

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Michael Taylor, Registered Nurse, Trauma ICU, Beaumont Health (BA 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.

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Amy Lapisardi, Novelist (BA 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.

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Andrew Ball, Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham (BA in Philosophy, 2006)


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.

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Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Philosophy: The Second Major with Major Punch

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. 

Degree Requirements

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

Requirements for the Major
30 credit hours

Introduction to Philosophy 3 credits
Foundations of Ethics 3 credits
One course in logic 3 credits
Three courses in the history of philosophy 9 credits
One course in a major area of philosophy 3 credits
Three electives 9 credits

See the catalog for more details about the philosophy major.

Tracking form for philosophy major

A Minor with Major Impact

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.

Requirements for the Minor
18 credit hours

Introduction to Philosophy 3 credits
Foundations of Ethics 3 credits
One course in logic 3 credits
Three 3000+ electives 9 credits

See the catalog for more details about the philosophy minor.

Tracking form for philosophy minor


Did you know that in the normal course of study at UDM most students will take two to three philosophy courses? This makes most UDM students prime candidates for a 18-credit philosophy minor, or maybe even a strong second 30-hour major that complements any course of study. And we have phenomenal courses! Check out what's coming up next term!


Full listing of all philosophy course descriptions

Juan Carlos Flores Juan Carlos Flores
Associate Professor of Philosophy
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David Koukal David Koukal
Professor of Philosophy
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Martin Leever - image placeholder Martin Leever
Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program
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Beth Oljar photo placeholder Elizabeth Oljar
Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Department Chair
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Gail Presby Gail Presbey
Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive
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What is the UDM Ethics Bowl?

The UDM Ethics Bowl is inspired by TV's College Bowl, but modified rules adapt the game to the subject of ethics. In Ethics Bowl, a moderator poses questions to teams of three to five students. Questions may address ethical problems on classroom topics (e.g. cheating or plagiarism), personal relationships (e.g. dating or friendship), professional ethics (e.g. engineering, law, medicine) or social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, etc.). Each team receives a set of ethical issues in advance of the competition, and questions posed to teams at the competition are taken from that set. A panel of judges rates answers in terms of intelligibility, focus, depth and judgment. No specialized knowledge in ethical theory is required to compete in or judge an Ethics Bowl.

Why Should I Compete in the UDM Ethics Bowl?

The competition is draws participants from every part of the University. Many students who initially compete for extra credit in a course are surprised at how much they enjoy Ethics Bowl, and often enthusiastically return to compete in subsequent years. Judges and moderators are drawn from faculty, staff, administration and alumni, many of whom return every year. In addition, the first-place team has the honor of representing UDM at a regional Ethics Bowl and may go on to compete in the national Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, which takes place at the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics in February.

When is the UDM Ethics Bowl?

The UDM Ethics Bowl is held in the Fall term of each academic year.

How Do I Compete in the UDM Ethics Bowl?

  • FIRST, form a team of three to five members.
  • SECOND, download the UDM Ethics Bowl Rules.
  • THIRD, fill out the UDM Ethics Bowl Registration Form and slide it under the door of Briggs 310.
  • FOURTH, download this year's Ethics Bowl cases right here.
  • FINALLY, your team must attend an informational meeting.
    (Informational meetings are scheduled by email.)

For more information contact:

Professor Martin G. Leever
Director, UDM Ethics Bowl
Office: Briggs Building, Room 312
Phone: 313-993-1135
Fax: 313-993-1166

The Agora Society

The Agora Society is the University of Detroit Mercy's undergraduate philosophy club. It is associated with but independent of the philosophy department. Its members meet regularly for philosophical discourse regarding various issues, and to plan other on-campus events.

UDM Agora society facebook page
To contact and join this club,

Need More Information BEFORE You Apply?

If you would like more information about the Philosophy major or minor, please use our contact form:

Are You Ready to Apply?

To apply, please go to the UDM Admissions page:

Because our apply page needs to accommodate all of our applicants in the disciplines that UDM offers, it may seem a bit confusing at first. To help you navigate the admissions process, we encourage you to communicate with an admissions counselor by phone at 800-635-5020 or by email at