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Philosophy is the study of the most fundamental questions one could ask: What is good and what is evil? What is reality and what is illusion? Are our choices really free? What is the meaning of life?

The study of philosophy develops skills in critical and abstract thinking, writing, argumentation and evaluation of different points of view.  Your studies of this discipline will feature a variety of challenging courses covering material from ancient to contemporary philosophy. Our curriculum reflects the College’s emphasis on interdisciplinary study, with courses that integrate art, business, classics, film, literature, mathematics, religion, science, technology, and women’s and gender studies.

Special learning opportunities

The department's Speaker Series hosts one of the most prominent speaker series in the country; we regularly have noted and influential philosophers visiting us throughout the academic year. Philosophy majors are in a particularly good position to take advantage of these visits. 

"Studying philosophy at Union has enabled me to analyze my beliefs and judgments, encouraged me to justify my assumptions and intuitions, taught me to value multiple perspectives, and above all, spurred me to understand the world and my purpose in it . . . In short, it has made me a better person."
- Raashika Goyal

In addition, the department of philosophy publishes Ephemeris, which is considered the premier undergraduate journal of philosophy in the country.

Union has an active, accomplished Ethics Bowl Team, which regularly takes part in competitions focused on moral issues, including the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Program and the Bioethics Bowl. Many team members are philosophy majors, and the team has traditionally had close ties with the philosophy department.


Philosophy majors are well prepared to pursue advanced studies in philosophy as well as a wide range of careers, including business, education, government, journalism, law, public policy, social service and more. All of this is of course intrinsically valuable, but it is also worth mentioning that philosophy majors tend to have the highest scores among all majors nationally in standardized tests such as the GRE and the LSAT.

After Union

Law Clerk, Stahancyk, Kent, Johnson & Hook

Surgical resident, Brown University

Investigator, Office of Chittenden County State Attorney

Financial advisor, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Program director, Travel for Teens LLC

Business systems analyst, SUNY Research Foundation

Careers by field:

Life at Union outcomes graphic

Meet some of our faculty

Robert Baker

Robert Baker

William D. Williams Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Special interests:  Ethics, medical ethics

Krisanna Scheiter

Krisanna Scheiter

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Special interests: Ontology of emotion and the moral significance of emotions

Marianna Ganapini

Marianna Ganapini

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Special interests: Reasoning and mental states such as belief and imagination

Leo Zaibert

Leo Zaibert

Ph.D., University at Buffalo
Special interests: Philosophy of law, ethics, political philosophy