Philosophy

Program Features

Philosophy is the love of wisdom. At Xavier, you'll get to know history's greatest thinkers and challenge your reality by reading carefully and questioning what is true. As a philosophy major, you’ll engage in growing discussions of human nature, morality, technology and God. You’ll also become an active contributing scholar through conducting and presenting original research.

The philosophy major curriculum is flexible, so you’ll be able to study and research what interests you most. Courses in the philosophy major cover time periods from ancient Greece up to the present day, and they span a range of topics, including Jewish and Islamic thought, philosophy of science, and political theory. You'll also have the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, Jerusalem or Rome, where you'll experience the beauty of timeless traditions and cultures.

Xavier University, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is nationally recognized as a top university by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and Forbes. 98 percent of our students, including those in the philosophy major, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2021).

Curriculum

The sample course sequence below illustrates class offerings for the Philosophy major. Consult the official Xavier University course catalog for detailed registration and advising information.

Fall

  • PHILOSOPHY 100 Intro to Ethics............ 3cr.
  • ENGLISH 101/115 Composition/Rhetoric............ 3cr.
  • second language I............ 3cr.
  • Creative Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • CORE 100 First-Year Seminar............ 3cr.
  • CORE 101: GOA Co-curriculum Program I............ 0cr.

Spring

  • Scientific Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Literature & Moral Imagination............ 3cr.
  • second language II............ 3cr.
  • THEOLOGY 111: Theological Foundations............ 3cr.
  • Oral Communications Elective............ 3cr.
  • CORE 102: GOA Co-curriculum Program II............ 0cr.

Fall

  • PHILOSOPHY 200 Philosophical Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Mathematical Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Historical Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Natural Science Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.

Spring

  • History of Philosophy............ 3cr.
  • Philosophy Elective............ 3cr.
  • Social Science Elective............ 3cr.
  • Theological Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Quantitative Reasoning Elective............ 3cr.

Fall

  • History of Philosophy............ 3cr.
  • E/RS Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • Philosophy Seminar............ 3cr.

Spring

  • History of Philosophy............ 3cr.
  • PHILOSOPHY 340 Metaphysics............ 3cr.
  • Philosophy Elective............ 3cr.
  • Diversity Curriculum Requirement............ 3cr.
  • Humanities Elective............ 3cr.

Fall

  • Philosophy Elective............ 3cr.
  • Humanities Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • Thesis Review (Honors Track only)............ 1cr.

Spring

  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • Thesis Review (Honors Track only -- to replace a General Elective)............ 2cr.

Sample Courses

Xavier is known for providing an education that's both challenging and personal. Here are some courses that are part of the Philosophy major at Xavier:

Philosophical Perspectives (PHIL 200) - An introduction to philosophical questions on topics such as knowledge, truth, and science by way of Descartes's Discourse on Method and other texts.

Early Modern Philosophy (PHIL 304) - Seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophers; conflict of ancients and moderns; response of moderns to each other on system, nature, knowledge, method, morals.

Metaphysics (PHIL 340) - Metaphysics is the science that investigates what it means to be or exist. This course will examine the nature of metaphysics, and the role it has played in the history of philosophy.

Bioethics (PHIL 329) - Moral issues arising in health care delivery, including social policy as well as clinical problems.

Clubs

Part of the college experience is reading, writing and studying for exams. The other part? Whatever students want it to be. Xavier has more than 160 clubs & everything from fencing to football, theater to community service.

All Xavier Clubs

Outcomes

According to Payscale, fifteen years after graduation, philosophy majors earn more than average for all majors. Philosophy majors are among the best performers in the LSAT, and second majors in philosophy are most successful in applications to medical school. On the GMAT, philosophy majors outperform every other undergraduate major except mathematics.

98% of Xavier students, including those in the philosophy major, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2021).  Below are the top jobs and companies for graduates from Xavier's humanities majors (including philosophy). 

Top Jobs: Advocacy and Community Outreach Coordinator, Career Services and Government Relations Specialist, Development Ambassador, Executive Director, PR Coordinator, Medical Sales, Law School

Explore Xavier Alumni Outcomes

All For One

Xavier is ranked #1 for its excellent academic reputation among top competitors in the region. Students get the most out of their education, from rigorous classroom studies to experiential learning in the real world.

Cincinnati: A City of Opportunity

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Cincinnati, Ohio is ranked the #1 Best City for College Graduates (smartasset.com) and the #15 Best Place to Start a Career (WalletHub). Students in the philosophy major take advantage of for-credit internships and employment opportunities at multiple Fortune 500 companies, private companies, nonprofit organizations and other businesses.


Going to College in Cincinnati

What is Jesuit Education?

Students in the philosophy major learning from a Jesuit professor

A Xavier education is more than your typical college experience. Drawing on a Jesuit Catholic educational model 400 years in the making, students in the philosophy major get the personal attention and support they need to succeed. The result is an education that’s as encouraging as it is challenging, and as enriching as it is demanding.


Jesuit Education 101

Xavier Rankings and Recognitions

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Xavier University has been ranked among the top 10 best Midwest Regional Schools by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America." Explore how Xavier’s top-ranked academic programs continue to distinguish themselves among the nation’s best.


Xavier University Rankings

Philosophy Major at Xavier University

Within Jesuit education, philosophy occupies a central, synthesizing role. It aims at helping students reflect creatively and critically on ethics, society, and the world at large. The major program in philosophy is designed to provide a sound grounding in the history of Western philosophy through the careful study of the great books of that tradition. Philosophy literally means "the love of wisdom." It deals with speculative issues such as human nature, the structure of reality, the existence of God, and the processes involved in human knowledge. It is also concerned with practical issues such as the nature of the morally good life and the ideal political society.

Xavier University’s College of Arts and Sciences challenges students to develop an integrated understanding of humanity, the world, and God by pursuing the questions raised in Xavier's core and departmental curricula. The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest college at Xavier University. The college provides an excellent liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition that prepares students for careers, professional or graduate school, and life in a global society.

Xavier University is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Founded in 1831, the University is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. It has been ranked among the top 10 master's-level universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America."