B.A. in Philosophy
Investigate the core principles of ethics, knowledge, and reality that inform decision-making in every career.
Philosophy majors consider the questions at the core of human experience - the nature of reality, the extent of human knowledge, the basis of moral and ethical thought and behavior, the resolution of conflict, and the origin of belief. Students may also choose an optional emphasis in religious studies.
Philosophy majors clarify their own beliefs, develop a basis for ethical decisions, and formulate a coherent approach to life. They learn how to think logically, analyze problems, assess proposed solutions, communicate clearly, conduct research, and think creatively and imaginatively. The Department of Philosophy and Religion has particular strengths in ethics, supported in part by the Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hume Bryant Lectureship in Ethics Endowment.
A liberal arts education prepares graduates to deal with complexity and change. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with diverse groups. Philosophy exposes students to the core arguments and principles that ground decision-making in nearly every professional venue. Related careers include law, medicine, education, business, corporate training, public relations, non-profits, government, journalism, counseling, and social services.
With support from the Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hume Bryant Lectureship in Ethics Endowment, philosophy students have the opportunity to join the Ethics Bowl debate team that travels to regional and national competitions. In partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, the department administers the Frate Fellowship in Bioethics, allowing students to confront ethical challenges in a real world hospital setting while working with nurses, doctors, and medical administrators. Faculty-led Study USA courses include Environmental Ethics that travels to the Washington D.C. area.
B.A. in Philosophy Faculty
Philosophers in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Mississippi have many different areas of expertise, including philosophy of law, language, mind, religion, politics, science, film; epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, applied, moral psychology, Asian philosophy, ancient philosophy, and early modern philosophy. Religious Studies faculty include historians, exploring how different religious traditions grow and change; others of are theologians and ethicists, focusing on religious texts and community; and others are ethnographers and anthropologists, studying the enactment of religious beliefs through ritual.
Admission requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program are the same as the general undergraduate admission requirements.
Hadley Jo Pearson
"My interest in philosophy was sparked in a small honors Introduction to Philosophy where we engaged in thinking about ethics, the nature of knowledge, logic, etc. As a premedical student, I knew I would be studying science for the rest of my life, so I wanted to seize the opportunity to explore something different." Prior to her graduation in 2014, Hadley Jo spent two years researching soft coral's response to global warming in preparation for her honors thesis. After graduation, she attended UM Medical School, where she graduated as the top student in the class. She is completing her internship and moving to San Francisco for a residency in dermatology.
Why study philosophy at UM?
"Philosophy trains you to be both big-picture and detail oriented; you must be able to follow complex theories and piece them together to form the ultimate conclusion, while also ruthlessly looking out for that one error in the argument that makes it all come crashing down. In medical school classes, this combination of skills has allowed me to excel, since I am accustomed to paying attention to both the big picture and the details."
Join the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, the philosophy honor society Phi Sigma Tau, or the religious studies honor society Theta Alpha Kappa.