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Philosophy and Religious Studies

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The ESU Philosophy & Religious Studies Department offers both a 30-credit major and an 18-credit minor in Philosophy. The five faculty members in the Department teach a wide range of subjects, including courses in non-Western philosophy, philosophy of race, and world religions, as well as traditional areas of philosophy like logic, ethics, and theory of knowledge. In our department's courses, you will have the opportunity to study and discuss the most important social and ethical questions of our time, as well as delve into enduring questions about human nature, the significance of religion in human society, and what it means to live a good life.

Careers in Philosophy

All of our courses emphasize critical thinking, and train students to think and write with clarity, rigor, and confidence. Philosophy majors score at or near the top on post-graduate admissions tests such as the GRE, LSAT, and GMAT, and critical thinking and writing abilities are in increasing demand from prospective employers. In the past, our majors have gone on to law school, graduate school, or successful careers in areas like business or education.

“My original major was in Education with a minor in Philosophy but I ended up changing my major to Philosophy and graduating with that. Currently I'm attending the Theological School at Drew University, expecting to complete my studies in 2017. As I'm reading the four articles assigned this week for my Intro to Educational Ministries class here, I am reminded of the many Philosophy and Ethics classes I took at ESU, and feeling very thankful for the foundation laid there that has helped me get through much of what I'm studying here at Drew. –Mayla Billips, B.A. Philosophy, 2011

"The Philosophy Department at ESU not only provided me with an excellent education, but also equipped me with the most valuable academic and life skills I use everyday. Whether it's critically analyzing research material, or writing a compelling argumentative essay, my education in philosophy has been paramount and has allowed me to complete my graduate education in Clinical Bioethics. My current work is with the Community Paramedicine Program with Pocono Medical Center, which aims to assist patients with chronic illnesses, particularly CHF and COPD, in managing their conditions while remaining at home." –Joe Bolger, B.A. Philosophy and Biology, 2011

“ESU’s Philosophy Department has been instrumental to both my development as a student and my maturing as a person. Before taking my first philosophy class with Dr. Pruim, my GPA was 2.4. The next semester, Dr. Pruim convinced me to add philosophy as a major and I earned a 3.8 GPA. The theories and writings taught from historical philosophers helped train my brain to think critically and analyze objectively. But the life lessons given by the professors that were not in the syllabus helped open my mind even more and changed entire outlook on life. I owe my success at ESU and my acceptance into Drexel University's Law School to the professors in the philosophy department.” –John Lopez, B.A. Philosophy and Political Science, 2013

My studies in philosophy at ESU were extremely rewarding. The quality of the professors is superb and I always felt that the faculty were extremely dedicated to my education and success. The classes that were offered were very interesting and when the standard offerings weren't appealing ample opportunity was created for personalized study. The small class sizes, particularly in upper division courses, promoted a small group, discussion group atmosphere which reflects graduate work quite nicely. Truly, I feel my time at ESU in the Philosophy and Religious Studies department gave me an excellent preparation for my continued studies. I am currently working on my PhD in philosophy at the University of Tennessee, and planning on beginning a joint J.D./PhD program in the Fall. –Kyle Chapel, B.A. Philosophy, 2011

I am currently a GIS Specialist at the Brodhead Creek Regional Authority (BCRA), while also working on obtaining my master’s degree in GIS and Remote Sensing in Environmental Science at ESU, with a focus on hydrologic and hydraulic modeling. For me, studying Philosophy at ESU was the key to many opportunities. The variety of classes and diversity of professors provided me with a solid foundation to be successful in many realms. Philosophy highlighted the significance of theory, and the capacity to identify intrinsic value. When philosophy is paired with the natural sciences, it is a sure way to be successful for any environmentalist. --Sarah Cramb, B.A. Philosophy with minor in Physical Geography, 2014

Some useful information about job skills and career paths associated with philosophy.