Petree College of Arts & Sciences
About the Philosophy Department
Who am I? Why am I here? How shall I live? The eternal questions of philosophy are the core of the philosophy program at OCU. Philosophy is directly tied to the university's goals of training servant leaders, because it fosters the ability to communicate effectively, to think deeply, to argue rationally, and to evaluate positions critically.
We offer a wide variety of programs designed to suit the needs of individual students. In addition to the traditional Philosophy Major and Minor, the department participates actively in an interdisciplinary program (the Oxford Plan) training students for the study of law as well as a joint degree in Philosophy and Religion. We also provide a Minor in Ethics and in Rhetoric. Our students have distinguished themselves in careers in philosophy, law, business, and ministry. Indeed, philosophy is the ideal major for any student who contemplates a career which places a premium on the ability to think critically, creatively, and systematically.
Why Study Philosophy at OCU?
Excellent Preparation for Graduate or Professional School
A major in philosophy is excellent preparation for graduate study in many areas. Philosophy majors score exceptionally well on the Law School Admissions Test, the Graduate Record Exam, and the Graduate Management Aptitude Test. In recent years, philosophy majors scored higher on the LSAT than all other majors except math and economics. On the GMAT philosophy majors scored higher than all others except physics majors. On the GRE verbal section, philosophy majors scored higher than all other majors. On the math section, they scored at least 10% higher than all other humanities majors. Furthermore, a study revealed that of all majors, philosophy has the fourth highest acceptance rate to medical school. A recent article about the success of philosophy majors on the national examinations concluded with the question: "Why not study something practical, like philosophy?"
Develop Valuable Skills
• Leadership: vision, problem-solving & decision-making
• Values: greater autonomy, empathy, & moral responsibility
• Communication: reading, speaking, & writing
• Creative thinking: analogy, synthesis, & imagination
• Critical thinking: analysis, evaluation, & persuasion
The Department encourages and supports interdisciplinary pursuits. When combined with another field of study as a double major or minor, philosophy helps prepare students for long-term career success. Keep in mind that what fits the job description of entry-level positions is rarely what is required for a successful long-term career, given how rapidly the needs of employers and personal circumstances change. Today the average worker will have nearly a dozen different jobs over the span of his or her lifetime. Philosophical training develops valuable transferable skills, such as the ability to think logically, to analyze and solve problems, to communicate effectively, and to ask the right questions. These skills will enable you to adapt to changing careers and demands throughout your lifetime.
An undergraduate education should prepare you not only for your future career but also for your future life. Philosophy is education for a lifetime. It helps the individual to see the world more broadly and to think about the meaning of life more deeply. In this respect, philosophy should be more than a set of ideas read from books; it should become a way of life.
Ultimately, the only really good reason to major in philosophy is that you love the subject. The only really good reason not to major in it is that you don't.