Who am I? What is justice? What is beauty? Students of philosophy study these questions and more as Appalachian State University’s Philosophy (BA) degree develops skills in critical thinking, argumentation, communication, public speaking and research.
Students often choose to major in philosophy because they are already critical thinkers and want to expand their analytical abilities. Career options include law, medicine, business, writing, civil service, teaching and politics. This degree’s foreign language requirement enhances career possibilities.
Appalachian’s philosophy program focuses on undergraduate scholarship. With small class sizes, you will get individualized attention from professors who are experts in topics such as philosophy of music, philosophy of disability and the philosophy of language. The department values practical experience and encourages internships. The department’s internship coordinator will assist as you in researching and securing a host site that is applicable to your career interests.
Employment: Career options for students with a background in philosophy include law, medicine, business, writing, civil service, teaching and politics.
Graduate school: Students often pursue graduate studies at schools such as Boston University, DePaul University, Cornell University, Emory University, University of Chicago and UNC-Chapel Hill.
A minor is required. Popular minors include:
- Criminal Justice
- Political Science
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Philosophy and Film Society - Students and faculty watch films together and discuss philosophical elements.
Ethics Bowl - an opportunity to debate ethics and ethical issues with other schools’ teams
Philosophical Society/ Philosophy Club - an organization open to all majors. Students meet and discuss everything from Descartes and normative ethics to anarchy and Harry Potter.
Department coffee hour - Each Wednesday from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., students can meet with fellow philosophy majors, minors and faculty with coffee and refreshments in I.G. Greer 110A.
SASS (Secular Appalachian Students Association) - an organization whose goals are to help remove the negative stereotypes of atheists/agnostics/secularists and to create a strong, open-minded community of non-believers who socialize, learn and perform community service together.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
Each summer, religious studies professor Randy Reed and philosophy professor Jack Kwong take students on a 6-credit hour study abroad program to Paris and Rome for a class titled “Love, Sex, and Power in the History of Christianity and the Meaning of Life.”
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Students can conduct research alongside a faculty member or on their own through an independent study. The Department of Philosophy and Religion encourages them to present their research at conferences and professional meetings and also contributes funds for travel.
- A degree in philosophy develops students’ critical thinking, argumentation, communication, public speaking and research skills.
- Students are encouraged to pursue an internship, and the department’s internship coordinator can help identify an ideal site.
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
On campus only
Some of these jobs may require education beyond a bachelor’s degree.
- Affirmative Action Representative
- Arts Consultant
- Editorial Assistant
- Employment Interviewer
- Financial Consultant
- Foreign Services Officer
- Guidance Counselor
- Hospital Administrator
- Labor Relations Researcher
- Management Trainee
- Nonprofit/NGO Manager
- Nursing Home Director
- Political Campaign Worker
- Public Policy Manager
- Public Relations Representative
- Public Service Official
- Research Assistant
- Sales Representative
- Social Worker
- YMCA/YWCA Worker
Dr. Thomas B. Ellis