• Philosophy Program

    What is the nature of the reality? Why do we value what we value? How should people treat one another? Philosophy majors tackle these and other questions as they study the world’s greatest philosophers, learn how to reason, comprehend abstract topics, problem-solve, ethics, and think outside the box. Jobs are plentiful for those who can reason and think critically. Philosophy students often go on to careers in law, medicine, theology, teaching, and writing.

    Hamline offers both a major and a minor in philosophy. The major requires nine courses within the department, while the minor is fulfilled through five courses. All students are encouraged to pursue reading proficiency in a non-English language, competence in mathematics through college algebra, broad exposure to literature, and the careful study of a laboratory science. This interdisciplinary emphasis ensures that students are well prepared for the workforce and/or graduate studies. Upon recommendation by the faculty, senior philosophy majors may work toward departmental honors through the successful defense of an in-depth research project.

    The study of philosophy helps students deepen their understanding of themselves and the world around them. This insight is furthered through opportunities to study abroad, participate in internships, and collaborate with professors on professional research. Students often present their research at national conferences where they also network with professionals in the field. On campus, students are active in the Hamline Philosophy Club, through which they provide the department with input, present their research, listen to guest speakers, and discuss philosophy. Additionally, the Hanna Lecture, an annual campus lecture by a distinguished scholar of philosophy, gives students the opportunity to learn the latest from nationally regarded thinkers.

    The philosophy major prepares students for a variety of careers and graduate work. Approximately one-third of Hamline philosophy majors go on to graduate programs in philosophy to eventually teach at the college level. Another one-third of Hamline majors pursue law school. Other opportunities include:

    Computer science 
    Public administration 
    Health care 
    Public relations 
    Foreign Service and diplomacy 
    Writing and editing

    Read more about life after Hamline.


    PHIL 3360: Philosophy of Nonviolence 

    The goal of this course is for students to understand the concepts, principles, and practices of nonviolence. Content will emphasize the study of theorists and practitioners of nonviolent direct action, including Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Tich Nhat Hanh. Participants will pursue an independent research project on nonviolence for a final presentation.

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    Hamline awards two philosophy prizes annually: the Mark Eldon Kispert Philosophy Prize to the best essay by a graduating senior major and the Joseph Norio Uemura Scholarship that provides funding for a student who has demonstrated excellence in philosophy. 

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