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Who Majors in Philosophy?

Philosophy is a first choice for students who want to develop an ability to think clearly and reason well, and who want to find answers to life's most important questions, such as:

  • Is it possible to know anything with absolute certainty?
  • Do people really have free will?
  • What is moral obligation? What is the extent of our moral obligation to other people, other living things, and the environment?
  • Does the universe have a purpose? Does life?
  • Is there a God?
  • Does it make a difference if there is or isn't a God?

What Can I Do with a Philosophy Degree?

Because philosophy trains students to reason well, philosophy majors historically have scored highly on the Graduate Record Exam, the Law School Aptitude Test, the Graduate Management Admission Test, and the Medical College Admission Test.

Philosophy majors include important public figures like David Souter, Robert MacNamara, Angela Davis, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King, Jr.; entertainers like Stephen Colbert, Harrison Ford, Jay Leno, Susan Sarandon, and Bruce Lee; writers like Ken Follett, James Michener, Susan Sontag, and Kate Millett; and business leaders like Carl Ichan and George Soros.

Chico State majors have found careers in law, teaching, higher education, counseling, financial advising, public service, and the military.

What About a Philosophy Minor?

The minor can deepen understanding of human culture, improve reasoning skills, and provide an opportunity to address fundamental issues of human concern. The minor is relatively unstructured and works well with most majors.

Minor in Ethics

Professional organizations recognize the importance of ethics in professional practice. No longer can employees expect simply to do their required tasks, follow the rules, and thereby avoid all difficult ethical decision-making. Students who minor in ethics are better prepared to acquire and perform the kinds of job the modern world has to offer.

Interested in Teaching?

Chico State philosophy graduates have become university professors, community college instructors, and public school teachers. To teach in a California public school you must successfully complete a professional education program leading to a teaching credential. For details, see a Credentials Advisor.


The philosophy department faculty includes specialists in the central areas of the discipline. Members of the faculty have published important articles and widely used textbooks in philosophy.

The Center for Applied and Professional Ethics-CAPE

CAPE provides the University and professional communities with resources for the study of morality and applied social and professional ethics. CAPE also provides public forums where important and controversial issues can be discussed and debated.

Certificate in Teaching Critical Thinking

The primary objective of the certificate is the development of expertise in the communication of critical thinking techniques. The certificate is designed to enhance employment opportunities and strengthen graduate school applications. Skill in critical thinking helps people make more reliable decisions and moblize field-specific knowledge they already possess.

Catalog Cycle:11