The word “philosophy” derives from the Greek meaning “love of wisdom.” While philosophy is an integral discipline unto itself, it is also an intellectual disposition that permeates all of academic study and has been at the heart of Jesuit and Catholic education since their inception. 

Why Philosophy is in Demand

Truth, meaning and wisdom are among the things that make life worth living.  Philosophy has a wide-range of applications across a variety of careers because it:

  • Cultivates a critical mind, sharpening your ability to identify the assumptions and implications of all sorts of beliefs and arguments.
  • Establishes habits of reflection that are beneficial in any field of endeavor.
  • Teaches you to think things through and brings depth and coherence to your whole worldview
  • Complements one’s faith development by exploring foundational questions regarding oneself, the world and God.
  • Connects you to fellow human beings from other cultures and times by studying their answers to some of life’s biggest questions.

Is it for me?

Are you a person who:

  • Enjoys reflecting upon questions concerning human nature?
  • Wonders how faith and reason relate to each other?
  • Wants to think carefully about freedom and responsibilities, about good and evil?
  • Wants to thoughtfully examine some of our most important and basic concepts like justice, beauty and truth?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Philosophy

Dedicated faculty.   Several philosophy professors have won awards for excellence in teaching.
Be a name, not a number.    Small classes are capped at 35 students, and many classes even smaller than that. Undergraduate studies are our exclusive focus. Faculty members want to know you on an individual basis and are generous with their time and attention inside and outside of class.
Research opportunities.   There are opportunities to do extensive research with a faculty member through the Faculty/Student Research Program.
Jesuit education.   The chance to be shaped by the centuries-old Jesuit educational tradition. Explore philosophical issues for personal enrichment and take courses centered on fundamental questions in ethics, metaphysics and epistemology, as well as thematic/problem-centered courses such as Business Ethics, Political Philosophy, and Medical Ethics.
Strong sense of community.   There are departmental activities, including clubs, associations and honor societies.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You’ll learn how to:

    • Think rigorously about fundamental questions
    • Express ideas clearly and logically
    • Develop technical writing and oral presentation skills
    • See issues of faith and reason as related and complementary rather than opposed
    • Understand and evaluate conflicting points of view
    • Reason in a careful and systematic way
    • Examine problems in a more morally mature and thoughtful way
  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    The objectives of the philosophy program at The University of Scranton are:

    • To inspire students to understand and consider the basic philosophical questions implicit in experiences of the self, others and the universe, including questions concerning our relationship to ultimate transcendence (God and immortality).
    • To develop in students a clear habit of critical thinking within the framework of current philosophical methodology and accepted norms of scholarship.
    • To introduce students to the writings of great philosophers, past and present, and to study these writings critically.
    • To help students formulate a philosophy of life consistent with the objectives of a liberal education at a Jesuit and Catholic university.

    Many students choose to earn a second major in philosophy as a complement to their primary area of study. It is also likely that within a student’s first major, questions arise about values and methodology. Philosophy can help to explore the answers to these questions.

    Even more students earn minors in philosophy, tailoring these minors to suit their personal and academic needs and interests.

    Click here to see the curriculum.

  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    Phi Sigma Tau (PST) is the International Honor Society in Philosophy. Philosophy majors and minors in the junior and senior classes are eligible for induction each spring into Penn-Tau, our chapter of PST. 

    Our PST chapter and the Philosophy Society host the "Philosophy Cafe" series. Professors from various departments are invited to present on a topic of their choice and host a discussion

    Discourse, the undergraduate journal of philosophy, which provides an open forum for a variety of arguments and ideas.



Where Will Philosophy Take Me?

A number of recent Scranton philosophy graduates have gone on to successful careers in education, psychology, politics, religion, medicine and journalism. Philosophy is also considered an outstanding foundation for those students interested in attending law school, or for those entering careers in public service.

Top Graduate Schools

Undergraduate philosophy majors at The University of Scranton receive exceptional preparation for advanced study in philosophy in large measure because of the strength of the philosophy program in all periods of the history of philosophy. Scranton students have been admitted to M.A. to Ph.D. programs in philosophy at such schools as:

  • Fordham
  • Loyola-Chicago
  • Vanderbilt
  • Marquette
  • Kent State
  • Villanova
  • Emory
  • Yale
  • Duquesne University
  • State University of New York at Binghamton
  • Belgium’s Catholic University of Louvain
  • Boston College
  • St. Louis University
  • Temple University - Pharmacy
  • The University of Pennsylvania - Master's of Medical Physics Program

Employment Opportunities

Many of our students have gone on to successful careers in academia and elsewhere.  Here are a few examples:

Steven Barbone  (Class of 1982) is an associate professor of philosophy at San Diego State University. 

Joseph Bertino (Class of 2012) is a clinical bioethicist for Wellstar Health Systems.

Alexander Bertland (Class of 1989) is an Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Niagara University and Department Chair. 

Deborah Campbell (Class of 1986) is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Christopher Newport University. 

Christina M. Drogalis (Class of 2008) is a Philosophy Core Instructor for Stanford OHS.

Timothy J. McGrew (Class of 1992) is a Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University and Department Chair.

Amy L. McKiernan (Class of 2007) is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Dickinson College.

Matthew Pierlott (Class of 2006) is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at West Chester University.

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

One of the many things students tell us they love about Scranton is that our faculty are very active in helping them achieve their career goals. As you walk across campus, you'll often see students chatting with faculty over coffee to bounce ideas.

Whether it's advising or providing letters of references for a competitive graduate school or that dream job, faculty make it their priority to get to know each student on an individual level. That deep level of understanding means that our faculty are not only dedicated teachers and strong researchers but advocates for you professionally.

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Philosophy Department
Daniel Haggerty, Ph.D.
Department Chair, Philosophy