Welcome to the Department of Philosophy.

Philosophy examines concepts, presuppositions, and implications that play across the range of human inquiry.

Major & Minor in Philosophy

Philosophy majors routinely do better than their peers on standardized tests used for admission to law schools, business schools, and other graduate programs. Four years of instruction in logic and reasoning make philosophy majors good at critical thinking and clear communication. Those skills make students who study philosophy attractive to graduate schools but also to corporate employers. Employers frequently say that they want to hire employees who are broad thinkers and strategic problem solvers, as opposed to recent graduates who may have been trained in a very narrow discipline.

Recent philosophy majors at Richmond have pursued careers in law, medicine, business, sports, physics, religion, psychology, architecture, literary criticism, the military, and, of course, philosophy itself.

Philosophy Courses

Through a combination of critical discussion and Socratic questioning, philosophy faculty strive to get students to develop their capacity to thoughtfully examine the key concepts, presuppositions, and implications from across the entire range of human inquiry and articulate and defend their positions clearly, cogently, and effectively.

Students begin the major by taking classes in ancient Greek philosophy or modern Western philosophy or various other 200-level electives. From this foundation, students move on to upper-level courses covering a wide range of topics. Classes incorporate rich readings and opportunities for extensive exploration through writing. Professors approach philosophy courses from a range of perspectives based on their own academic disciplines and interests. As a result, students are introduced to a wide variety of subject areas beyond philosophy, including everything from psychology, sociology, and art to physics, history, and rhetoric.

Upcoming Spring 2024 Courses

Humanities Commons

Honors Program

Highly qualified and motivated students may seek departmental honors. Successful applicants will be assigned to an advisor/tutor to guide their work and monitor their progress.

Application for admission to the honors program is made in two stages. Initial applications for admission to the philosophy honors program may be made by majors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 on all their work and who have completed at least three units in the philosophy department with distinction. Initial admission allows students to enroll in the Honors Seminar and take the required upper-level philosophy courses for honors credit.


Lecture Series

The Department of Philosophy hosts its annual speakers series, which brings visiting scholars to Richmond over the course of the academic year to present lectures or seminars. These events are free and open to the public. This year, several noted philosophers are scheduled to visit the University of Richmond.