Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Philosophy

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Philosophy and science
Program description

Philosophy aims at a deeper understanding of matters that should most concern the human race. Philosophical questions crop up in science, religion, art, morality, politics, medicine and in everyday life. Students enrolled in philosophy are encouraged to think seriously about fundamental issues in all these domains and to formulate coherent and well-grounded points of view. Because of its extensive use of critical and analytical reasoning, philosophy equips students for careers in medicine, law, business and other fields that require careful thought and the clear expression of ideas.

Students with a strong interest in the philosophy of science and the relation between philosophy and science (and those considering graduate work in an area of science) will probably want to choose the philosophy and science concentration.

Career opportunities

An undergraduate degree in Philosophy is good preparation for graduate study in areas such as law or public administration. Obtain leadership roles in school or community organizations. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are imperative for most careers related to law, politics, or government. Gain experience in fundraising and grant writing techniques. Nonprofit and educational organizations are often funded in this manner. Part-time and summer jobs, internships, and volunteer positions are critical to gaining the experience and skills that employers seek.

Change of major requirements

1) Submit a change of major form to declare.

2) Email dpsmith@vcu.edu to discuss requirements prior to approval.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Compliance manager
  • Congressional aide
  • Editor
  • Labor relations specialist
  • Management analyst
  • Medical records and health information technicians
  • Paralegal
  • Social and human services assistant
  • Social science research assistant
  • Technical writer
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0 overall and in the major
Department name:
Department of Philosophy
Building/room location:
915 West Franklin Street
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1224
Email:
dpsmith@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete UNIV 111,112, 200.
  • Consider taking foreign language and math.
  • If schedules allow, consider PHIL 101 or 201.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond, including its museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations on campus.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs(OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Attend VCU’s annual Intercultural Festival.
  • Join a living-learning program such as VCU Globe.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers and job titles in field of study.
  • Complete Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with academic or career advisor.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.
  • Ensure PHIL 201 is completed by fall semester.
  • Continue with language as needed.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Join a student club (Philosophy Club, etc).
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break, and other leadership and service events.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Commit to language work with seriousness, and seek out opportunities to use it beyond the classroom.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café!
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration via Philosophy and Career Services programs.
  • Create a draft resume and come to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs throughout the year to explore your interests.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See an advisor at least once, each semester.
  • Students considering graduate school should consider research projects.
  • Begin making a plan for choice of PHIL 391 Topics courses.
  • Continue to be aware of the PHIL area requirement each semester.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create and complete a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.  
  • Attend a Wellness Resource Center program.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Look into upper-division coursework deepening knowledge of a particular "non-western" region.
  • Take a course that links diversity to your field of study.
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.
  • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • While required in the senior year, consider taking two capstones (PHIL 490), and complete one junior year. Focus on career pathways and networks.
  • Identify at least three career options within your field of interest that you may want to pursue.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Based on career goals, talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Students must complete PHIL 490 Seminar in Philosophy capstone course.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Consider jobs in the nonprofit sector.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Volunteer and take on a leadership role within a student organization that relates to Philosophy.
  • Challenge yourself through a Group Exercise class or an Outdoor Adventure Program trip or activity.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Present at the Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Build your intercultural competence by engaging with international students on campus.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Attend OMSA I Love Diversity Week.
  • Attend Cultural Graduation Ceremony.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or club or go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for your next steps.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Philosophy

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Philosophy and law | No concentration | Ethics and public policy | Philosophy and science
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete UNIV 111,112, 200.
  • Consider taking foreign language and math.
  • If schedules allow, consider PHIL 101 or 201.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with academic or career advisor.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.
  • Ensure PHIL 201 is completed by fall semester.
  • Continue with language as needed.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Join a student club (Philosophy Club, etc).
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break, and other leadership and service events.
  • Commit to language work with seriousness, and seek out opportunities to use it beyond the classroom.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
Year 3
  • See an advisor at least once, each semester.
  • Students considering graduate school should consider research projects.
  • Begin making a plan for choice of PHIL 391 Topics courses.
  • Continue to be aware of the PHIL area requirement each semester.
  • Look into upper-division coursework deepening knowledge of a particular "non-western" region.
  • Take a course that links diversity to your field of study.
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office
  • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
  • While required in the senior year, consider taking two capstones (PHIL 490), and complete one junior year. Focus on career pathways and networks.
  • Identify at least three career options within your field of interest that you may want to pursue.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
  • Based on career goals, talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Students must complete PHIL 490 Seminar in Philosophy capstone course.
  • Present at the Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Build your intercultural competence by engaging with international students on campus.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Attend OMSA I Love Diversity Week.
  • Attend Cultural Graduation Ceremony.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or club or go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for your next steps.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.