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Philosophy is an enterprise of mind and spirit, offering a disciplined exploration of the large questions of life and existence.

It is an excellent major — or double major — for students who are pre-law or who are considering graduate degrees in philosophy, political science, theology or bioethics.

Grow as an individual thinker

Your work as a student will endow you with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a philosophically literate person. At the same time, our focus is on the integration of this knowledge with your own individual process of moral, spiritual, and intellectual growth. You will be able to utilize balanced arguments and critical, reflective thought in all your pursuits.

Develop an understanding of the importance of ethics

We place a strong emphasis on ethics — the general inquiry into how it is best to live. Your learning will cover personal ethics, social ethics, bioethics, and the ethics of technology.

Pursue your passions through the lens of philosophy

You will have the opportunity to customize your learning journey to your philosophical interests. For example, one of our past students was a competitive horse rider, and they studied the way horses were trained and stabled through resources on show horse training. They then integrated this with conversation and reading on general philosophical ethics and the ethical treatment of animals in particular.

At a Glance

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts




College of Arts and Science

Next Steps

Interested in this major? Here's what you can do next:

The Curriculum

With challenging and relevant courses, outstanding faculty, small class sizes, and an emphasis on hands-on learning, the philosophy program will position you to succeed in your chosen career.

Program Details

Find out what it takes to earn a degree in philosophy and explore the courses.

Highlighted Courses

Get familiar with some of the courses you might take in this major.

PHIL 310: Metaphysics

The general inquiry into the nature of the real. Topics include the role of language in thought, the nature of truth, necessity and possibility, being and essence.

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PHIL 312: A More Inclusive History of Philosophy

This course is a general introduction to some of the issues and debates in the history of philosophy. The aim of the course is to introduce you to some of the historically significant philosophical debates (and some debates/figures that have been excluded from the "Western Canon"); to teach you how to reconstruct arguments and evaluate them, and how to write philosophy papers.

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PHIL 345: Bioethics

A study of moral issues raised by the recent development of biological and medical sciences, including those related to reproductive technologies, human genetics, euthanasia, organ donations, health-care policies, and human/animal experimentation. The course focuses on the complexities that often surround moral choices in biological and medical sciences.

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PHIL 350: Technology and Value

A study of moral issues raised by the recent development of technology, including those related to computers, genetic engineering and the environment. The course examines how current technological achievements profoundly change our social, cultural and moral life and how they create moral dilemmas for our society at the same time.

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PHIL 380: Knowledge and Power

This course investigates contemporary issues in the study of knowledge. We will analyze both foundational philosophical inquiries into knowledge, beliefs, justification, and truth and the ways that power relations within our social and political landscape shape our access to knowledge or the maintenance of ignorance.

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PHIL 404: Existentialism

In this course we will survey some of the important themes and theoretical issues in the Existentialist tradition. This philosophical and literary tradition is a somewhat disparate grouping of figures who challenge "traditional (analytic) philosophy" and a narrowly rational worldview. Some of the themes we will see emerging include: individualism, freedom, dread, death, absurdity, choice, and meaning.

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Recommended Minors

Want to add even more value to your degree? Consider one of these minors to gain a unique combination of skills and perspectives.

The Experience

We offer hands-on opportunities that give you the freedom to explore your passion through real-world work and prepare for a fulfilling career.

  • Study Abroad

    Cal Lutheran offers a range of options for study abroad, from semester programs to short-term travel seminars.

    Benefits of studying abroad include:

    • Gain international perspective
    • Build proficiency in a language
    • Learn to navigate a different environment
    • Develop intercultural awareness
    • Enhance your resume for jobs
  • Conference Presentations

    Many of our students have the opportunity to perform independent research with faculty advisors on campus and present their findings at research consortiums, such as our annual Festival of Scholars or off-campus conferences.

  • Learning in Action

    Several of your courses will include experiences that take you away from campus and integrate you into the heart of your subject. For example, the upper-division course Chinese Philosophy and Culture has visited His Lai Temple as part of research on Buddhist rituals, images, and architectural design. This was coupled with a trip to San Gabriel Square (a Chinese shopping district) to explore Chinese medicines, fashions and food.

  • Internships

    Internships are offered through independent study or departmental honors courses, and are initiated through dialogue with faculty. Because of this one-on-one relationship, you have the opportunity to combine other interests with your academic pursuits.

Student photo

Philosophy has made me a better thinker, a more loving human, and it has helped me understand how to see an issue as multifaceted and from multiple perspectives.

Kyrie Fairbairn '23
Philosophy Major

Career Paths

Hospitals, government agencies, legal, non-profit organizations and business corporations seek out people with a philosophical education for their training in clear and focused thinking. Should you choose to further your philosophy education, you will also be well-prepared for graduate school.

Potential Careers

Philosophy and Religion Teachers, Postsecondary

Teach courses in philosophy, religion, and theology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Directors, Religious Activities and Education

Coordinate or design programs and conduct outreach to promote the religious education or activities of a denominational group. May provide counseling, guidance, and leadership relative to marital, health, financial, and religious problems.

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Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

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Research, analyze, record, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, interviews, films, electronic media, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.

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Political Scientists

Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. May study topics, such as public opinion, political decisionmaking, and ideology. May analyze the structure and operation of governments, as well as various political entities. May conduct public opinion surveys, analyze election results, or analyze public documents.

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Develop, introduce, or enact laws and statutes at the local, tribal, state, or federal level. Includes only workers in elected positions.

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Looking for more career paths? Search these related areas to discover more options.


Graduates from this major have gone to work at:

  • Business Insider
  • Capital Fellows Programs
  • Disneyland Resort
  • Enterprise Holdings
  • Liberty Advertising
  • Real So Cal Soccer Club
  • QX Telecom/WQ Long Distance

Graduate Schools

Our alumni have pursued advanced degrees at:

  • London School of Economics
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • St. John’s College
  • Southwestern University
  • UC, Berkley
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Denver
  • University of Washington
George Khoury
The philosophy department, being so small, was an incredibly tight-knit community. I knew all my fellow students, developed meaningful relationships with my professors, and got to participate in planning cool events like the annual Harold Stoner Clark lectures. Studying philosophy not only laid the foundation for my critical thinking skills but has also allowed me to think about the law in a broader way. Even more practically, studying philosophy was extremely useful in preparing for the LSAT and succeeding in rule-based reasoning that is inherent in legal practice.

George Khoury '21
Philosophy and Political Science Major

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. Some occupations listed above may require a related graduate degree.

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