Program Requirements and Courses

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Why study philosophy?

Ancient, modern and contemporary philosophers search for an understanding of ourselves, our world, and our relationship to one another. By studying the writings of these philosophers, students develop their own answers to universal questions. Students study philosophy by becoming philosophers — by engaging in a search for the definition, expansion and deepening of their own world views.

Why philosophy at Sweet Briar?

We involve students in the process of exploring and developing philosophical ideas through intense interaction with the faculty, other students, and the writings of philosophers widely acknowledged to be profound, provocative or both.

Philosophical study at Sweet Briar is grounded in Western intellectual tradition. Emphasis is placed on the cultivation of a philosophical attitude and the development of the art of conceptual analysis and synthesis. We offer five courses in the history of philosophy, three in the history of political thought, and courses on topics such as logic, science, ethics, literature and the arts.

What can you do with a philosophy major?

The program prides itself on offering intellectual discipline relevant to all areas of the curriculum and to many different career pathways. Recent majors have attended law school, pursued medicine and studied philosophy at the graduate level. Other recent graduates have pursued careers in business, education and non-profit organizations.