Major and Minor

Philosophy is the rigorous study of the questions that keep a person up at night--questions like, "Can I be both good and happy?"; "Can I really know what another person is thinking?"; "Is the mind just the brain?" and "Is euthanasia ever justified?" Contemporary philosophers try to understand, evaluate, and improve on the answers people have given to such questions in the past. And they ask new questions, provoked by original insights into traditional problems as well as by new problems presented by the evolving world around us.

Highlights of the Hopkins Program

Philosophy majors at Hopkins enjoy small classes taught by dedicated faculty. The required courses acquaint students with philosophical developments in key historical periods and with central arguments on important topics. Electives within the major give students the chance to study particular philosophers such as Plato or Kant in more depth, or to explore questions of special interest to them, such as the relation between belief and knowledge, or the distinction between law and morality.


Sample First Semester Schedule
  • Any 100- or 200-level course, if seriously considering majoring in philosophy, take Introduction to Greek Philosophy, 150.201
  • Introductory-level course in history, history of science, psychology, or political science
  • Consider an elective N, Q, or E course to begin distribution requirements
  • Consider an elective S course to begin distribution requirements
  • Total 12-17 credits

Career Exploration

Skill Set

The “real world” skills you’ll develop with a major in Philosophy:

  • Using deductive reasoning and debating skills
  • Perceiving the relationships among various fields of study
  • Ability to analyze and reason
  • Interpreting conflicting points of view with accuracy
  • Investigating alternatives and identifying solutions
  • Articulating abstract concepts

Career Center

Looking for information about majors, careers, and finding jobs and internships?
Visit the Career Center’s website: