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All academic programs offered at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills. As a Philosophy concentrator, you will be uncovering, analyzing, and evaluating the values and assumptions implicit in human activities and practices, such as science, the arts, religion, morality, ethics, and social and political institutions. Thus Philosophy could be considered the fundamental liberal arts major.

In its emphasis on questioning and knowing, the pursuit of Philosophy will help you acquire excellent analytical and critical evaluation skills, which will be applicable to a wide range of careers.

Related fields include Classical Studies, History, Political Science, Economics, Mathematics, Physics, Linguistics, Law, Ancient Civilizations, and Biblical Studies.


Research / Project Development Skills

Asking questions
Writing proposals
Organizing ideas / information
Evaluating information
Comparing perspectives

Analytical Skills

Reading critically
Reasoning logically
Interpreting data / relationships
Identifying and clarifying values
Synthesizing ideas

Problem-Solving Skills

Linking specific issues to broad concepts
Defining problems
Weighing alternatives
Addressing opposing viewpoints
Applying logic to problems
Identifying solutions
Evaluating results
Investigating alternatives

Communication Skills

Articulating abstract complicated concepts
Presenting alternative viewpoints
Advising / counseling
Writing effectively
Resolving conflicts


Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic. Student organizations and campus employment offer valuable opportunities to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. Philosophy student organizations include the Undergraduate Philosophy Club and the Student Secular Alliance Club. Other ways to build skills include study abroad, off-campus employment or volunteering in the community. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.


Philosophy concentrators develop high-level analytical and communication skills applicable to a wide range of careers. For example, the ability to interpret conflicting points of view with accuracy and reach a decision that is rationally and objectively defensible may be equally useful whether working as a mediator, a diplomat, or a member of a biomedical ethics committee.

Many concentrators go on to graduate, law, or other professional school. The list below is a sample of careers undertaken by Philosophy graduates.

Research / Project Development Skills

Legislative assistant
Human services coordinator open book icon
Artificial intelligence and expert systems designer open book icon
Biomedical ethics researcher
Information broker
Web designer
Grants administrator

Analytical Skills

Policy analyst open book icon
City solicitor open book icon
Public defender open book icon
College professor open book icon
Economist open book icon
Affirmative action officer
Intelligence officer
Underwriter / claims adjuster
Genetic counselor open book icon
Financial / Business Analyst

Problem Solving Skills

Public health officer open book icon
Programmer analyst
Compliance manager
Ethics consultant open book icon
State senator
Social worker open book icon
Counselor open book icon

Communication Skills

K-12 teacher
Foreign service officer
Consumer protection advocate
Consumer relations representative
Public relations director
Speech writer
Technical writer, all media
Mediation attorney open book icon
Community development liaison
Court liaison
Community organizer
Clergy open book icon / missionary

open book icon = Further Study Required

For more career information, see O*Net at


The prerequisite for the concentration is one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course with a C or better. The concentration requires 25 credit hours at a minimum, of which at least one must be a 400-level course. We also offer an honors concentration and a 15-credit minor.

For further information, please make an appointment with a concentration advisor.

Department of Philosophy
2215 Angell Hall

Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall


To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account:

To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Handshake:

On-campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at:

Maize Pages list hundreds of organizations for students to get involved in:

The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building

The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2011 Regents of the University of Michigan