In the Philosophy Department at UVM, all courses are taught by professors — none by graduate students. The majority of regular courses have fewer than 30 students.

This creates a rigorous and intimate learning environment rare for a public university. Because we do not offer a graduate study program, resources of faculty are devoted to undergraduate program. You'll get to know your professors as people and mentors, and draw inspiration from their wide experience and scholarly interests.

Preparing for work. Preparing for life.

Instead of instructing students in competences and techniques that are specific to a particular vocation, philosophy works by developing a more set of analytic and critical skills, skills developed by having students think hard about issues raised and discussed in classical and contemporary sources. These skills include the abilities to analyze a problem or argument, and to express one’s findings to others in clear, intelligible language.

These sorts of skills are valuable in a wide variety of real-life situations. As a consequence,  philosophy majors are successful in many sorts of post-baccalaureate careers. A few of our majors go on to do graduate work in the discipline; some eventually become professional academic philosophers. But more alumni from our department can be found pursuing careers in law, public service (including political office), medicine, journalism, education, business, religion and many other areas for which clear thinking and an ability to express oneself in writing and speech are essential qualifications.


Josh Decatur"The philosophy program at UVM enriched my academic experience in unexpected ways and has already had a lasting impact on my life. The philosophy classes I took taught me how to read with intention, how to ask targeted questions, and how to update my thinking as I was learning new things. It gave me the tools and confidence to be sure-footed in an increasingly malleable world."

- Joshua Decatur, software designer


Sarah Anders"Communicating a political vision is all about laying out an argument for a better society. If we implement a set of policy instruments, then what changes can we expect? What do we owe one another as people? At its best, it's about helping move people towards the world they want to live in. And having been exposed to the concept of sophistry in ancient philosophy, I know to avoid it!"

- Sarah Anders, candidate for masters in public administration, campaign worker for Vermont gubernatorial candidate


Marilana rufo"My philosophy training has helped me a great deal in my professional life... from a disordered conversation with colleagues I am able to isolate training highlights and priorities among a variety of points of view. I trace this skill back to my initial philosophy training at UVM when I learned to dissect arguments into premises and identify key highlights. It is something I have used ever since."

- Marilana Rufo, M.A. philosophy, corporate trainer and instructional designer


Kari Dalane"The clarity of thinking demanded by philosophy has helped me to consider policy issues logically. My writing is also more succinct and clear due to the many one-page philosophy papers I wrote. I also think studying philosophy has helped me be a better person, both in my professional and personal life. I learned that it is much easier to pick apart the ideas of others than it is to come up with good ideas of your own, and I think that humility has made me kinder. After graduation, I spent six years working in schools as a teacher and librarian and am now studying education policy."

- Kari Dalane, PhD student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University.