University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Philosophy

School of Athens

Alum profile:

tidmanAlum Jill Rosenblum Tidman '94 produces environmental films for the Redford Center. More >>

Philosophy at UVM

Housed in a historic house (built c. 1866) on the western edge of campus, the philosophy department is home to roughly one hundred majors and one hundred minors. The eleven faculty members offer a diverse array of courses spanning such areas as Ethics, Chinese Philosophy, Logic, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, Continental Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, and Ancient and Modern Philosophy. The department prides itself on excellence in teaching and research.

Why Study Philosophy at UVM?

Studying philosophy at UVM gives you the best of both worlds:

At small liberal arts colleges, priority is usually given to teaching over research. Professors are expected to be very good teachers and to spend more time with students (smaller classes, more one-on-one independent studies and honors theses, more informal opportunities for interaction, etc.). However, they are usually less involved in cutting edge research, and thus they don’t have as good an understanding of the material as those who do and may well be teaching what they learned in graduate school, often many years ago.

Philosophical inquiry does not stand still, however. In some ways, this may be the most productive period in its history. Thus, at major universities, in contrast with most smaller colleges, priority is usually given to research over teaching. Professors must be actively engaged in a research project that will be known by experts around the world. Classes, however, are larger and are often taught by graduate students or lecturers, and interaction with professors is minimized.

UVM's Philosophy Department combines the best of both. All faculty are actively engaged in cutting edge philosophical research, but teaching is a very high priority as well. Since we have no graduate students, all of our teaching is done by the faculty, and each professor also serves as advisor to a number of students. Thus philosophy students at UVM can take smaller classes, taught by professors who are world renowned for their philosophical research, but who take pride in their commitment to excellent undergraduate teaching


What students say..... of the best professors I've ever had; enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and seems to truly care about students' success.

Department News

2014 Newsletter

UVM Philosophy Alum wins Pulitzer Prize

"UVM offered a place in the philosophy department where I was forced to think... The honors thesis I did at the time was one of the hardest things I did in my life. Analytical thinking, storytelling and writing are all things you can learn well here if you apply yourself."

New Additions to Department

August 2014 - Professor Kate Nolfi, specializing in epistemology while adding to the department's strength in food ethics

August 2016 - Professor Mark Budolfson, specializing in applied ethics, including environmental and food ethics

Last modified September 06 2016 02:49 PM

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