Philosophy Program

Philosophy Degree

Every employer wants people who can think critically. Thinking critically is the heart of philosophy.

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Welcome to the Philosophy Department at McKendree University!

By browsing through the items on our pages, you will get a comprehensive overview of what we can offer to you. You will find that we are unique in many ways and can benefit your future plans, whether they be studying philosophy, applying to law or graduate school, and more. For more information about the Philosophy program, feel free to contact Kevin Zanelotti, Ph.D. directly.

Philosophy investigates some of the most enduring and challenging problems that face human beings. Some philosophical questions:

What do we know and how do we know it? Does God exist? Are science and religion incompatible? Are our moral and social values mere social constructions or can we determine if the views we inherit from past generations are good or bad views? Do we invent mathematical truths or discover them? Are we responsible for what we do, or are we helpless victims of genetics and the environment in which we matured? How can we defend our evaluations regarding the value of novels, paintings, poems, films, and symphonies? Are we complex animals or made in the image of some deity? Are we minds or molecules? What are goodness, truth, and beauty?

Many students study philosophy together with another subject, such as religion, mathematics, literature, political science, or biology. Philosophy, as a recent article in Business Week notes, is the ultimate transferable skill that can be applied to any situation or job. Every employer wants workers who can think critically. Thinking critically is the heart of philosophy.




With a major or minor in Philosophy, you’ll be able to:


  • Explore the relation of the individual to society and community

  • Investigate the ultimate questions regarding who we are and the nature of reality

  • Make your thoughts more clear, precise, and rigorous

  • Develop a life-long commitment to self-improvement

  • Become more sensitive to moral, social, and aesthetic issues




Why a B.A. Degree in Philosophy?

With a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, you’ll gain insight into the complex world of human nature and get a better understanding of yourself, your opinions, and the world around you. The philosophy degree teaches you to develop innovative analytical skills that all employers are seeking and is easily coupled with other fields of study for further specialization.




Photo of Holman LibraryAbout the Philosophy Major


Housed within the Division of Humanities, the B.A. in philosophy enables students to investigate some of the most enduring and challenging problems that we face as human beings. You’ll learn to explore and articulate the ultimate questions regarding who we are and the nature of reality, as well as increase your argumentation and reasoning abilities.

At 32 required credit hours in philosophy, this major can be easily paired with another major or minor in a related field, such as religion, math, literature, political science, or biology.

2016-2017 Program Catalog

2016-2017 4-Year Plan

A minor in philosophy is also available.




Photo of McKendree's Entryway MonumentWhy McKendree?

McKendree University provides you with interactive learning opportunities through our small class sizes, experienced faculty, and unique internship experiences that move you beyond the classroom. We are committed to your success in the degree programs we offer, the internships and extracurricular activities that will set you apart, and the college experience you’ll get here. Just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Missouri, McKendree University is located in historic Lebanon, Illinois, and affords students a host of enriching cultural, career, and entertainment opportunities.



Program Highlights


  • McKendree Philosophy Club - The philosophy program sponsors regular meetings of the McKendree Philosophy club. Meeting events include: viewing and discussing philosophical issues pertaining to movies; holding bi-weekly talks in which we investigate philosophy’s relevance to current events and pop culture; and, enjoying a wide range of events ranging from lock-in philosophy parties to Philosophy Jeopardy (and other games).

  • Beyond the Classroom - During the school year, the philosophy program takes students to discussions and colloquia given by St. Louis area philosophy graduate programs.

  • Conference Opportunities - The philosophy program sponsors students attending the biennial Henle Conference at Saint Louis University, as well as the annual conferences offered by the Saint Louis University Philosophy Department.

  • Mentoring for Career Success - Students are exposed to a wide range of activities that can benefit their future career; for instance, philosophy majors have interned at local law firms, have given papers at undergraduate philosophy conferences, and receive one-on-one mentoring regarding how to transform their philosophical education into career success.




Photo of McKendree Seal MarkerEmployment Opportunities

Philosophy, in tandem with a major in another field, will serve you well as career advancement comes to require finely-honed critical thinking and analytical skills. A major in philosophy serves as perhaps the best path to law school; philosophy also is excellent preparation for numerous graduate programs in management and administration, as well as the graduate study of philosophy itself.

What Can I Do With A Philosophy Degree?




Interesting Courses


  • Philosophy of Religion

  • Metaphysics and Human Nature

  • Biomedical Ethics




Club Information / Honor Societies


  • Philosophy Club - Join other students in viewing and discussing philosophical issues pertaining to movies, investigating philosophy’s relevance to current events and pop culture, and enjoying a variety of fun social events.




Related Programs





Student Support




Meet the Faculty

Kevin Zanelotti, Ph.D.Kevin Zanelotti, Ph.D.

Chair of the Division of Humanities
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Carnegie Hall 212
(618) 537-6896


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