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, please contact us!

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

Major Tracks

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy - 4-Year Plan

Students must complete at least 32 philosophy credit hours. In addition, students must complete a minimum of 6 semester hours of a single foreign language.

A minor in philosophy is also offered.


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.


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.

Meet the Faculty

Photo of Kevin ZanelottiKevin Zanelotti, Ph.D.

Chair of the Division of Humanities
Associate Professor of Philosophy

Carnegie Hall 212
(618) 537-6896