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Department of Philosophy 

For More Information

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5650
Fax: 417-836-4775
Email: Philosophy@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

The study of philosophy develops skills used in scientific and legal research, business, government and other professions. Philosophy students are taught basic techniques of logical analysis and are encouraged to apply critical thinking abilities to a wide range of human values, beliefs and institutions.

The Missouri State Pre-Law Primer lists philosophy as one of the disciplines that can serve as a focal point for the broad liberal arts curriculum preferred by law schools. Training in logic and analytical reasoning prepares the Pre-Law student for understanding the arguments that underlie legal issues. Knowledge of the history of philosophy and of philosophical views of the nature of human life help one to grasp the cultural context of legal activity. In addition, courses in ethics and moral philosophy deal with many aspects of issues encountered in the law. In the past few years, 35 percent of our majors in Philosophy have gone on to law school. A nationwide study shows that Philosophy majors are one of the three highest scoring groups on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).

The same liberal arts background enhances preparation for other careers. Philosophy majors have been successful in various management areas. One study indicates that, as a group, Philosophy majors rank second in average scores on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), a key factor in admission to Graduate Management programs. Together with relevant science courses, a major in Philosophy provides one with a unique preparation for medical school. Other areas in which Philosophy students have been successful are journalism, computer science, education, the ministry and governmental affairs.

The majority of students who obtain a graduate degree in Philosophy are eventually employed as college and university professors. The second largest group of individuals with Ph.D.s in Philosophy are employed in business. Smaller groups of graduates work in hospitals and other institutional settings as consultants in ethics. Others work in governmental agencies.

Academic Program

A‚ÄąPhilosophy major leads to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree and requires 33 hours of courses in philosophy, including 24 hours of upper-division credit. The following requirements must be met: PHI 305, PHI 306, PHI 310, three hours in Moral Theory, three hours in Applied Ethics, three hours in Theory of Knowledge and Metaphysics and three hours in Philosophical Perspectives and Area Studies. The required hours in philosophy are part of the 125 hours needed for graduation. This also includes a minor (18 to 21 hours) and 43 to 54 hours of general education requirements. 

The Philosophy minor, available on the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Education (non-certifiable), Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Social Work degrees, requires a minimum of 18 hours. It includes nine hours of upper-division credit and three hours credit in each of the areas of Logic and Analytic Reasoning, Ethics and Social Thought and History of Philosophy.

Although specific high school courses are not required for the beginning Philosophy major or minor, students are encouraged to attain a broad, general background, including courses in literature, English composition, foreign languages, mathematics and the physical and social sciences. 


The following list represents courses offered in the Department of Philosophy. Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/recreg/dept_ph.html for course descriptions and specific degree requirements.

  • PHI 105: Critical Thinking
  • PHI 110: Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHI 115: Ethics & Contemporary Issues
  • PHI 197: Perspectives in Philosophy
  • PHI 300: Philosophical Ideas in Literature  
  • PHI 302: Environmental Ethics
  • PHI 305: Elements of Symbolic Logic
  • PHI 306: Symbolic Logic
  • PHI 310: History of Western Philosophy: Modern
  • PHI 312: Contemporary Continental Philosophy
  • PHI 314: Asian Philosophy
  • PHI 315: Philosophy of Religion
  • PHI 319: Feminist Philosophy
  • PHI 320: Aesthetics
  • PHI 325: Philosophy of Science: Explanation, Objectivity and Progress 
  • PHI 330: Introduction to Political Theory
  • PHI 335: Mind, Language & Reality
  • PHI 340: Philosophy of Law
  • PHI 341: Social Philosophy
  • PHI 342: Global Ethics
  • PHI 345: Theories of Ethics
  • PHI 350: Philosophy and Public Affairs
  • PHI 397: Seminar in Philosophy
  • PHI 496: Philosophy Tutorial
  • PHI 513: Bioethics
  • PHI 596: Selected Topics in Philosophy


All seven full-time faculty members have Ph.D.s. Their areas of specialization include philosophy of law, philosophy of science, ethics, philosophy of religion, aesthetics, medical ethics, philosophy of mind, logic and the history of philosophy.


The Philosophy Department is located in Strong Hall. One of the newest buildings on campus, it contains classrooms with state of the art computer technology. It also is the home of the radio and television studios housed on the campus. The department has a conference room and library that are available for steering committee meetings of student groups.


A philosophy club gives students and professors the opportunity to meet informally for discussion and fellowship. Phi Sigma Tau, an international honor society in philosophy, recognizes the accomplishments of high-achieving students. The philosophy faculty offers several scholarships to superior students. All students are welcome to participate in the programs and facilities offered by the department.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

First Semester Courses Hours
PHI 110 Introduction to Philosophy3
Foreign Language3
ENG 110 Writing I3
Culture and Society3
MTH 135 College Algebra3
GEP 101 First-Year Foundations2
Total Hours 16
Second Semester Courses Hours
PHI 115 Ethics and Contemporary Issues3
Foreign Language3
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
American History3
KIN 210 Healthy Lifestyles: Preventive Approaches3
CSC 101 Computers for Learning2
Total Hours 16

Sophomore Year

First Semester Courses Hours
PHI 340, 341, or 3453
Foreign Language3
Natural World (Science)4
American Government3
HST 103 World History to Circa 1600 C.E.3
Total Hours 16
Second Semester Courses Hours
Philosophy Elective3
PHI 197 Perspectives in Philosophy1-3
Foreign Language3
Self-Understanding (Soc. Sci.)3
Creativity and Vision3
Total Hours 15

Junior Year

First Semester Courses Hours
Ancient Philosophy3
PHI 302, 342, or 5133
Natural World (Science)4
Fine Arts3
Courses in Minor3
Total Hours 16
Second Semester Courses Hours
Modern Philosophy3
PHI 305 Elements of Symbolic Logic3
Writing II3
HST 104 World History Since 1600 C.E.3
Courses in Minor6
Total Hours 18

Senior Year

First Semester Courses Hours
PHI 325, or 3353
Philosophy Elective3
Fine Arts3
Courses in Minor6
Total Hours 15
Second Semester Courses Hours
Philosophy Elective3
Courses in Minor3
Total Hours 13