BA in Philosophy

How should I live?

Is there an objective standard of right and wrong?

What is justice? How could we establish a just society?

What makes me ‘me’? What roles do nature and nurture play in our identities?

As a philosophy major, you will debate these enduring questions about human existence. You will examine how philosophers have answered them in the past and explore how those answers continue to inform our thinking in the present. Drawing on the expertise of philosophy professors at Mason, you will gain a deeper understanding of how the study of philosophy is relevant to key contemporary issues—such as global warming, social justice and the defense of human rights, or the relationship between science and religion. 

At Mason, we offer courses that allow you to take a range of different approaches and in a variety of philosophical traditions. In addition to the history of Western philosophy, you will study logic, ethics, and social and political philosophy. You will have the chance to work with experts on questions about the environment, global health, gender and race, the ethical implications of neuroscience, the value of the arts, and the role and nature of scientific research.

In the process, you will develop core skills of perceptive argument, critical thinking, and clear and persuasive writing. Because of its focus on thoughtful reflection and clear reasoning, a degree in philosophy provides excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. Our graduates have gone on to work in law, public policy, education, business; some have gone onto graduate study and a few have become philosophy professors themselves. We hope that studying philosophy at Mason will help you reflect more deeply on your own values and on what you think makes for a meaningful and well-lived life.


All students have opportunities for research, global engagement, public service, and career preparation.

  • Conduct an independent research project with a professor through honors in the major. Read more >>
  • Develop language skills and cultural awareness by studying abroad. Read more >>
  • Join the Philosophy Club, devoted to fostering discussion among students. More >>
  • Consider a concentration in philosophy and law, a course of study that emphasizes the relevance of philosophy to legal issues. Read more >>