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Students in conversation on campus.


Headphones on. Eyes closed. Thinking about the big questions: What is reality? What does it mean to be human? How should we treat each other? What are knowledge, justice, and love? If this describes you and the loop that keeps playing in your head, then you’ll be among friends as a McDaniel Philosophy major.

Degree Types
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements

Critical inquiry, intellectual courage, and compassionate understanding are values fostered in a philosophical study. These key values enable us to link our past and present cultural paradigms with the future demands of a global society. The aim of the Philosophy Department at McDaniel College is to assist you in the cultivation of clear thought and speech, sophisticated inquiry, and comprehension of intellectual concepts and creative and meaningful explorations of ourselves and the world around us.

Future Career Paths

The majority of our graduates pursue non-academic careers in a wide array of specializations, like:

  • Business
  • Public service
  • K-12 education
  • Counseling

Many philosophy majors earn advanced degrees and find careers in:

  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Environmental studies
  • Education
  • Philosophy

Distinctive Courses

PHI 1102 - Critical Thinking

Critical thinking empowers students to recognize fallacious reasoning, manipulative rhetoric, and other dubious defenses of faulty beliefs. It encourages students to explore various methods of justification, explanation and argumentation in order to understand why we believe what we believe. In this course, we consider reasoning – how we seek to influence other people’s beliefs, and how our beliefs are influenced by others. We search for a good basis upon which to change our beliefs.

PHI 3350 - Bioethics

A study of ethical issues in biology and medicine including health care policies, euthanasia, scientific fraud, and reproductive technologies. This course will explore these and similar issues and case studies and create a framework for ethical decision making based on philosophical principles.

IDS 2010 - South Park and Contemporary Social Issues

Over 12 seasons and more than 180 episodes, the cartoon show South Park has never avoided discussing controversial contemporary social issues. Often controversial itself, South Park uses humor to explore issues such as immigration, gay marriage, terrorism, and hundreds more. This course is an interdisciplinary approach towards extending and deepening the discussions already present in the show. Using historical and contemporary texts, theories, and concepts from sociology and philosophy, this course will address issues such as race, gender, sexuality, consumerism, and many more. Ultimately, students will gain a deeper understanding of how to analyze and critically think through the very real social problems addressed by the television show as well as gain new knowledge of the benefits of applying an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary social issues.

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Vera Jakoby

Professor Spotlight Vera Jakoby Associate Professor and Department Chair

Professor Jakoby’s research interests are rooted in the intersection between the philosophy of religion, culture studies, and philosophy.