Philosophy

Why Philosophy at Viterbo?

Philosophy is being recognized more and more as one of the strongest and most versatile undergraduate degrees you can obtain. In fact, we live in an age where employers want employees to be more than just knowledgeable in their chosen field, but also critical thinkers, clear communicators, and ethical decision makers. These skills are central to the study of philosophy. Philosophy encourages exploration and discussion of fundamental questions and issues that proceed from a commitment to the virtues of the Catholic Franciscan tradition, including contemplation, hospitality, integrity, and a commitment to truth, faith, hope, and charity.

What does Philosophy teach students?

  • to think objectively and critically
  • to write clearly and effectively
  • to break down complex problems and ideas and present them convincingly to others
  • to analyze different policies for consistency and fairness
  • to develop creative solutions to complicated problems and issues
  • to recognize when people are being manipulated
  • to appreciate the value of intellectual history and the power of ideas
  • to contemplate the larger meaning and purpose of life
  • to see the value of questioning and intellectual curiosity
  • to make transparent, defensible, and reliable ethical decisions

Why major or minor in Philosophy?

A philosophy major or minor is an effective way of making your application and resume stand out, which shows both employers and graduate schools that you have a strong interest in thinking critically, welcome challenges, and value innovation. Many disciplines teach critical thinking and ethical decision-making indirectly through their course content. Philosophy focuses on these subjects directly. If you are interested in improving these skills for whatever reason, then philosophy is for you. The advantages of studying Philosphy at Viterbo are:

  • The philosophy degree is very flexible, making it easy to graduate in four years and get a minor or even double-major along the way.
  • Viterbo offers both B.A. and B.S. degree options in philosophy and a 3+1 degree track.
  • Small classes (most upper division classes have less than 15 students) ensure that students get the maximum attention they deserve.
  • Gifted, research-centered and committed faculty who are dedicated to mentoring students.
  • An active Philosophy Club and many opportunities for students to present their work at conferences or compete for publication. 

3+1 Degree Program

Do you want to graduate with an advanced degree in just four years? This program provides an opportunity for outstanding, highly motivated students to complete a bachelor of arts degree in three years, followed by one year of graduate work leading to a Master of Business Administration or a Master of Arts in Servant Leadership.  Students may earn a minor in accountingbusiness administrationmarketing, or servant leadership to prepare for the master’s program. The admission criteria are as follows:

  • a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale);
  • a ranking within the top third of the senior class;
  • an ACT score of at least 24;
  • a minimum of 6 credits of college level work through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Program, or the Diocesan High School College Credit Program;
  • an intent to declare a major in history, English writing, Spanish, philosophy or religious studies

Earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in three years requires some summer classes. There are opportunities for undergraduate summer research for students in this program. As an undergraduate, it is recommended that to prepare for the MBA, students earn a minor in accounting, business administration, management, or marketing or take a variety of business courses. To prepare for the Master of Arts in Servant Leadership, students should consider an undergraduate minor in servant leadership.

For more information, contact:

Rev. William Reese
Department Chair, Professor
608-796-3708
wjreese@viterbo.edu