Philosophy, B.A.

Program Overview

Do you have a passion for exploring the difficult questions about God, social justice, and the human condition? Are you comfortable with the complex? Do you seek out logical and ethical solutions to the issues facing society today? With a bachelor’s degree in philosophy you can apply your strengths in critical thinking, exploration, communication, and problem-solving to a wide variety of careers.

Our faculty provides a wide range of perspectives and expertise varying from modern and contemporary philosophy, ancient greek and postmodern philosophy, male and female perspectives, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, reasoning, and ethics. These professors are active scholars who engage their students in thoughtful analysis of timeless questions of the human condition, as well as those unique questions that face society today.

Kevin Portillo, M.Div. (14)

Student Profile

Kevin Portillo, M.Div. (14)

As a pastor, Kevin Portillo’s (14) passion for theology, the church, and ministry aren’t surprising. But they weren’t always a part of his life. Today, Portillo is an associate pastor of discipleship at Faith Community Church of the Nazarene in Lodi, California. However, he didn’t grow up in a Christian environment. 

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After gaining an introductory understanding of philosophy and ethics, you will be able to examine more in-depth studies, such as philosophy and film, social philosophy, philosophy of science, and the philosophy of love. Majoring in philosophy at PLNU will help you to develop and master critical analyses of difficult texts, creative problem-solving skills, and an ability to clearly and persuasively articulate complex thoughts and ideas. These skills will prepare you to stand out in your graduate school or career of choice. In fact, philosophy majors consistently score better than nearly all other majors on graduate school admission exams and on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).

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Course List

For information about the courses required for the Philosophy, B.A. program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

Major Map

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Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

Philosophy is fundamental to understanding our shared history of humanity and how we interact within society. But what about making a career out of a philosophy degree?

The versatile set of skills you can develop by pursuing a degree in philosophy from PLNU will equip you for fields as varied as law, education, business, government, and journalism. What remains at the core of philosophy, however, is preparing you to be the connection point between the history of our species and our faith, beliefs, thoughts and actions today.

At PLNU, our philosophy program centers on three fundamental objectives:

  • Developing and mastering critical analyses of difficult texts.
  • Creative problem-solving skills and articulation of complex thoughts and ideas.
  • Preparing you to stand out in your graduate school or career of choice.

Job outlook for philosophy careers

Employment in careers related to the Philosophy B.A. are projected to continue to increase. For postsecondary teachers (one of the most common careers PLNU alumni pursue with this degree), “overall employment is projected to grow 9% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Emilie Anderson (19)

Student Profile

Emilie Anderson (19)

Emilie Anderson (19) didn’t always know she was a philosopher. She wasn’t aware of that until her sophomore year at PLNU, when she attended a general philosophy class.

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What can you do with a philosophy degree?

Many graduates of the philosophy program have gone on to work in industries such as marketing, education, church ministry, and nonprofits.

Some of the positions our graduates currently hold:

Postsecondary Teacher

2020 Median annual salary: $80,790
Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a variety of academic subjects beyond the high school level at colleges, professional schools, and universities like PLNU. They plan courses and curriculum based on the area of study they are teaching. Additionally, they assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • One to two years of teaching experience
  • Master’s or doctoral degree
  • Engaging conversationalist and speaker
  • Ability to evaluate papers and projects
  • Thorough expertise and knowledge of specified department and subject
  • Time management skills

Marketing Managers

2020 Median annual salary: $142,170
Marketing managers create programs to facilitate interest in products or services. They work with art directors, advertising sales agents, and financial staff members to promote growth within their company. Marketing managers estimate and analyze the demand for products and services that an organization and its competitors offer. Additionally, they highlight and utilize markets that show promise for the organization’s products.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Clear communication and cooperation to work with department heads or staff
  • An understanding of pricing strategies for products or services marketed to the target customers
  • Interpersonal skills to meet with clients and provide marketing 
  • Knowledge of planning promotional campaigns

Community and Social Service Specialists

2020 Median annual salary: $46,770
Community and social services specialists help individuals in need find government and private assistance programs. They coordinate activities like community outreach and social service programs to engage the neighborhoods within their reach. Their clientele ranges from people with psychological or addiction problems to lower income families.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Assisting adults and/or children with developmental disabilities
  • Open communication and non-judgemental interviewing abailities
  • Problem-solving skills specific to client’s needs
  • Networked and connected with individual and family service programs, hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, and social advocacy organizations
  • Thorough knowledge of overall direction and mission for partnering organizations


2020 Median annual salary: $126,930
Lawyers represent and guide individuals, government agencies, and companies both in private and public affairs. Lawyers must complete an undergraduate degree, a law degree, and must also typically pass a state’s written bar examination. When it comes to Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and bar exams, philosophy degrees can help prepare a student to think in a way that brings success in these exams.

Necessary attributes and skills: 

  • Conduct research and analysis of legal problems
  • Thorough understanding of laws, regulations, and rulings
  • Strong writing skills for cases, contracts, wills, etc.
  • Articulate speaker and communicator

Understanding who you are and developing your philosophical understanding to, in turn, make a difference in society

With a Philosophy B.A. from PLNU, you will be prepared in your future pursuits whether it be law school, graduate school, or stepping into a community outreach position. Not only will you be a more articulate, creative, and critically thinking individual, but you will also gain a robust understanding of how these skills can be utilized for your aspirations and goals as a more informed and connected person to history and humanity. 

As philosopher Simone de Beauvoir said, “The fact is that every concrete human being is always a singular, separate individual.” How will you use your philosophy degree to discover the essence of your individuality and the opportunities for intersection with humanity? 

Take the first step and apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors here for additional support and to answer any questions you may have.

Department Faculty