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Philosophy

  • Overview
  • Careers
  • New Freshmen
  • New Transfer
  • Illinois State Students

At some time in our lives almost all of us have asked ourselves what is the right thing to do, and have wondered about the nature of human existence, the structure of reality, and our duties to each other, to animals, and to the environment. The study of philosophy provides the opportunity to address these and other profound topics and questions in a critical and systematic way.

Why Study Philosophy?

Philosophy is exciting. Philosophy is an "intellectual journey" that stretches the imagination and expands the mind. Philosophy is important. Philosophy addresses real-world problems and issues and fosters public engagement.

Philosophy is useful. Philosophy helps develop skills that are relevant to a wide variety of future careers. These skills include analytical, organizational, research as well as oral and written communication skills. A degree in philosophy provides excellent training for law school, many professional programs and for any future career in which decision-making and problem-solving skills are important.

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • Critical Thinker
  • Argumentative
  • Research and investigative skills
  • Strong oral and written skills
  • Organizational skills

Being Successful in the Field

  • An undergraduate degree qualifies one for entry-level positions in business, nonprofit organizations, and government.
  • Graduate and/or professional studies usually lead to careers in law, medicine, ministry, finance, psychology, counseling, diplomacy, ethics, and related areas.
  • Ph.D. is required for college/university teaching and research.
  • Concentrations with other areas can include mathematics, religion, science, history, women's studies, Eastern philosophy, and medical or business ethics.
  • Develop aptitudes for analytical thinking, logic, and statistics in order to apply philosophy to a broad range of professions such as law, government, finance, management, consulting, and related areas.
  • Join related student or professional organizations.
  • Seek related summer or part-time work experience or internships in area(s) of interest.
  • Take computer courses to increase employment opportunities.

Related Fields

Social/Community Services

  • Research
  • Fund Raising
  • Counseling
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Grant Writing
  • Administration

Employers

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Social service organizations
  • Public interest research groups
  • Museums
  • Mental health agencies

Strategies

  • Develop excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Gain related work experience.
  • Volunteer in relevant organizations.
  • Obtain master's degree in socialwork or counseling as well as applicable state licensure for therapy positions.
  • Become familiar with grant writing techniques.

Religion/Ministry

  • Clergy
  • Administration
  • Missions

Employers

  • Local churches or synagogues
  • District, regional, national, and world denominational headquarters
  • Religiously affiliated schools, colleges, and universities
  • Local, national, and international mission fields
  • Religious organizations

Strategies

  • Obtain appropriate seminary training for clergy positions.
  • Become certifiedthrough a denomination for specialized staff positions.
  • Gain related experience through volunteering with local churches or religious organizations.
  • Develop applicable foreign language skills for international mission work.
  • Seek leadership positions in campus religious organizations.
  • Complete an internship or summer position with a religious camp or missionary organization.

Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Student Affairs

Employers

  • Colleges and universities
  • Adult education programs
  • Vocational-technical educational programs
  • Professional or graduate schools including Medical

Strategies

  • Obtain a doctorate degree for opportunities in teaching and/or research.
  • Develop one or more concentrations, such as mathematics, medical or business ethics, science, or religion.
  • Gain related experience through internships, volunteering,or part-time employment.
  • Earn a master's degree in a specialized area (e.g.,Library and Information Sciences, College Student Personnel, or Counseling).
  • Seek campus leadership positions such as peer mentor or resident assistant.

Government

  • Public Policy
  • Research
  • Regional Planning
  • City Management
  • Intelligence
  • Foreign Service
  • Law Enforcement
  • Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Services
  • Program Administration
  • Elected or Appointed Leadership
  • Campaign Management
  • Staff Administration
  • Special Interest Advocacy

Employers

  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Commission on Civil Rights
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Department of Energy
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Foreign Service
  • Federal Municipal Archives
  • National and State Endowments for the Humanities
  • Legislative, executive, or judicial officials
  • Political action committees
  • Special interest groups
  • Political parties
  • Campaigns (national, state, or local)

Strategies

  • Become familiar with federal, state, and local job application processes.
  • Supplementcurriculum with courses in political science, public administration, or business.
  • Complete an internship in government or related area.
  • Serve in model United Nations.
  • Become involved in student government.
  • Participate in cultural groups and organizations.
  • Write for campus publications focused on national and international affairs.
  • Develop skills in computers, statistics, and data analysis.
  • Acquire foreign language competency and travel experience for international positions.
  • Earn a graduate degree in political science or public administration for advancement.
  • Volunteer with the staff of a government official. Participate in local or national campaigns.

Ethics

  • Medical
  • Environmental
  • Research

Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Medical and professional schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Consulting services
  • Research organizations
  • Health science funding agencies
  • Environmental agencies

Strategies

  • Obtain Ph.D. for most positions.
  • Participate in related professional organizations.
  • Join debate groups.
  • Develop excellent research skills.
  • Hone verbal and written communication skills.

Law

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Corporations
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Private practice
  • Special interest groups
  • Universities

Strategies

  • Obtain law degree.
  • Develop excellent research and writing skills.
  • Participatein debate or mock trial.
  • Maintain a high grade point average.
  • Gain experience through part-time employment or internships in legal settings.

Writing

Editing
Technical Writing
Journalism
Advertising
Public Relations

Employers

Publishing companies
Magazine and newspaper companies
Professional and trade associations
Advertising agencies and departments
Electronic media organizations

Strategies

  • Serve on college newspaper staff.
  • Develop excellent writing and desktop publishingskills.
  • Take courses in journalism, advertising, public relations, or English.
  • Gain related experience.
  • Become a student member of a related professional group.

Business

  • Management
  • Sales
  • Human Resources
  • Market Research
  • Finance
  • Insurance

Employers

  • Business firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Banks
  • Retail stores
  • Marketing research departments or organizations
  • Real estate companies

Strategies

  • Minor in business.
  • Gain related experience through internships or part-time jobs.
  • Obtain leadership role(s) in campus organization(s).
  • Develop computer skills in word processing, database management, and spreadsheet programs.

Other Professions

  • Banker
  • Community Service Agency Worker
  • Congressional Staff Member
  • Consulting
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Foreign Service
  • Fund Raiser
  • Indexer
  • Lawyer]
  • Lobbyist
  • Non Governmental Worker – UN, ENICEF, FAO, UNHCR, Red Cross etc
  • Politician
  • Professor
  • Reporter
  • Sales Representative
  • State and Local Government Official
  • Writer

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Debbie Ungson-Walbert  110 Student Services Building  dungson@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-0613 

Internship Coordinator

Name Email Phone
Derek O'Connell  drocon1@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7795 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA

2.00

Middle 50% GPA

2.25 - 2.82

Required Courses

None

Recommended Courses

None

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Derek O'Connell  Stevenson Hall 339  drocon1@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7795 

Middle 50% GPA

2.25 - 2.82

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Application Period

Applications are always accepted.

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on My.IllinoisState.edu.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Derek O'Connell  Stevenson Hall 339  drocon1@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7795 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016
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