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Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

The study of philosophy aims to sharpen critical thinking skills, develop written and oral communication, and produce an ability to think reflectively on one’s values.


A stock image of two statues of Plato and Socrates - the great ancient Greek philosophers.

Students can take courses in the history of philosophy and philosophical movements; political, mathematical and scientific philosophies; metaphysics; linguistics and aesthetics. Students will learn how to analyze, reason, deduct and apply persuasive arguments in a disciplined and systematic way while developing their oral and written communication skills.

The department does not specify particular course work for the major, but recommends that the sequence of courses be designed in close consultation with the student’s faculty advisor. Students who plan to go to graduate school are strongly encouraged to take at least two courses from the History of Philosophy series. They should also consider a second major in a cognate field, e.g., American studies, English, French, history, mathematics, or political science.

Attendees pose for a photo at the 2014 Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress. Photo by Tory Germann


The Philosophy major requires 30 total credits in Philosophy, with a minimum of 15 credits at the 3000 level or higher.

Students must take three introductory classes plus at least one class in each of the three categories of "Ethical Issues," "Philosophy, Politics and Culture," and "Metaphysics and Epistemology."

Learn more about the concentration in Philosophy & Religious Studies and Communications & Critical Thinking.

For more information, please visit the UMass Lowell online Undergraduate Catalog.


All students must complete a thesis paper in the Senior Capstone class, taken in the senior year, of a minimum of 20 pages.

Book cover of A discourse of a method for the well guiding of reason, and the discovery of truth in the sciences by René Descartes Photo by Tory Germann

A philosophy minor area of study consists of 18-24 credits of coursework in Philosophy. At least six credits must be selected from courses which are numbered 300 or above.

For more information, including program requirements, course descriptions and listings, as well as degree pathways please visit the UMass Lowell online Undergraduate Catalog.

Why study Philosophy at UMass Lowell?

UMass Lowell Philosophy Prof. John Kaag shared how his discovery of a rare book collection transformed his life at a March 9 event for the campus and community. Kaag’s acclaimed new book “American Philosophy: A Love Story” recounts his discovery of the Hocking Collection – rare editions of works penned by history’s greatest thinkers, including philosophers Rene Descartes, John Locke and Immanuel Kant – that had been hidden away on a private estate in New Hampshire. Photo by Tory Germann

Career opportunities

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Group picture of UMass Lowell students on a gondola while explore Venice, Italy on a Study Abroad trip in the summer of 2018. Photo by Sullen Guerreiro

Study Abroad Program

Learn more about the Study Abroad program.

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Religious Studies

Learn more about the Religious Studies elective.