As a philosophy major, you will learn to ask important questions and solve real-world problems by working with a wide range of philosophical theories investigating ethics and morality, science, reality, human nature, and more.

If you are already enrolled at UML and wish to declare a philosophy major, please see our contact page for information.

What courses will you take?

Professor Elvira Basevich in front of a blackboard with her name written on it.

UMass Lowell's B.A. in Philosophy prepares you to critically engage with the world and emphasizes skills such as logic, argumentation, clarity, and creative thought. 

There are three ways to major in philosophy, with options in General Philosophy, Communications and Critical Thinking, and Religious Studies.

  • General Option – Gain a strong foundation in philosophy by completing survey courses in introductory philosophy supplemented by upper-level courses in ethics, politics and culture, and metaphysics. You will complete a capstone project the senior year, consisting of a focused directed study with a faculty member to create an in-depth thesis paper.
  • Communications and Critical Thinking Option – Integrate philosophy with the field of communications with this unique interdisciplinary experience. In addition to philosophy courses, you will select three interdisciplinary electives in communications – digital media, film studies, etc. During the senior year, you will complete either the capstone project or a practicum. Practicum will consist of a 60-hour unpaid internship in communications with a write-up of the internship experience developed in coordination with a faculty advisor.
  • Religious Studies Option – Focus your philosophical studies on religion with an emphasis on interdisciplinary learning. You will take religion courses both in and outside of the philosophy department to encourage a broad understanding of religion and its place in the world. You will also complete a capstone project the senior year, consisting of a focused directed study with a faculty member to create an in-depth thesis paper.

Visit the Academic Catalog for a complete course listing and to learn about the Philosophy minor.

  • Degree Pathways are a semester-by-semester sequence of courses recommended for successful completion of a degree, diploma, credential or certificate from the university. The most current degree pathways are:

    Visit the Academic Catalog for all degree pathways, including those from prior enrollment years.
  • Upon completion of the Philosophy major, a graduate will:

    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the major traditions of human thought.
    2. Demonstrate the ability to apply analytical and problem-solving skills to a wide array of problems.
    3. Be able to analyze, critique, and apply persuasive arguments in a disciplined and systematic way.
    4. Demonstrate the ability to use oral and written communication to effectively communicate a point of view.
    5. Be able to analyze problems of human value and meaning within the context of the traditions of moral philosophy.
    6. Demonstrate the ability to pursue independent study (read and reflect on) of philosophical works.

Why study philosophy at UMass Lowell?

Students sitting under a tree at sunset

Fun Outside the Classroom

Put your learning into practice. Check out some of the fun ways UML students come together.

UMass Lowell political science students in the United Nations group stand outside a gate in Belgium

Research Opportunities

Work closely with faculty on research areas including:

  • Ethics of biotechnologies
  • Preventing child abuse
  • Identity, gender, and intersectionality
  • Evolutionary contingency
Attendees pose for a photo at the 2014 Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress.

Experiential Learning

Build career-ready skills through experiences outside the classroom, including:

  • Research in a faculty laboratory 
  • Co-ops and internships 
  • Paid work on campus 
  • Service learning 
  • Study abroad
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.

Bachelor’s-to-Master's Program

Get on the fast track to an advanced degree with our combined bachelor's-to-master's program.

  • Available to juniors and seniors with a grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Offers a continuous, coordinated sequence of courses
  • Reduced credit-hour requirements can save you time and money

What can you do with a degree in philosophy?

UMass Lowell's philosophy graduates are prepared to enter a variety of careers or continue to professional graduate study in business, education, law, theology, and medicine.

Student standing and holding a folder

Alumni of our program have worked in a wide range of industries, including:

  • Advertising
  • Commerce
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Public relations

Meet Our Students and Faculty

UMass Lowell faculty member Nicholas Evans profile photo
Nicholas Evans

Nicholas Evans studies the ethics of dual-use research—scientific research that could be turned to terrorist purposes.

I became less interested in what scientists were doing and more interested in their reasons for doing it.
Read More About Nicholas Evans 
Laura Cabrera sings jazzy rhythm and blues and original compositions as "Queen Laura" at El Taller, a literary café in Lawrence
Laura Cabrera '18
Bachelor of Liberal Arts

Laura Cabrera's studies in philosophy and psychology have given her great personal insight - and the confidence to pursue a creative career in music, art and dance.

If you're good at it, dedicate time to it and feel inspired, then anything is possible.
Read More About Laura Cabrera 
Daphne Shakira Naut posing on a mountain during study abroad with views of rocky, snowy mountains in the background
Daphne Shakira Naut '20
Political Science & Philosophy

Honors College student Daphne Shakira Naut was already fluent in two languages and had started on two more by the time she finished high school. Here at UML, she’s picked up a fifth language and studied abroad three times – all while supporting herself.

Languages are like M&Ms. You just keep adding more.
Read More About Daphne Shakira Naut 
Asst. Prof. Elvira Basevich in front of a blackboard with her name written on it.
Elvira Basevich

To Asst. Prof. Elvira Basevich, philosophy isn’t abstract – because ideas and ideals are affected by historical experience.

I try to build a structure for students to understand, articulate and defend their own independent judgment.
Read More About Elvira Basevich