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Student Experience

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SAU philosophy majors often pair a philosophy degree with majors or minors in fields as diverse as English, theology, communication, business administration, political science, occupational therapy, and accounting.

Philosophy is an integral part of the SAU curriculum, and most students will take at least one class, while many will take more than one. Students find the thoughts challenging, but the professors accessible – and the topics always interesting.

Specialty courses of the faculty include:

  • Ethics of Peace and Justice;
  • Philosophy of the Scientific Revolution;
  • Existentialism;
  • Medical Ethics;
  • Ancient and Medieval Philosophy;
  • Philosophy of Religion;
  • American Philosophy;
  • and Philosophy of Sex and Love.

tim stompanatoTim Stompanato '13, Actor

I had an incredible experience at SAU and couldn't imagine going anywhere else for college. It was a perfect fit and gave me the opportunity to explore different studies and paths that interested me.

I was drawn to the theatre and philosophy programs especially and quickly realized these would be not only my majors, but my passions as well. Philosophy has influenced every aspect of my life and I grew tremendously in the program. I was exposed to many different thinkers and types of philosophy and each class served to shape the mindset I have today and the way I view the world around me.

As an actor/director and teaching artist, philosophy has been an active part of my professional life in regards to how I analyze plays, explore the depths of characters, and find the deeper meanings in works to better reach an audience. The knowledge I acquired through SAU, theatre, and the philosophy department will stay with me and continue to grow for the rest of my life.

--Tim graduated with majors in philosophy and theatre. See how he continues his work in the world at www.timstomp.com.

courtney averkampCourtney Averkamp '12, Graduate student in religious studies at University of Illinois

I came to Ambrose largely undecided about my major and uncertain about my general direction in life. Thinking about my post-college future was hazy at best, and I was interested in so many subjects that I really couldn't figure out what I wanted to do.

And then I took my first philosophy class: Intro to Philosophy with Joe McCaffrey. I was immediately hooked - line and sinker - and from then on, I knew that I couldn't not major in philosophy! It was such a weird feeling, because I had never felt so compelled before in my life.

Studying philosophy lent my thinking a new level of rigor and allowed me to form a clearer picture of my own opinions, attitudes, and biases about the world, and it helped me express myself more logically and cogently in the process. Plus, the philosophy faculty at SAU are such kind and unique people and always seemed to have time to talk and philosophize with me outside of the classroom.

I want to be clear, though: when you study philosophy, you don't end up with a clear-cut, tailor-made career like engineering or nursing. That's not what philosophy is for. Rather, you end up with a particular set of skills (albeit considerably different skills than Liam Neeson's), ones that equip you for thinking complexly about complex problems and examining the world - and yourself - to the fullest. It's demanding and challenging, but unbelievably worthwhile.

--Courtney graduated with a major in philosophy and a minor in Spanish.