Philosophy


Enter our community of human inquiry, learn to express and defend your perspective through the art of reasoning and aptly evaluate the arguments of others. At SAU, Philosophy is great preparation for many careers - and an even better preparation for life.

Our graduates work at Davenport Diocese, Handicapped Development Center, Mundelein Seminary, Clarke College. 


Ambrose Advantages

  • A Community of Dynamic Thinkers
  • Personal and Professional Ethics
  • Engaging Faculty

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Our faculty take pride in helping students become complete: solicitous in relationships, critical in their quest for truth, and devoted in their pursuit of what is good. SAU's Philosophy major enables you to live and succeed in a diverse world and excel in your career or graduate school.

see our philosophy major fact sheet (pdf)


Creative Thinking

Philosophy professors at SAU are dedicated, dynamic, and creative. This video is just one example of out-of-the-box teaching by our Philosophy faculty.


More Information About the Philosophy Program

What will I learn?

Courses include Western Philosophy, Critical Thinking, Ethics of Peace and Justice, Social/Political Philosophy, Peace and Justice, Bio-Medical Ethics, Existentialism, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, and Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence.

SAU philosophy students often dual major or minor in various fields such as political science, English, theology, communication, business administration, occupational therapy, and accounting. In fact, we've got a plan already set up for you to double major in Philosophy (without extra semesters!). See the Degree Requirements section below for details.

The major is excellent preparation for post-graduate work in law, business, teaching, or research. It just so happens that philosophers dominate on the GRE. Check it out. And the LSAT for law school? Philosophy and classics majors perform the best on that test, too.

Really, the world is starting to catch on to what philosophers have known for millennia. All things considered, philosophy is actually the most practical thing you can study, and likely pretty important for the future of technology.

What are some potential career outcomes?

A Philosophy major prepares you for an array of careers, including attorney, minister, technical writer, teacher, editor, publisher, mediation specialist, counselor, museum curator, social worker, activist, and ethics adviser for businesses and hospitals.

What have alumni of this program done?

Cassie Boorn '10 is the public relations director for The Simons Group marketing agency in Chicago.

Rev. Ross Epping '11 double-majored in Theology and Philosophy and now leads the St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Bettendorf, Iowa, as their Parochial Vicar and Priest.

Courtney Averkamp '12 is a graduate student and teaching assistant at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (30 credits)

You might want to consider a double-major in philosophy (which can be done without extra semesters). See the Plan to Graduate below.

Required:
+PHIL 200 Philosophical Methods
+PHIL 217 History of Ancient Philosophy
+PHIL 360 History of Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
PHIL 495 Senior Seminar

One of the following:
+PHIL 400 Philosophy and the Scientific Revolution
PHIL 405 Philosophy of Knowledge
PHIL 420 Metaphysics
PHIL 425 American Philosophy

15 additional PHIL credits:
6 credits must be at the 300- or 400-level
3 credits must be at the 400-level
3 credits from any level

Read course descriptions

Plans to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in Philosophy. This plan assumes the student hasn't taken three years of foreign language in high school.

Click here to see the plan for Philosophy as a Second Major (no extra semesters needed!).

Year One

FallCreditSpringCredit
PHIL 100 or PHIL 101 3 PHIL 207 or 210 3
COMM 129 3 MATH 131 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
ENGL 101 3 THEO 101 3
KIN 149 1 ART 100 3
IL 101 1
Total Credits 14 Total Credits 15

Year Two

FallCreditSpringCredit
PHIL 217 History of Ancient Philosophy 3 PHIL 200 Philosophical Methods 3
ASTR 201 3 KIN activity course 1-2
CSM Classical Studies 101 3 PSYC 105 3
Electives 6 HIST 100 3
Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 14-15

Year Three

FallCreditPre-reqSpringCreditPre-req
PHIL 360 History of Medieval Philosophy 3 Lower level PHIL PHIL 302, 311, 340, 343, 350, 375, 390^ 3 Lower level PHIL
PHIL 302, 311, 340, 343, 350, 375, or 390^ 3 Lower level PHIL PHIL 400, 405, 420, or 425 3 PHIL 200
PHIL 400, 405, 420, or 425 3 PHIL 200 Electives 9
Electives 6
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCreditPre-reqSpringCredit
PHIL 495 Senior Seminar 3 PHIL 200 Electives 15
Electives 12
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Philosophy as a Second Major

This plan assumes the student HAS NOT taken three years of foreign language in high school.

Year One

FallCreditSpringCredit
PHIL 100 or PHIL 101 3 PHIL 207 or 210 3
Course from 1st Major 3 MATH 131 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
ENGL 101 3 THEO 101 3
KIN 149 1 Course from 1st Major 3
IL 101 1
KIN Activity 1-2
Total Credits 15-16 Total Credits 15

Year Two

FallCreditSpringCredit
PHIL 217 History of Ancient Philosophy 3 PHIL 200 Philosophical Methods 3
Course from 1st Major 3 Course from 1st Major
CSM Classical Studies 101 3 PSYC 105 3
HIST 100 ART 100 3
MATH 131 ASTR 201 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Three

FallCreditPre-reqSpringCreditPre-req
PHIL 360 History of Medieval Philosophy 3 Lower level PHIL PHIL 302, 311, 340, 343, 350, 375, 390^ 3 Lower level PHIL
PHIL 302, 311, 340, 343, 350, 375, or 390^ 3 Lower level PHIL PHIL 400, 405, 420, or 425 3 PHIL 200
Courses from 1st Major 9 Courses from 1st Major 9
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCreditPre-reqSpringCreditPre-req
PHIL 495 Senior Seminar 3 PHIL 200 Electives 6
Courses from 1st Major 9 Courses from 1st Major 6
Elective 3 PHIL 400, 405, 420, or 425 3 PHIL 200
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

*Needs prerequisite
^=this class may be repeated

Minor in Philosophy (15 credits)

Required:
+PHIL 102 Critical Thinking or PHIL 200 Philosophical Methods

One of the following:
+PHIL 217 History of Ancient Philosophy
+PHIL 360 History of Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

9 additional PHIL credits:
3 credits from 300- or 400-level
3 credits from 400-level
3 credits from any level

Minor in Applied Ethics (15 credits)

Required:
+PHIL 207 Ethics
+PHIL 343 Ethics of Peace and Non-violence

9 additional credits from the following:
+PHIL 210 Social/Political Philosophy
+PHIL 302 Peace and Justice Seminar
+PHIL 305 Business Ethics
+PHIL 310 Bio-Medical Ethics
+PHIL 311 Environmental Ethics

+ = fulfills a general education requirement

Scholarships

Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) awards millions of dollars annually to student-athletes at more than 250 colleges and universities. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

Award Terms

FAFSA forms must be filed every year.

  • To be considered for an Iowa Tuition Grant, the filing deadline is July 1.
  • The St. Ambrose priority deadline is March 15 for some institutional funds. 
  • The Financial Aid Office has the right to adjust your award at any time due to changes in your financial, academic, enrollment, or housing status. 
  • Awards offered from State and Federal programs are contingent upon legislative allocation of funds and maximum limits allowed.
  • You must report any assistance you receive from outside sources – including assistance from your employer – to the Financial Aid Office.

Institutional Aid

Undergraduate level students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester to receive Institutional money. All students, undergraduate or graduate, must be enrolled at least half-time per semester to be eligible for student loans. (Half-time for Undergraduate level = 6 credits; Graduate level = 5 credits)

There is no institutional aid for summer sessions. Federal Loans may be available if you are enrolled at least 1/2 time.

You are eligible for institutional financial aid for up to eight semesters, including semesters taken at other schools, before or after time spent at the university (i.e. if you transfer in as a junior, you will receive 4 semesters of institutional aid; or you attended St. Ambrose, left to attend another school, and then returned). This means that if you continue into a fifth year of classes, you will not be eligible for any institutional funds you may have received previously. (Institutional funds are those awarded by the university, not state, federal, or outside based scholarships or grants.)

Loans

All financial aid awards, including loans, are disbursed in two disbursements: one for the fall term and one for the spring term. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. Once the loan funds have been applied to your account and if you have awards in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. Any other questions regarding your financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Work Study

If you are receiving assistance under the work study program, you must understand that the amount shown on your award letter is the amount we expect you to earn during one academic year if you work all your allotted hours. Any additional earnings must be approved by your department supervisor and taken into consideration in your financial award package.

Endowed Scholarships

Part of the financial aid funds that St. Ambrose awards come from monies provided through the generous support of St. Ambrose University benefactors. Most endowed scholarships are meant to provide financial support for St. Ambrose University's academic and need based awards. Due to this, in some cases you may see a portion of your Academic Scholarship, for example, being replaced by a named endowed scholarship. The total dollar amount you receive between the two awards, however, will remain unchanged.

Recipients are chosen based on the criteria established by the donor, which include, but are not limited to: major, class rank, GPA, performance in a fine art, or residency. You may be contacted by the Advancement Office to write a thank you letter to the donor.

What happens if I withdraw or need to drop a class?

  • If you drop a class, it may affect the amount of aid you can receive. It is very important to visit your Financial Aid counselor if you are planning on dropping a class.
  • If you are going to withdraw completely from all your classes, your financial aid awards will be prorated according to the amount of time you were actually enrolled. It is possible that you may end up owing the University for a portion of your expenses incurred.
  • More information regarding this policy is available in the University catalog.
  • Please contact your Financial Aid counselor if you are considering dropping classes or withdrawing from the University.


Tim Stompanato '13


Tim - a double major in Theatre and Philosophy - says St. Ambrose gave him the valuable opportunity to explore different studies. "I was drawn to the theatre and philosophy programs 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," he says.

Nathan Tappen Headshot Mobile Version Nathan Tappen Headshot

Nathan Tappen

Class of 2021


Nathan Tappen was undecided on a major when he became an Ambrosian in 2017, but “undecided” is OK. We offer more than 50 undergraduate majors, and Nathan was eager to explore. “I like the academic programs SAU offers, and maybe what I want to do in the future will be inspired by a class I take.”

See My Story

Apply Visit Info

Contact


Tanya Randle, PhD, Chairperson

Philosophy Department
Ambrose Hall
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-5740
RandleTanyaR@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 50 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!