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 in colleges and universities as professors, run their own business, teach faith as clergy, and practice law, among others.


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 Teaching
Learn to think differently

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.

Faculty

Tanya Randle, Chair and Assoc. Professor

Alfredo MacLaughlin, Asst. Professor
Joe McCaffrey, Professor
Brian Miclot, Professor
Jessica Roisen, Professor
Tadd Ruetenik, Professor
Andy Swift, Professor

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

FallCreditSpringCredit
*PHIL 360 History of Medieval Philosophy 3 *PHIL 302, 311, 340, 343, 350, 375, 390^ 3
*PHIL 302, 311, 340, 343, 350, 375, or 390^ 3 *PHIL 400, 405, 420, or 425 3
*PHIL 400, 405, 420, or 425 3 Electives 9
Electives 6
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCreditSpringCredit
*PHIL 495 Senior Seminar 3 Electives 15
Electives 12
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

*Needs pre-requisite

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

FallCreditSpringCredit
*PHIL 360 History of Medieval Philosophy 3 *PHIL 302, 311, 340, 343, 350, 375, 390^ 3
*PHIL 302, 311, 340, 343, 350, 375, or 390^ 3 *PHIL 400, 405, 420, or 425 3
Courses from 1st Major 9 Courses from 1st Major 9
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCreditSpringCredit
*PHIL 495 Senior Seminar 3 Electives 6
Courses from 1st Major 9 Courses from 1st Major 6
Elective 3 *PHIL 400, 405, 420, or 425 3
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 and Grants

Undergraduate Scholarships

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). The SAU school code is 001889.

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.)

First-Year Scholarships

Amounts are for first-year students entering St. Ambrose in the 2019-20 academic year. There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies, for up to four years, as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and remain a full-time student. 

On Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Trustee Scholarships
Criteria: unweighted 4.0 GPA and minimum 30 ACT or 1390 SAT score
Award: $23,000 per year and invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship

Presidential Scholarships
Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score
Award: $20,000 per year

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $14,000 per year, $15,000 per year, $16,000 per year or $17,000 per year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
$12,000 per year

On Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000 per year

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $1,000/year

Off Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000 per year, $12,000 per year, $13,000 per year or $14,000 per year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $10,000 per year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $500 per year

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2019-20 academic year. 

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

Scholarships

Phi Theta Kappa
Criteria: awarded to all Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society members transferring from a community college
Award: $14,000

OR

Transfer Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on GPA
Awards:
3.5-4.00 GPA $13,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $12,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $11,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $9,000 

Out-of-State Grants
Criteria: non-Iowa resident
Award: $2,000 per year

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate; on-campus students only
Award: $1,000 per year

Dual Admission Scholarships
Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 per year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $1,000 per year on-campus; $500 per year off-campus

Federal and State Aid

Federal Pell Grant
Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $6,095 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Iowa Tuition Grant
Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: $5,650

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. 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

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


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.

Another Philosophy Major: Foreign Correspondent Franc Contreras '87
Nathan Tappen Headshot Mobile Version Nathan Tappen Headshot

Nathan Tappen

Computer Science,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 60 undergraduate programs, and Nathan was eager to explore.

See My Story

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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 60 programs and 27 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!