Philosophy at UC Davis


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Our philosophy graduates ranked No. 7 for median early-career salary.
Our philosophy graduates ranked No. 7 nationwide for median early-career salary.

Major and minor

Philosophy seeks to address questions about life and values that recur in every cultural setting and in every area of human thought. How do we know right from wrong? Can we use our subjective experiences to determine an objective reality? What does it mean to be a "good person" or to live a "good life?" Such problems are central to philosophical study. Philosophers also investigate the underlying assumptions and methods of other major academic disciplines in order to address issues about the nature of these subjects and the contributions they make to human understanding.

Real World Outcomes

Philosophy majors find that their rigorous training in critical thinking, analytical reasoning and written expression prepares them well for any career. Many have become philosophers in their own right; others have entered graduate or professional school in philosophy, law or business. Career choices of UC Davis graduates include computer programming, government service, teaching, the ministry and social work. In a 2020 survey of best colleges for earning potential, our philosophy graduates ranked No. 7 nationwide for median early-career salary.

More examples of what you can do with this major


The philosophy major is designed to allow you great flexibility in choosing your courses, both within the department and from complementary disciplines. Your lower-division courses will cover such areas as critical thinking, ethics, logic and the history of philosophy. At the upper division, you will study more specialized topics, such as philosophy as applied to specific academic disciplines, metaphysics, theory of knowledge and the works of individual philosophers.