UMass Boston

Learning Goals

The basic goal of philosophical learning and education is to help students engage difficult problems and questions, and to gain critical thinking, reading and writing skills. 

As a student in the department you will learn to read and interpret texts, to analyze, construct or reconstruct structured arguments, and to engage in clear communication about these problems and texts.  A well-educated philosophy student will have a set of diverse intellectual capabilities.

The philosophy department offers three majors:

  1. The Philosophy Major 
  2. The major in Ethics, Social, and Political (ESP) 
  3. The major in Philosophy and Public Policy (PPP)

 And two minors:

  1. The minor in Philosophy
  2. The minor in Philosophy and Law

Our curriculum provides graduates with:

  • An ability to construct or reconstruct a structured argument
  • A familiarity with philosophical methods 
  • Critical analysis skills
  • Clear and engaging written communication skills
  • An ability to accurately represent and interpret philosophical sources

Students who complete these majors or minors:

  • Understand how to ask and answer philosophical questions
  • Know how to apply a humanistic philosophical approach to issues of life that can arise from any discipline or across disciplines
  • Are able to produce clear and convincing written and oral arguments
  • Are familiar with the history of philosophy (the Standard Major and the ESP major emphasize this more stringently)