At Sonoma State University, the philosophy department specializes in the study of ethics and values. Students critically examine life's deepest questions, and learn how to evaluate solutions to vital problems and debates in contemporary society. If you are curious about the origins of value, or what makes life worth living, or how to promote the public good, then majoring in philosophy is a smart choice.
We divide our curriculum into a set of common requirements, and a set of concentration requirements. Students choose among four different concentrations: 1) Pre-Law and Applied Ethics; 2) The Good Life; 3) Science, Technology and Ethics; and 4) Social Justice. These concentrations offer in-depth exploration of specific themes and topics. Pre-Law and Applied Ethics focuses on the intersection of law, politics and ethics. The Good Life focuses on the nature of human flourishing and the origins of value. Science, Technology and Ethics focuses on artifical intelligence and the ethics of technology and science. Social Justice focuses on gender, race and power. Students learn leading theories and ideas, and apply them to their experiences and decision-making.
A degree in philosophy provides excellent training for critical thinking, writing and speaking. Philosophy majors regularly place in the top five in the LSAT (the law school entrance exam), the GMAT (the business school entrance exam), and the GRE (the graduate school entrance exam). Employers prize philosophy majors for their ability to think on their own, solve problems, and adapt to novel circumstances. Philosophy majors have a return on their investment that is comparable to engineering majors and their mid-career salaries are the highest outside of the stem fields.
Because we focus on ethics and values, our major is especially well suited for students who aspire for careers in the fields of law, criminal justice, data ethics, government and public administration, ethical oversight (medical, legal, professional) and philanthropy.