Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

From Aristotle to Descartes to Nietzsche, the great philosophers have contributed to the way we think, believe and view the world. Studying philosophy builds knowledge and skills that can be applied in nearly every endeavor. Students become adept at problem solving, and acquire the ability to express thoughts and communicate effectively. Students learn the art of effective argumentation and improve their research and writing skills. In short, students acquire abilities that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

The abilities students develop in this major set them apart and make them valuable to employers. In addition, exploring and wrestling with questions that have occupied humankind since its beginning are rewarding endeavors. Earning a philosophy degree at Alvernia can also prepare students for graduate school, including law school. Alvernia graduates have pursued advanced degrees at institutions such as Villanova University and Temple University.


Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy is available at the following Alvernia University campus:

General Notes
  • A minimum of 123 credits are required for graduation.
  • Credits earned for COM 100 and MAT 100 do not count toward the 123 credits required for graduation; however, COM 100 students may petition for elective credit.
  • Where appropriate, courses required for the major can be used to satisfy General Education requirements. However, the credits earned for these courses are applied to either Gen Ed requirements or the major, not both.
  • Paths of Knowledge coursework may count towards major or minor requirements, but may not fulfill a second Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration requirement.
  • Students are expected to follow the catalog requirements for General Education, the major, and additional requirements.
  • A minor or second major within the areas listed under Paths of Knowledge automatically fulfills that area of the Gen Ed requirements.
Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective undergraduate students — including first-year, transfer, and international students — may apply via the Alvernia web portal or The Common Application. To learn more about how to complete your application, please visit our application page.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

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Why Choose Alvernia?
• A nationally ranked comprehensive regional university, Alvernia offers more than 50 majors and minors.
• An ever-expanding number of experiential learning opportunities includes internships, field experiences, co-ops, research projects, and study/service abroad programs.
• A rich campus life allows students to enjoy a full calendar of activities and events, more than 50 clubs, intramural sport and student leadership and governance opportunities.
• In growth mode, Alvernia continues to add value to its student experience: expanding academic programming in new facilities; adding student living space and updating residence halls; partnering with a community health provider; and adding amenities including a game room and new performance space.

Program Overview

Curriculum: General Education

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Philosophy majors must complete 33 credits in the major.

First Year Curriculum: Enduring Questions

  • SEARCH Seminar-Enduring Questions or Honor Search-Enduring Questions (SRH 101 or HNR 160)
  • COM 101 Composition & Research: Must earn a C or higher
  • THE 105 Foundations of Theology
  • PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy (MET IN MAJOR)

Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration Credits

  • Exploring the Natural World (6-8 credits)
    • Lab Science (Met in related area)
    • Math (Met in related area)
  • Individuals & Communities (6 credits)
    • History or Political Science
    • PSY 101, HIS, POS, SOC, SSC, or ECON
  • Culture & Language (9 credits)
    • Communication (Not COM 100 or 101)
    • World Language – 2 courses in sequence
  • Creative Expressions (6 credits)
    • Literature (ENG)
    • Art, Music, or Theatre

Ethical Leaders and Followers Credits

  • Theology or Philosophy (MET IN MAJOR)
  • Theology or Philosophy (Ethics/Morality @ 200 level)
Curriculum: Paths of Knowledge

Paths of Knowledge may count towards minor or Related Requirements, but not Mid-Level Arts Exploration requirements. Choose one path.

PATH 1: Interdisciplinary Study (IS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level from the interdisciplinary minors of Women & Gender Studies, Digital Media, Community & Environmental Sustainability, Community Engagement, Cultural Studies, Leadership Studies or Pre-Law.

PATH 2: Multi-disciplinary Study (MS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level employing multiple disciplinary perspectives to explore the Enduring Questions in one of the following themes: Cultural & Global Studies, Imagination & Creativity, Peace & Conflict, Poverty & Wealth or Sustainability, Science & Technology.

PATH 3: In-depth Disciplinary Study (DS)

Three courses at the 200-400 level in one Liberal Arts discipline other than one’s major, guided by common ideas and methods of inquiry. Students choose from Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Theatre or World Languages. This path may be used to give students a firm foundation in a discipline supporting their chosen major, or to pursue an interest in one of the Liberal Arts disciplines. 

Curriculum: Major Requirements

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Philosophy majors must complete 33 credits in the major.

Required Philosophy Courses (30 credits)

  • PHI 105: Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHI 230: Introduction to Logic (pre-requisite: PHI 105)
  • Select one from PHI 200 and PHI 210:
    • PHI 200: Introduction to Ethics (pre-requisite: PHI 105)
    • PHI 210: Professional Ethics (pre-requisite: PHI 105)
  • PHI 420: Social and Political Philosophy (pre-requisite: PHI 105)
  • Select two from PHI 351, PHI 352, PHI 353 and PHI 354:
    • PHI 351: Ancient Philosophy (pre-requisite: PHI 105)
    • PHI 352: Medieval Philosophy (pre-requisite: PHI 105)
    • PHI 353: Modern Philosophy (pre-requisite: PHI 105)
    • PHI 354: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy (pre-requisite: PHI 105)
  • PHI 480: Capstone Senior Year 

Required Philosophy Electives (15 credits)

  • At least 3 credits must be earned at the 400-level; PHI 105 is a pre-requisite for all PHI courses at the 200 level or higher 

Electives, Minor or Second Major as required for the minimum 123 credits

  • Selections cannot include MAT 100 or COM 100
Accreditation Statements
  • Alvernia is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Career Outlook

After earning the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Writing
  • Law
  • Consulting
  • Counseling
  • Public service
  • Director of Communications
  • Religious Institutions
  • Author
  • Professor
  • Researcher
  • Nonprofits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in philosophy and religion are expected to grow by up to 10 percent between 2022 and 2032, faster than average for all occupations. The median salary in the field is $60,000.

Opportunities for Majors

Philosophy Club

The purpose of the Philosophy Club is to encourage students to discuss, question, and reflect, through philosophical conventions, ideas and current and past events to develop and grow communication and critical thinking skills with peers in the Alvernia Community. The Philosophy Club explores different venues through discussions and trips. The advisor, Dr. Janae Sholtz, can be reached by email at by telephone at 610-568-1488. 

The Washington Center Experience

Alvernia students have an opportunity to earn college credit by spending a semester or summer in Washington, D.C. where they serve as interns in a congressional office, government agency, major corporation, newspaper or news network, or agencies devoted to legal affairs, international relations, or business and economics. They also may intern with one of several non-profit groups dealing with the environment, women’s issues, the arts, education, science, or labor relations among others. Participants are customarily juniors or seniors who have achieved grade point averages of 2.5 or better and who have the endorsement of the appropriate academic area. In addition to their internship, students select one seminar dealing with the arts and humanities, communication, public policy, the legal system, business, and government. Interested students should see their academic advisor.

Get to Know Your Faculty

For more information about Alvernia’s Philosophy program, contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-8269 or Or reach out directly to program director Janae Sholtz at 610-568-1488 or

Josh Hayes 2023

Josh Hayes, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Philosophy

  • Faculty
Alvernia grey logo

M.Jacinta Respondowska, OSF

Professor Emerita of Philosophy

  • Professor Emeritus

A. Janae Sholtz, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy / Coordinator of Women's Gender Studies

  • Faculty