Philosophy has long been a central component of a liberal arts education, and is moreover an excellent adjunct to studies in mathematics and the sciences. A Philosophy education at Waterloo emphasizes the analysis of ideas, careful reading and scholarship, and clear argumentation. Whatever other disciplines one studies, these skills are likely to be highly valued.
Some Philosophy students go on to graduate school in Philosophy and eventually work as professors. Most, however, find other work or go on to further study in other fields. Our graduates find success in law, teaching, management, public relations, the clergy and many other careers that reward breadth of thinking, critical analysis, and advanced communication skills. The habits of critical analysis, clear expression, and careful argumentation learned in Philosophy at Waterloo are skills which apply to virtually every academic and professional context.
Philosophy is not just inherently interesting; it is a means of acquiring capacities for reasoning and communication that few other programs even attempt to teach. Waterloo’s Philosophy Department carries on teaching and research in many divisions of Philosophy. There is an emphasis on interdisciplinary work, integrating the conceptual tools of Philosophy with the approaches of many other disciplines.
The Philosophy Department offers several plans for majors and minors.