The philosophy BA is for people who are not satisfied with surface answers, but want to think deeply about our most fundamental beliefs about what is real, what we can know, and how we should live. Philosophy majors study what the great thinkers of the past have said, but doing philosophy also means thinking through the issues, coming to conclusions of your own, and using logical arguments to support those conclusions.
Philosophy teaches you to:
After taking Introduction to Philosophy and Logic, students can choose among a range of upper-level courses, including:
There are two Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees available with this major.
Students begin this major with courses in introductory philosophy, religion, ethics, and modern and classical philosophy before moving on to electives in philosophy, religion, English and/or history.
Philosophy emphasizes skills that are useful in many careers, such as reading and understanding complex materials, developing logical arguments, explaining ideas clearly in oral and written form, and thinking about things from alternative perspectives.
USM philosophy graduates have become teachers, business managers, lawyers, ministers, counselors, strategic planning directors, diplomats, nonprofit administrators and more.
Philosophy is an excellent major for those planning graduate or professional studies after their BA. Philosophy majors outperform just about every other major on graduate and professional school entrance examinations, including exams for law school and graduate studies in business.
Science fiction’s thought experiments provide a framework for issues in metaphysics—appearance vs. reality, personal identity; as well as in philosophy of mind—what is the nature of mind and the possibility of artificial intelligence; in ethics—what does it mean to be a moral person? How should we treat others, who may be quite unlike ourselves?; and in philosophy of science—what is the nature of time and is time travel possible?
We will consider such matters as the nature and origin of both love and sexuality; the relationship between love, sexuality, and marriage; erotic love; Christian love; Romantic love; psychoanalytic theories of love and sexuality; feminist perspectives on love, etc.
Do religious beliefs need to be supported by evidence? Is religious experience an acceptable basis of belief? How should the term “God” be understood? Are there good arguments for God’s existence? What are the most significant objections to religious belief?
What, if any, obligation do we have to obey the law? Under what conditions are we justified in ignoring the law? What is the justification of political coercion? What is the justification of punishment, or property? What is the purpose of government? What is the best way to organize civil society? What is justice? Why can’t we all just get along?
What is wrong-doing? Evil-doing? What kinds are there? This course examines two types of genocide, torture, enslavement, terrorism, unjust war, and destruction of ecosystems worldwide.
Favorite Course: PHI 329: Philosophy of Sport
Expertise: Ethics, Research Ethics
Favorite Course: PHI 462: Evil
Expertise: American Philosophy, Philosophical Psychology
Professor and Department Chair
Favorite Course: PHI 372: Philosophy of Religion
Expertise: Philosophy of Religion, Ethics
Favorite Course: PHI 450: Existentialism
Expertise: Continental Philosophy, Classical Philosophy
Favorite Course: PHI 317: Philosophy Through Science Fiction or PHI 316: Philosophy of Science
Expertise: Philosophy of Science, Social/Political Philosophy
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Be aware of our deadlines, $40 application fee and other items on our checklist. Admission requirements vary for freshmen, transfers, prospective Honors College students and others.
Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.
All courses listed in the degree plan are available online. A student would not have to take a face-to-face course to complete this degree.
50 percent or more of the degree plan’s courses in Major Area of Study Requirements AND 50 percent or more of courses in Curriculum Requirement are available online. Remaining courses are face-to-face at the Hattiesburg or Gulf Park campus, as noted.
All courses are available face-to-face on the Hattiesburg campus.
All courses are available face-to-face on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.