Andrew Hanson“I had several professors who were willing to take the time to help me understand a difficult topic or direct my writing and I am extremely grateful for their help.”

Andrew Hanson - St. Paul, MN
Major: Philosophy
Minors: Spanish, Theatre
2014

When I came to USD I had every intention of becoming a medical doctor. I was a biology major, set on improving the world through science. However, after my first semester it became apparent my skills were not best suited for studies in math and science. Then, after some soul searching, I registered for Professor Tinguely’s Introduction to Philosophy class. This class changed the way I thought about my education.

I became a philosophy major my sophomore year in college after I realized that the best education one can undertake is an education in how to think. Throughout my courses in philosophy I was presented with challenging paradoxes and difficult readings. However, these challenges and difficulties developed into tangible skills in reading, writing and critical thinking.

I had several formative philosophy classes, especially the history courses. Two foundational experiences in my education include a seminar I took on Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the other was my thesis project directed by Professor Tinguely. In these instances one of the best things about the program was evident, the accessibility of the professors. I had several professors who were willing to take the time to help me understand a difficult topic or direct my writing and I am extremely grateful for their help.

I am currently putting the skills I learned as a philosophy major to good use as a J.D. candidate at the University of St. Thomas, School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Katelyn Steffel

"I quickly learned that a philosophy degree does not teach you what to think, but rather how to think."

Katelyn Steffel - Alexandria, MN
Majors: Philosophy, Criminal Justice
2015

My decision to earn a philosophy degree at USD was by far one of the best decisions I made during my four years here. With dreams of going to law school, I quickly learned that a philosophy degree does not teach you what to think, but rather how to think.

The great thing about the philosophy program is that you are able to shape your major into your own specific area of interest. For me it was law and ethics. Through the program I was able to serve as a teaching assistant for the ethics course, take part in the Philosophy Club and do an independent study in order to graduate on time.

The professors truly care about each of their students. Whether it’s meeting to talk about the course material or just sitting down for a cup of coffee and talking about anything in general, you can always count on the professors for a riveting conversation.

Currently I am a first year student at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota and I can already see my philosophy degree at work. My ability to think critically has given me a leg up on my fellow students. I cannot be more grateful for the education I received in the department and the great memories and friendships that have come along with it.