Students Attending a Philosophy Class


Explore great ideas, challenge points of view and examine life's most intriguing questions by majoring in philosophy.

Why Study Philosophy?

As a philosophy major at USD, you will develop critical thinking, problem solving, communication and reasoning skills that prepare you to take on the challenges of the world and thrive in your future career. Here you will find innovative course offerings on topics such as friendship, tragedy and money that will enhance your ability to raise critical questions and make logical arguments.

With mentorship from faculty and a sense of community in our small yet vibrant program, you'll find the connections you need to follow your curiosity alongside others who share your passion for philosophy. You'll graduate with a variety of marketable, transferable skills – poised for graduate school, law school or careers ranging from non-profit management to public service.

Our world needs thinkers who are ready to solve the problems of tomorrow. As a philosophy student, you will encounter notable thinkers and varied worldviews while gaining the analytical skills and strong writing and communication abilities that will benefit you throughout your life and career.

Degrees & Offerings

Philosophy (B.A., B.S.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

As a philosophy major, you'll develop important critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills that will make you more marketable and prepare you for the workforce or for graduate or professional study. Follow your passion for philosophy and explore history's greatest ideas by taking innovative and engaging courses like Ancient Philosophy, Oppression and Freedom or Ethics, Law and Logic.

Philosophy: Ethics, Law & Society (B.A., B.S.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

Broaden your horizons and increase the marketability of your degree by adding a specialization in ethics, law and logic. This option allows philosophy majors, especially those considering careers in law or public service, to be recognized officially for completing a series of classes in ethics, politics and social issues. The innovative curriculum allows you to apply philosophical ideas to the real world, demonstrating the value of critical thinking skills in professional and civic life.


  Vermillion Main Campus

A minor in philosophy will help you develop critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills that will serve you in any career. This program is a great complement to a variety of majors, including political science, legal studies, English and more.

Program Details






Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Student Opportunities

As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.
A group of Students
Students explore philosophy.

Philosophy Club

Student clubs and other social activities allow you to continue your engagement outside of the classroom. USD has more than 170 student organizations, including Friends of Wisdom. 

The Philosophy Club welcomes all students with an interest in philosophy. The Philosophy Club meetings involve lively discussion of selected topics, current events and other matters of interest. Here you will be immersed into fascinating concepts, have civil debates and learn all things philosophy.

Explore Student Organizations

A unique aspect of your USD education is access to undergraduate research opportunities. You'll have the chance to work closely with faculty mentors as you explore the questions that interest you most. Examples of past research projects include the Honors theses "Plato's Ban: Why the Poets are Exiled" by philosophy and mathematical sciences major Seth Gerberding, '20 and "Nietzsche, Foucault, Power: A Study of Paradox and Ontology in Nietzsche" by philosophy major Nicholas Ray, '21.
Guest Speaker Presenting at an Event
A guest speaker presenting at an event.

At USD, you'll find countless opportunities to engage with interesting ideas in and beyond the classroom. The philosophy program hosts several events that provide you with the chance to learn from guest experts, including the annual Ethics, Law and Society Speaker Series and an upcoming, multidisciplinary conference on philosophy and money. Through these experiences, you'll hear from leading scholars that travel to USD from around the world.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education.
Historic Photo Placed Over Current East Hall Building


At the University of South Dakota, our Department of History houses numerous disciplines that exist at the intersection of curiosity, research, writing, storytelling and the human experience. Find the answers to your questions about people, events, institutions and values with the guidance and support of our exceptional faculty.


Get to know the faculty and staff in the philosophy program.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Edwin Filotas

Edwin Filotas

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Dale Clark

Dale Clark

Senior Lecturer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Joseph Tinguely

Joseph Tinguely

Associate Professor
Students presenting research to visitors.

Set Yourself Up for Success

We are committed to not only providing you with an exceptional education at USD, but also to prepare you for a successful future. You'll take a philosophy capstone seminar that will equip you with a career plan and set you on a path toward a graduate program, law school or careers in politics, non-profit management, business, pubic service or another career that interests you.
Professor Talking to a Group of Students

A Community Committed to Personal and Professional Growth

The USD philosophy program is home to a small but bustling community of students and faculty dedicated to your success and intellectual well-being. Here you'll find a community of like-minded individuals whose classroom conversations naturally spill out into the hallways. Our community explores the history of ideas – which we find by studying the best ideas, in the best books, by the best minds. Students, faculty and mentors will help enrich your education and prepare you for your future. 

Surprisingly Affordable

USD offers low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as scholarships, financial aid and employment opportunities to help make your education even more affordable.

Undergraduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities. Visit the Undergraduate Tuition & Costs Detailed page for program specific costs and fees. 

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.


USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. View our scholarships to see which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply.

Alum Success Story

Success story Katelyn Steffel Spangrud smiling.
I am beyond grateful for choosing to major in philosophy. Some of my best friends, biggest mentors and irreplaceable skills came out of the department. I would strongly recommend students consider the philosophy program, as it is a great compliment to any major!

Katelyn Steffel Spangrud

B.A. Philosophy, Criminal Justice '15

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