Why study Philosophy at MC?

A liberal arts education is about learning to be free. Philosophy, (which literally means the "love of wisdom") lies at the heart of a liberal arts education because it asks students to pursue truth wherever it may lead. As a philosophy major, you will tackle the “big issues”: about what’s real and what isn’t; about what and who you are and your place in the world; about how we should live with one another and what makes life worthwhile. To tackle those issues well, you will learn skills that will serve you well in your college career, in the working world and all your life. Studying philosophy teaches you, for instance, to pay careful attention to others, to analyze ideas and test arguments, to see problems in their complexity and appreciate a range of solutions. You will also learn to make up your own mind thoughtfully, and to communicate your ideas with clarity and precision.

That helps explain why philosophy majors do so well in a remarkable variety of career paths, including law, politics, film, business, education, ministry, medicine and writing.

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

On Campus Opportunities

The Philosophy Club provides students with the opportunity to openly discuss philosophical ideas and take philosophy out of the classroom and into the world. In an informal gathering of  friends, open to anyone who has an interest in philosophy, the Philosophy Club hosts regular discussions on a wide range of topics.

Meet a current student

Zachary Bible ’19
Hometown: Lebanon, Tenn.

Zachary chose Maryville College because of its philosophy major and an opportunity to study sustainability, also. In addition to the major broadening his academic inquiry, he finds philosophy’s new ideas and new vocabulary beneficial to his songwriting. After MC, he hopes to study anthropology/primatology, focusing on human culture, such as music and the arts, and how it might have originated in humans. “Discovering our fundamental nature and expressing it creatively are, ultimately, what drive me,” he said. “In all, studying philosophy has been one of the most important and healthy aspects of my life.”

Outcomes of Recent Gradsclick or touch to open

Featured Graduate

Ellison Berryhill ’12
Currently: Assistant Attorney General for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office

Accepted to Duke University School of Law in 2012, Ellison served as editor-in-chief of the Duke Forum for Law and Social Change. He returned to East Tennessee during the summers to work with the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and the District Attorney General’s offices of Knox and Blount counties. He earned his J.D.  from Duke in May 2015 and clerked for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for one year. “Every bit of success that I have had following my time at Maryville College has been due to the learning and growing I experienced there,” he said. “The preparation I got in the Philosophy Department really helped me for the logical analysis necessary for the LSAT and law school.”

Graduate School Placements

Cornell University
Duke University
Fordham University
Georgetown University Law School
Northwestern University
University of Chicago Divinity School
Vanderbilt University Law School
Washington University Law School