Philosophy (B.A.)


  • Clemson’s philosophy faculty will challenge you, immerse you, mentor you and force you out of your comfort zone.
  • Clemson’s Ethics Bowl Team has one of the most successful records of competitive debate in the United States.
  • Hardin Hall is home for Clemson’s philosophy students. Originally built in 1890, the building has been renovated twice and is arguably the most beautiful historic classroom building on campus.
  • Philosophy majors receive some of the highest scores on admissions tests for law and medical schools.

Who studies philosophy? How about comedian Stephen Colbert, political activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, for starters? The word “philosophia” means “love of wisdom,” and — true to their name — philosophers have challenged, enlightened and sustained human society since the time of the ancient Greeks. Clemson’s philosophy degree will help you gain a broad understanding of the human condition and develop the ability to bring critical thinking and organizational skills to creative problem solving. The philosophy major is especially well regarded as preparation for law and medical school. Graduates also pursue graduate work in a wide variety of humanities, social sciences and other disciplines. With three distinct emphasis areas: philosophy; law, liberty and justice; and religious studies, Clemson’s program is well equipped to meet your specific career goals. 


What you'll study:

You’ll take numerous history classes as well as course work in the humanities (other than philosophy), math, science and social sciences. All philosophy majors must complete a philosophy portfolio in their junior year. Students in philosophy choose from one of three distinct emphasis areas.

Philosophy Emphasis: Learn about ancient and modern philosophy, and choose from a wide range of philosophical topics tailored to your interests and career plans.

Law, Liberty and Justice Emphasis: This emphasis is primarily for pre-law students. In addition to the core classes in ancient and modern philosophy, you will take classes in moral philosophy, social and political philosophy, philosophy of law and legal history. A pre-law internship is advised, and the department works with students to arrange it.*

Religious Studies Emphasis: In addition to the core classes in ancient and modern philosophy, you will take classes in world religions, the Old Testament and New Testament and selected studies in religion and philosophy.

* Pre-law and pre-medicine students majoring in philosophy should consult their departmental adviser for help in tailoring the program to their needs. 


Popular Minors:

  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Financial Management

Similar Majors:


Your academic home, Hardin Hall, is a central hub of critical inquiry at Clemson. Here you will find myriad opportunities to engage with other students, as well as faculty, outside the classroom.

Internships and Research Projects:

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Competition is a modified form of debate centered around case studies that raise questions of practical and applied ethics. Some 40 teams from across the U.S. compete each year.
Clemson’s faculty in philosophy and religious studies are closely engaged with their students. Conversation and debate continue long after class is over, as students hone their skills in logic, rhetoric and critical thinking.
Creative Inquiry allows students to take on problems that spring from their own curiosity or from the pressing needs of the world around them. Team-based investigations are led by a faculty mentor and typically span two to four semesters.
Selected competitively, a philosophy major is supported for five weeks of intensive work in the law with different offices at the South Carolina Supreme Court, under direct supervision of the Chief Staff Attorney.
Clemson’s philosophy faculty are deeply focused and prolific writers on diverse topics in philosophy, such as progressive political thought, gender and sexuality, applied ethics and various interpretations of the New Testament.

Connect with Other Students:


What are students doing at graduation?*




Grad School


Seeking Employment



Where are students headed at graduation?*

Recent employers and job titles*

  • Strom Thurmond Institute — Webmaster
  • The Shaw Group, Inc. — Engineering Technologist

Recent graduate schools and sought degree types*

  • The Bush School at Texas A&M University — Master’s
  • University of South Carolina School of Law — J.D.
  • Brown University — Ph.D.

Common Career Areas**

  • Education
    • Government
      • Ethics
        • Law
          • Writing
            • International
              • Business
                • Social Services
                  • Religiously Affiliated Areas
                  *Represents only Clemson University graduates who completed Michelin� Career Center surveys from 2009 to 2011.
                  **Used w/permission from Univ. of Tennessee.
                  FIND OUT MORE.

                  Have more questions or want more information? Fill out the form below, which goes directly to the following department contact. If you’d also like to receive general University information from Clemson’s admissions office, please follow the link to the right and sign up to join our mailing list.

                  Bill Maker, 864-656-5365
                  Department Chair and Professor of Philosophy —