• Philosophy Department

  • Engage the conversation of the ages.

    Inquire into first things.

    Pursue the good, true, and beautiful.

    What is truth? What is beauty? What is goodness? How can the human person be both matter and spirit? Are there limits to freedom? Where does the moral law come from? How can we know God? How can we know anything?

    The grand conversations sparked by these questions continue unabated. They continue across generations and cultures, through the rise and fall of societies—many founded by idealists who believed they had found the final answer. They have expanded into new areas. They have morphed and refocused. But the questions remain the same.

    The philosophy program at Franciscan University will open your mind, help you to understand the contributions of those who have gone before, and equip you to pursue the conversation.

    Most importantly, our professors come to philosophy grounded in the dynamic, philosophically stimulating Catholic intellectual tradition. They recognize that philosophy and religion, reason and faith, far from opposing one another, are mutually enriching. In fact, neither can quite be understood without the other.

    The courses span the millennia, covering the giants of philosophical history—pagan, Jewish, Christian, and even Muslim—the modern, post-modern, and contemporary thinkers whose works have shaped the world we live in today—Descartes, Kant, Nietzsche, Marx—as well as those who offered a Christian response to post-modern thought—Gilson, Maritain, Von Hildebrand, and Pope John Paul II.

    The philosophy program at Franciscan is built to train you how to think critically and confidently, how to develop your theses, and how to defend your positions orally and in writing. The course load is also structured to allow for a second major. You will be equipped for further studies or to contribute immediately in whatever endeavors you pursue.

    Accelerated M.A. Philosophy Program

    During an undergraduate's senior year a high-achieving student can apply to be an accelerated philosophy student. If accepted, can take up to two M.A. philosophy courses for both undergraduate and graduate credit. This program is available both to students interested in traditional masters-level studies in philosophy as well as those students who are interested in pursuing a concentration in bioethics in their graduate studies. Find out more about the bioethics concentration.

    Sample Program | Course Descriptions

    First Semester Second Semester
    Phil of Human Person Metaphysics
    Foundations of Catholicism Literature Core
    American Founding Principles Core Natural Science Core
    Natural Science Core Social Science Core
    Elem. Foreign Lang. or Elective Elem. Foreign Lang. or Elective
    First Semester Second Semester
    Foundations of Ethics Logic
    History Core Epistemology
    Math or Economics Core Literature Core
    Theology Core Theology Core
    Interm. Foreign Lang. Requirement Interm. Foreign Lang. Requirement
    First Semester Second Semester
    Philosophy Elective Philosophy Elective
    Philosophy Elective Philosophy Elective
    Catholic Traditions in Fine Arts Core Elective
    Elective Elective
    Elective Elective
    First Semester Second Semester
    Text Seminar Senior Thesis
    Elective Philosophy Elective
    Elective Elective
    Elective Elective
    Elective Elective
    Elective Elective

    Meet the Faculty

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