Department of Philosophy
"Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt - particularly to doubt one's cherished beliefs, one's dogmas and one's axioms"
Congratulations to the Spring 2020 Graduates!
The faculty and staff of the department of philosophy congratulate the Spring 2020 graduates on this important milestone!
This has been a difficult semester and the challenges have been severe and devastating for far too many people. In hard times, however, it is even more important that we come together to celebrate hard-won accomplishments. We wish that we could celebrate this joyous moment with you in person, by shaking your hand, expressing our pride in your effort, and cheering you on what we know will be fantastic personal, professionaly, and community achievements. We know, however, that the knowledge you have gained here, the sharpening of your critical thinking skills, the advancement of your communication and writing proficiency, your enhanced reasoning abilities, and your more refined sense of self will follow you into those new horizons. Therefore, in some way, we will always be with you through all of the good things that you will accomplish.
Congratulations on your graduation and best wishes to your bright future!
William Trapani, Director - Department of Philosophy
A special message to our Spring 2020 graduates from Professor Carlin Romano, William F. Dietrich Visiting Professor of Philosophy:
Dear FAU Philosophy Seniors:
Although I've been at FAU for only a semester, I quickly appreciated your grit, boldness, willingness to speak your minds, and ability to think outside the box. Congratulations on your graduation in this challenging time! And remember that what you take away from philosophy - the training to see through bad arguments, the courage to challenge positions backed only by authority, the talent for gathering evidence to persuade others - will benefit you every day of your life if you use them.
All the best,
Philosophy has a very important role to play in the acquisition of a higher education. The study of philosophy fosters an appreciation for the most fundamental ideas, questions, and texts that have profoundly shaped our culture. However, the study of philosophy also lead to the rigorous development of very practical skills, such as critical thinking, clear and precise writing, analytical skills, persuasive oral communication, and the ability to read and comprehend conceptually challenging texts. These skills will help students succeed in life and in any career that they choose to pursue after earning their Bachelor's degree. For more information on the intellectual and practical benefits of studying philosophy, see "Statement on the Role of Philosophy Programs in Higher Education" .
The Philosophy Department at Florida Atlantic University offers a high quality Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. In fact, s everal philosophy majors from Florida Atlantic University have successfully pursued their graduate/professional education at institutions such as Oxford University, Columbia University, Princeton University, The New School Universisty (formerly, The New School for Social Research), SUNY Stony Brook, and SUNY Binghampton.
Due to the excellent and well-rounded intellectual training that the study of philosophy provides, it is an excellent preparation for the study of law and for many other non-academic careers. See Careers for Philosophers
In addition to offering the more traditional philosophy major, the Philosophy Department also offers a philosophy major track in Pre-Law for students who wish to go on to law school. See Pre-Law and Philosophy
The quality of the philosophy program at Florida Atlantic University is enhanced by an active research faculty that produces numerous professional publications and conference presentations, both at the national and the international levels. For more information about faculty publications, click on individual faculty names on the
page or visit
Recent Faculty Publications
The Philosophy Department's undergraduate program of study prepares students for various career opportunities. For example, one of our former philosophy majors eventually went on to receive a Master's degree in computer science and to start his own web development company. He has recently returned to FAU to pursue another graduate degree, this time in complex systems and brain sciences.
This former student stresses that his degree in philosophy has been critical to his success as a web developer and the skills he learned from studying philosophy have actually helped improve his coding skills. He discusses the important role that studying philosophy has played in his life in a Miami Herald article titled
"For the Liberal Arts, All is Not Lost in the Digital Future"
For another interesting article on the many benefits of studying philosophy, see Patricia Yollin's "Philosophy's Popularity Soars: Devotees Find It's More Than 'An Interesting Path to Poverty'" .
Another recent article in The Atlantic ( "The Earning Power of Philosophy Majors" ) points out that the earning power of philosophy majors is higher than that of other humanities majors, both in the early and later stages of their career. This claim is based on a new report issued by Payscale. As the article points out "employers value creative problem solving and the ability to deal with ambiguity [and philosophy majors] have creative problem solving abilities that set them apart."
A recent study on the earning power of the philosophy degree shows that philosophy majors "have the potential to earn higher-than-average income throughout all stages of their career. compared to other professions with little growth over time." This is because the study of philosophy is unique among the humanities in that that it develops and enhances not only creative and interpretive skills but also analytical and critical skills.
This study also demonstrates that philosophy majors score higher on the LSAT and on the qualitative and analytical portions of the GRE than any other major, and that they score higher on the quantitative portion of the GRE than any other major other than physics and mathematics.
Department Head: William Trapani, Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Undergraduate Advisor: Dr. Clevis Headley
Senior Secretary: Mrs. Simone White