In the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Philosophy, students navigate some of the deepest questions human beings have asked - questions about the basic character of reality, the limits of knowledge, the place of mind in nature, the best life for a person and the most decent society for us all, among others. You will not find easy answers, but you will think clearly about the options while honing analytical and imaginative skills that will prepare you for a host of exciting careers. Upon graduation, many of our students go on to law school or medical school, or secure employment in business, policy institutes or nonprofits and governmental agencies. You can find information on employment prospects, earning potential and more on why you should study philosophy. Come join our approachable faculty and enthusiastic students as you begin the intellectual odyssey of a lifetime.

Philosophy undergraduate majors

B.A. in philosophy

Broadly covers the discipline, in both substance and methodology, developing students’ analytical and communicative abilities while attempting to understand the nature of reality and human experience. Students in this general track master foundational concepts in logic, history of philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, and the philosophy of science.

B.A. in philosophy (ethics, law and politics specialization)

The B.A. in philosophy with an ethics, law and politics specialization allows students to develop crucial skills for the workplace, such as critical thinking and persuasive speaking and writing, while investigating concrete problems in value theory. Students in this more specialized track gain expertise in core concepts governing debates in bioethics, legal theory, politics and contemporary moral issues.

Minor in philosophy

Students can choose between the general track for the philosophy minor, or a minor specializing in ethics, law and politics. A minor in philosophy can open up doors to a number of career opportunities or graduate schools (such as law or medical school) that value critical thinking, innovative problem-solving and superior communication skills.

Philosophy graduate program

M.A. in philosophy

Provides students with a strong foundation in core areas of philosophical scholarship, as well as topics within contemporary philosophy driven by our faculty's on-going research. In addition to taught courses, includes a graduate-only seminar that allows students to engage with each other in a warm and supportive environment to hone their philosophical skills.

M.A. in philosophy with ethics, law and politics specialization

Provides students with a broad background in the central debates—both historical and contemporary—in social, political, ethical and legal philosophy. Students will work with faculty members who have research specializations in a number of areas within value theory, including liberal and democratic theory, feminism, Marxism, critical theory, among others.

Graduate Certificate in Ethics, Law, and Politics

Designed for students who wish to deepen their understanding of ethics, law and politics as a complement to their educational background. Students who choose to obtain this certificate will be better prepared for graduate school in law, medicine, political science and many disciplines. The graduate certificate is also beneficial for those seeking personal enrichment.

Research and scholarships

Research opportunities for students

A number of our faculty are engaged in scholarly collaboration with students on research projects for either presentation at academic conferences or publication in university presses or philosophy journals. Eligible undergraduate researchers have the opportunity to earn 1-3 University credits per semester with enrollment in PHIL 275.

Pre-Law/Pre-Med Workshop

Our department runs an annual personal statement workshop for students applying to law and medical school. The workshop teaches students in these pre-professional tracks how to write a personal statement and provides a space for everyone to share their drafts and benefit from faculty and peer feedback. Open each fall to seniors majoring or minoring in Philosophy, the workshop is capped at ten students and attendance at each weekly session is expected.

Email To Join Workshop


The University of Nevada, Reno Department of Philosophy is grateful to its alumni and donors for endowing a number of scholarships for both its undergraduate and graduate students. These awards include the Leonard Philosophy Award, the Reuben C. Thompson Philosophy Award and the Philip Mataruga Philosophy Award. The funding provided by these philosophy scholarships ranges from $500 - $2,500. If you have questions about how to apply, please contact us.

Email for scholarship application

News from the Department of Philosophy

Group of individuals stand on balcony outside building

University of Nevada, Reno hosts international smell workshop

The Department of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts held workshop on the philosophy of smell

Group of award winners stand on stage during ceremony while holding up awards

College of Liberal Arts celebrates extraordinary achievements

The College of Liberal Arts recognized deserving individuals at annual awards ceremony

Cara Nine, University of Nevada, Reno philosophy chair

Department of Philosophy welcomes new chair

Cara Nine’s interest in political philosophy led her to focus on issues in justice, ethics and location