Dare to know

Sharpen your analytical and reasoning skills as you dive into questions about society, knowledge, and reality itself. Hone skills important to careers in law, medicine, business, government and more.

Why study philosophy?
Philosophy department faculty

Philosophy undergraduate majors

B.A. in Philosophy

Covers broadly the discipline of philosophy, in both substance and methodology where students develop 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 with 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 specialized track gain expertise in core concepts governing debates in ethics, legal theory, politics and contemporary moral issues.

Minor in philosophy

Students can choose between (1) the general track, (2) the ethics, law and politics specialization or (3) science, mind, and philosophy. A minor in philosophy can open 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 and topics within contemporary philosophy driven by our faculty's on-going research. Includes a graduate-only seminar that allows students to engage with each other in a 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 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 preexisting educational background. Students who choose to obtain this certificate will be better prepared for graduate school, law, medicine, political science and other disciplines. The graduate certificate is also beneficial for those seeking personal enrichment.

Research and scholarships

Research opportunities for students

Faculty in our department partner with undergraduates on research projects that aim for conference presentations or publications, offering 1-3 credits per semester via PHIL 275 for eligible student researchers.

Pre-Law/Pre-Med Workshop

The department annually hosts a capped, fall personal statement workshop for Philosophy seniors, guiding and reviewing law and medical school applications with faculty and peer feedback. Learn more or email us to sign up.


The University of Nevada, Reno's Department of Philosophy offers several endowed scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,500, including the Leonard, Reuben C. Thompson, and Philip Mataruga awards, with application inquiries directed via email.


The Department of Philosophy is excited to introduce a new course, PHIL 495: Professional Internship, which pairs academic learning with practical experience in various organizations, aiding students in forging professional pathways post-graduation.


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