About Us

Welcome to the Philosophy Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. We are one of the oldest departments on campus, celebrating our 130th year in 2022. Set forth below is a painting of Plato's Academy, which is a major source of philosophical inspiration and traditions of higher education — so much so that it found its way into this iconic Renaissance masterpiece:

Plato Academy | Plato founded his Academy in 387 B.C. follow… | Flickr

    Who We Are

    In 2022-2023, the Philosophy Department is home to sixteen (16) core and twelve (12) affiliated faculty. Our faculty specialize in a broad range of areas, including moral, legal, and social philosophy; philosophy of science; philosophy of physics; philosophy of computation, technology, and artificial intelligence; metaphysics; epistemology; rational decision; theories of justice, community, and fraternity; philosophy of mind and cognition; philosophy of economics; and moral psychology. We have eminent scholars who trace the history of these ideas and draw on them to provide useful interventions into modern debates from the history of modern philosophy and ancient philosophy.  

    We currently have twenty-nine (29) graduate students and more than one hundred and twenty-five (125) undergraduate majors across two degree programs, plus more than thirty (30) students who are minoring in Philosophy as a complement to their majors in other departments.

    The Department of Philosophy Has Four Core Missions 

    1. Research & Scholarship: We seek to pursue research and scholarship that advances knowledge and understanding across a wide range of philosophical disciplines - sometimes through careful focus on the questions that animate these philosophical disciplines and sometimes by exposing interconnections among them and with other fields throughout the academy.
    2. Undergraduate Education: We seek to contribute to the education of our undergraduates by offering a wide array of stimulating courses that can help make them more effective citizens, who are capable of adapting to a rapidly changing world and pursuing a wide variety of jobs and graduate programs. 
    3. Graduate Education: We seek to train professional philosophers through a vibrant graduate program, thus helping ensure that philosophical research, insights, and teaching continue to have wide impact, where needed, throughout the state, the nation, and the world.
    4. Impact: We seek - throughout all these activities - to ensure that philosophy continues to serve as a critical, constructive hub for foundational thinking in many disciplines, often adding special methods and insights that can help produce ideas critical to the advancement of the public good.

    On behalf of all our faculty and students, we invite you to explore our website for more insight and information about who we are, what we do, and how you can be part of our community by studying one of the most connected and expansive fields on campus

    Here are Some Helpful Links to Get You Started

    Reasons to Study Philosophy.  If you want to know more about what philosophy is and why it teaches you highly adaptable thinking skills that can help you succeed in many fields, take a look at Why Philosophy. One of the most common misconceptions about philosophy is that it is impractical. But as Career Paths in Philosophy shows, philosophy majors do extremely well not only in a broad range of careers, where the salary data suggest they are extremely competitive, but also when pursuing a broad range of graduate degrees — from law, to PhDs in a broad range of fields, to business, computer science, and medicine, to name only a few. Philosophy teaches broadly adaptable thinking skills, and these skills help our graduates have impact in many fields of endeavor.

    Computer Science + Philosophy: In addition, we now offer an exciting BALAS degree in CS+Philosophy, for people who may be interested in studying not only computer science and technology but also learning to think deeply and critically about the moral, social, and political ramifications technology in the digital age. You can find useful information here.

    Courses / Gen Ed Requirements: You can find a complete list of our current courses here. If you are looking for a philosophy course to fulfill a Gen Ed requirement, you will see that we regularly offer several introductory courses that can meet the Gen Ed requirements relating to (1) Historical and Philosophical Perspectives, (2) Advanced Composition, (3) Quantitative Reasoning I, and (4) Quantitative Reasoning II. Regardless of your major, taking philosophy courses is a great way to meet your general education requirements while expanding your horizons.

    Faculty and Publications: If you want to learn more about our faculty and their work, see our faculty listings here and here, along with some of their recent publications here.

    PhD in Philosophy: If you are thinking about applying to our PhD program, you can find more information here.

    Department Activities and Initiatives: If you are hoping to get more involved in department activities and initiatives, some links that you may want to explore include our graduate Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) chapter, our annual Graduate Student Conference, our undergraduate Philosophy Club, our Philosophy Colloquium speaker series, and our Friday afternoon Grad Talks.

    There is much more to see. These are just some highlights. If you have any questions after looking through our site or would just like to learn more about how your interests might line up with a philosophical education, please don’t hesitate to contact us or come to visit. We can be reached at philosophy@illinois.edu or (217) 333-2889. Our offices are in 200 Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright St., MC-468, Urbana, IL 61801. If you come to the second floor of Gregory Hall, you will find us at the end of the long hallway closest to the Quad.