The study of Philosophy can be challenging because it asks students to critically examine very fundamental questions about what it means to be human - behavior, values, ethics, logic, aesthetics. Some describe it as "thinking in slow motion" because of the way it explores in depth the human experience.

Students choose philosophy because it instills a lifelong love and quest for knowledge, it imparts a disciplined and systematic way of thinking, and it enhances critical and analytical capacities. Most graduates of philosophy describe the great personal reward that comes from exploring the great thinkers of the past in the context of modern issues. But, they also passionately value the career skills that they developed - how to read and comprehend difficult text;, how to understand different interpretations of information and assess opposing viewpoints; how to craft a clear and logical position on an issue in writing and orally; and how to make connections between smaller, seemingly disparate details and the big picture.

The undergraduate program is relatively small, resulting in more one-on-one attention from faculty than might be found at another university.


At UWM, incoming freshmen interested in studying philosophy are advised to begin with the general introductory course, PHILOS 101, though there are several courses, especially at the 200 level, that are open to students without a background in philosophy. The 300 level includes courses designed to provide more in-depth treatments of traditional philosophical areas. Courses at the 400 level are devoted to the history of philosophy. Courses at the 500 level deal with specific issues and problems.

The College of Letters & Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all credits in the minor attempted at UWM. Students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work.

Students wishing to minor in philosophy should consult with the undergraduate program coordinator in order to complete a declaration of minor form and be assigned a departmental advisor.

The minor requires 18 credits in philosophy. Nine credits are required at the 300 level or above, all of which must be taken in residence at UWM.

Choose one:3
Elementary Logic
Great Thinkers of the Ancient Period
Great Thinkers of the Modern Period
Nineteenth-Century Philosophers
Select five additional philosophy courses15
Total Credits18

Letters & Science Minor Advising

Advising for the minor takes place within the department by a faculty member or staff member. Follow the steps using the "Declare a Minor" button on the department’s website which may include instructions on how to select a faculty advisor if there is more than one to choose from.

Students who already have an L&S college advisor because their degree plan is in L&S can discuss the minor with them as well since they will be familiar with any minor in L&S. Students who are working on a degree from a UWM college other than the College of Letters & Science will not need an L&S college advisor for just a minor and one will not be assigned. These students should work with the faculty or staff advisor they receive as part of the minor declaration process or contact the department directly for assistance.

Applicants who have not started classes at UWM yet who wish to declare a minor should wait until they are registered for their first UWM classes and then can declare the minor using the “Declare a Minor” button on the program’s website. If you have questions about the minor before then, contact