Raphael's School of Athens
  • Program Type
    Major, Minor
  • Degrees Offered
    B.A., B.S.
  • School
    School of Arts & Sciences

Explore life’s foundational questions with courage and humility. Form a comprehensive view of the world and your place in it.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll learn to think well and develop a philosophical habit of mind — an understanding of concepts, informed judgment, and logical reasoning. While vastly improving your communication and critical thinking skills, you’ll explore fundamental questions: Who and what am I? Am I free? What is there? Is there a God? How should I live? How should we live together? Can I even know the answers to these questions? Your exploration will be grounded in the history of ideas and the writings of great thinkers.

Receive individualized attention.

You’ll enjoy small class sizes and individualized mentorship provided by your professors. Our students discover their talents early and pursue meaningful vocations. You will be well prepared for a career upon graduation or to pursue further study. Our graduates have a good record of earning full scholarships to pursue graduate study in philosophy, canon law, theology, and law at notable regional, national, and international schools.

Engage in lively, open, respectful discussions.

In the Philosophy Colloquium, program majors meet to discuss readings, student and faculty projects, and engage with guest speakers. 

Gain added perspective on the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Philosophical study plays an essential role at Mary because of its commitment to the harmony of faith and reason and its support for the pursuit of philosophical truth. Philosophy reinforces our commitment to the Catholic intellectual tradition, which affirms the potential of the mind to discover and increasingly understand true answers to philosophical questions.

Prepare yourself for future success.

Employers often look for applicants with the skills that a philosophical education provides. Graduates in philosophy are often able to think critically, write clearly, and argue persuasively at a much higher level than their peers. Applicants with these skills are highly sought after by employers. In addition, philosophy graduates score higher on average than graduates from any other discipline on the GRE.

Get your bachelor’s degree in 2.6 years or your bachelor’s and master’s in four years.

You can earn your philosophy bachelor’s in 2.6 years or complete your bachelor’s and a Master of Business Administration/Master of Arts in Philosophy in four years through Mary’s innovative Year-Round Campus program. 

Course Requirements

Please visit our catalog for a list of all courses and credits.

Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy David Echelbarger and students share what it’s like to study philosophy at Mary. 

Careers & Outcomes

Employment Trends

The critical thinking and reasoning skills our graduates develop are valued by employers in a wide range of fields, from business and government to the nonprofit sector. Mary graduates who combine philosophy with a double-major expand their job opportunities and career options, which include preparation for the Seminary or continued study.

Career Paths

  • Educator
  • Attorney
  • Entrepreneur
  • Nonprofit director
  • Chief executive officer
  • Priest or Religious
  • Health care professional
  • Scientist
  • Journalist
  • Marketer

The faculty are very skilled at empowering you as a student to take on the challenge of pursuing the truth; and you’re surrounded by a community of students who have a similar goal.

Kathryn Davis, ‘21

Featured Faculty

David Echelbarger, PhD

Chair of Philosophy Program, Associate Professor of Philosophy

I joined the Philosophy Faculty at Mary in 2014, after earning my PhD from Baylor University. In addition to teaching philosophy, I have the great privilege of serving as a faculty mentor for the Gregorian Scholars Honors Program. My wife and I have been blessed with three children. Originally from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin, we have developed a great fondness for North Dakota — especially its people and austere beauty.

Daniel John Sportiello, PhD

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Fellow in Catholic Studies

In my research, I assume that philosophy is something that we do — that it is, in other words, a way of addressing the questions and concerns that arise in the everyday. In my teaching, I assume the same: I show my students that philosophy addresses the questions and concerns that they already have — the same questions and concerns that make them human. This means, of course, that philosophy is an expression of our condition — but also that it is an interrogation of that condition, a way for us to remake ourselves. 

Jeremy Skrzypek, PhD

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

I first arrived at the University of Mary in the fall of 2017, having studied in Saint Louis, Missouri, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Buffalo, New York. I am originally from a small town in rural Western New York. I regularly teach upper-division courses on metaphysics, medieval philosophy, philosophical theology, and philosophy of the human person, as well as search for truth and ethics. In my research, I work mostly in contemporary metaphysics and medieval philosophy, concentrating on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy camping, hiking, canoeing, and watching sci-fi movies with my wife, Cristina.

Take Your Next Step in Philosophy