Critical thinking and effective argumentation skills

What is morality? What is beauty? What is freedom? If you’ve ever caught yourself pondering some of life’s “big questions,” UNE’s minor in Philosophy may be for you. Like no other academic discipline, philosophy directly and rigorously investigates questions like these, deepening your understanding of yourself and the world around you. A highly practical program, UNE’s Philosophy minor offers courses that are designed to connect philosophical ideas to “real world” topics and challenges that we face in society today. Moreover, the program equips you with the intellectual skills you need to evaluate, discuss, debate, and write about a wide variety of information and ideas, making it the perfect complement to any academic major and potentially increasing employability in practically any career field.

A u n e student searches a bookshelf


Unlike many academic disciplines that require navigation of a sharp learning curve before you can truly engage in them in a hands-on manner, UNE’s Philosophy minor is a program you can take part in right from day one. In fact, you’ve likely already been involved in philosophical pursuits, perhaps without even realizing it. By providing opportunities for skeptical and critical dialogue about ideas, our philosophy courses give you a better understanding of the force of ideas, or lack thereof, while actively engaging your imagination and analytic reasoning skills — all from the moment you walk in the classroom door.

Philosophy opened doorways for me as a practicing scientist just as profoundly as courses in chemistry, mathematics, and physics.” — Nicholas Tito ’08 (Ph.D. Research Fellow, Institute for Complex Molecular Systems Eindhoven University of Technology)


Experiential Learning

Interdisciplinary Research and Projects

You can think of the philosophy classroom as a laboratory of ideas that range from politics and ethics to artificial intelligence, the environment, and so much more. By analyzing conceptual foundations and methodological assumptions of various intellectual disciplines, philosophy lends itself well to interdisciplinary projects, leading to novel and fruitful developments in different fields by reconceiving things that have been taken for granted or by shedding light on things that have been overlooked. Many philosophy minors have applied a philosophical approach to their major field of study in order to produce original research and projects that combine the two disciplines. Past projects have included:

  • A thesis on the ethics of coastal adaptation strategies made necessary by global warming
  • A project that explored how stoicism was incorporated into the lives and politics of the Founding Fathers
  • A study of the simianization of racialized people
  • A cross-cultural and historical investigation of the belief that the act of murder contaminates the killer

In-Class Activities

The Philosophy program at UNE is designed for active student engagement in the philosophical process. Memorizing the theories of Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, and Marx is not the goal. We want to coax out your inner philosopher by providing you the tools to formulate your own theories as well as challenge those of others. Classes are highly interactive, and you will engage with your classmates in debates, classroom discussions, and small group work on a regular basis.

Two U N E students study together in the Ripich Commons

Examples of Available Courses

By inviting you to contemplate the world’s “big questions,” UNE’s Philosophy minor hones your skills of critical thinking and effective argumentation. The following are just some of the exciting courses you can take:

  • Philosophy of Biology
  • Debating Ethics
  • Philosophy of Psychology
  • The Good Life


The minor in Philosophy requires the completion of six (6) courses (minimum eighteen (18) credits) with the PHI prefix. At least three (3) of the six (6) courses must be numbered 300 or greater.

Philosophy Courses Credits
PHI 110 – Problems of Philosophy 3
PHI 120 – Living the Good Life 3
PHI 125 – Phil of Friendship, Love, Marriage, and Sex 3
PHI 150 – Critical Thinking 3
PHI 160 – Science, Pseudo-Science, and Weird Ideas 3
PHI 183 – Free Will and Determinism 3
PHI 200 – Science and Human Nature 3
PHI 201 – Bio-Medical Ethics 3
PHI 220 – Individual and Society 3
PHI 250 – Thinking Critically About Moral Problems 3
PHI 276 – Philosophy Human Trad I 3
PHI 278 – Philosophy Human Trad II 3
PHI 302 – Debating Ethics 3
PHI 304 – Social and Political Philosophy 3
PHI 307 – God, Life, and the Hereafter 3
PHI 315 – Bioethics 3
PHI 318 – Chinese Philosophy 3
PHI 320 – Readings in History and Philosophy of Science 3
PHI 325 – Topics in Philosophy 3
PHI 330 – Environmental Philosophy 3
PHI 340 – Appearance, Reality & Truth 3
PHI 350 – Ancient Philosophy 3
PHI 351 – Philosophy of Science 3
PHI 370 – Philosophy of Psychology 3
PHI 380 – Philosophy of Mind 3
PHI 401 – Directed Study in Philosophy 1
PHI 402 – Philosophy of Biology 3
PHI 408 – Theory of Knowledge 3
PHI 420 – Advanced Seminar 3
PHI 430 – What's Really Real 3

For more information see the Academic Catalog.


rank of philosophy students’ verbal reasoning and analytical writing scores on the GRE

Educational Testing Service, 2019

rank of philosophy students’ law school admissions test scores, among the average scores of law school applicants by major

Law School Admissions Council, 2017

Find your career

A minor in Philosophy can be a valuable accompaniment to a major in virtually any academic program because the widely applicable skills it cultivates (reasoning, logic, and effective communication in writing and speaking) will enhance your performance, no matter what your field of study and no matter which career you pursue. A Philosophy minor on your resume signals to potential employers that you have the intellectual skills to evaluate complex problems and the communication skills to appropriately convey solutions.

Pair a Philosophy Minor With a UNE Major in For a Career in the Field of
  • Biology
  • Medical Biology
  • Nursing
  • Medicine/Health Professions
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Therapy
  • Public Health
  • Public Health
  • Business
  • Business Management
  • Finance
  • Political Science
  • Criminology
  • Law/Public Policy
  • Education
  • Teaching
  • Communications and Media Arts
  • English
  • Marketing/Media/PR
  • Journalism
  • Global Studies
  • Applied Social and Cultural Studies
  • International Relations


Undergraduate Admissions

Contact Undergraduate Admissions at (800) 477-4863 or email You can also stop by our office on the Biddeford Campus Monday–Friday from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.