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Dr. Patrick Kain, Associate Professor of Philosophy, has focus on ethics and the history of modern philosophy. Dr. Kain incorporates understanding human nature and human dignity and the role they play in the foundations of ethics.

Majoring in Philosophy

Philosophy majors develop the critical thinking and reading, logical reasoning, oral communication, research capabilities, and effective writing abilities to prepare them successful careers and post-graduate study, particularly for law school. Philosophy offers the opportunity to pursue studies in both traditional and contemporary areas of philosophical inquiry with faculty working in the history of philosophy from antiquity to the present, and in most areas of contemporary Anglo-American and Continental European philosophy. Faculty members have held research fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Humanities Center.

Alongside classroom experiences, the Philosophy Department supports Purdue’s Mock Trial Team and, along with the Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue's debate team, the Richard C. Petticrew Forum, allowing students to develop skills in oral argument.


Philosophy provides an exceptional option for students planning to enter law school. Philosophy majors consistently earn the highest average score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), according to the Law School Admissions Council.

While some students who major in Philosophy choose to pursue an academic career in the field, many other students choose to pursue a career that is directly or indirectly-related to their studies. Student experiences have included:

  • District Scheduler
  • Marketing and Operations Associate
  • Account Clerk
  • Policy Service Representative
  • Sales Representative
  • Attorney
  • Graduate or Professional School

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Within the field of Philosophy, students develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Reading and analyzing dense texts and summarizing them succinctly.
  • Well-developed logical reasoning skills.
  • Scrutinizing influential writings to challenge hidden assumptions and presuppositions, and writing and reflecting on ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, language, politics, and religion.

Philosophy majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • Office of Congressman Eric Swalwell
  • German Accelerator, Inc.
  • AT&T
  • CNO Financial Group

Graduate School

  • Columbia Law School
  • Gould School of Law, University of Southern California
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Indiana University

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