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Philosophy students meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

Students in Kevin Corcoran's interim course "Pubs, Clubs and Alternative Worship," talk with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

Study philosophy

Many of the late-night discussions you get into as a Calvin student deal with puzzles and questions philosophers have wrestled with for centuries. The philosophy department offers courses, majors and other opportunities to help you work out answers to these questions.

We offer courses on religious belief, right and wrong, gender, cultures, knowledge, history, minds, brains and persons. Many of these courses fulfill Core requirements, including Integrative Studies, Global and Historical, Persons in Community, or Cross Cultural Engagement (CCE).

Programs in philosophy

Major in philosophy

The major concentration in philosophy is appropriate for various careers, including professions such as higher education, law, the ministry, and government service. Note that there are slightly different requirements for studying philosophy as a double major.

Minor in philosophy

The philosophy minor is a flexible option consisting of 18 semester hours in introductory logic, history of philosophy, and two intermediate or advanced electives.


The philosophy department offers 34 semester-long courses and a variety of options during interim. You can view philosophy course descriptions here.

Interim opportunities

During the January interim term, students concentrate their scholarly curiosity on one area of study. Philosophy professors have led such courses as "Death and the Meaning of Life," "Moral Expectation in Film," "Peaceable Kingdom: Transforming our Relationships with Animals," "Faith, Evidence and the Holy Spirit" and "Concepts of Nature."

Professors also facilitate or lead a number of international opportunities during the Interim, such as "Independent Study at L'Abri Fellowship, Switzerland" and "Building Communities in Uganda."

Current interim courses descriptions are available from the Registrar.

Writing Philosophy Guide

writing guide

General advice for writing good philosophy papers, compiled by Calvin philosophy professors.


Find out about the honors program in philosophy.


Check out the department's internship opportunities.

Transferring to Calvin

Learn about how to transfer to Calvin to study philosophy and why you might wish to do so.