Minor in Philosophy


You go into [philosophy] to pursure your intellectual passion, and it just so happens as a byproduct that you emerge as a desired commodity for industry.

David Horowitz, entrepreneur

It seems almost too good to be true, but studying philosophy allows you to explore life’s toughest questions while acquiring some of the most desirable traits sought by employers. Here’s why. As a philosophy student you learn skills in critical thinking, written and verbal communication, moral and ethical reasoning and will learn how to analyze and understand arguments better that just about any other area of study. Because of these traits, more and more employers look for philosophy graduates. Additionally, philosophy graduates promote faster in the workplace.

The minor in philosophy is a low-credit option to add these skills to your portfolio, and a philosophy minor complements almost any other program of study. Requirements for the minor are summarized below, and can be reviewed in the Undergraduate Catalog.

To learn more about minoring in philosophy, get in touch with our department chair or visit us in CHBS 4202

The Philosophy Minor completes the Humanistic or Artistic Expression Area of the REAL Curriculum

This program fulfills the REAL Curriculum "E" area in Humanistic or Artistic Expression.


The Philosophy Minor consists of 15 semester hours of philosophy courses as outlined below:

Required Courses (6 credits)
Choose two of the following courses:

Electives (9 credits)

Choose three additional PHIL courses, one of which must be an E designated course at the 300-level or above. 

    Philosophy Faculty

    Our philosophy faculty come from diverse backgrounds, have diverse interests, and are internationally recognized in their areas of specialization.

    Dr. Guy Axtell, Professor of Philosophy


    Hemphill Hall 4205

    Ph.D. University of Hawaii'i

    Teaching areas: epistemology and metaphysics, philosophy of science, “STS” or science, technology and society studies, and philosophy of religion. 
    Research interests: epistemology, analytic and comparative philosophy of religion

    More information about Dr. Axtell

    Dr. Steven Fesmire, Professor of Philosophy and Chair


    Hemphill Hall 4201

    Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

    Teaching areas: ethics, environmental philosophy, philosophy of education
    Research Interests: ethics, education, politics, John Dewey

    More information about Dr. Fesmire

    Dr. Gilburt Goffstein, Philosophy Adjunct Faculty


    Hemphill Hall 4202

    Ph.D. University of Missouri

    Teaching areas: modern philosophy, political philosophy
    Research interests: human liberation, Habermas, Zen Budhism

    More information about Dr. Goffstein

    Dr. Heather Keith, Professor of Philosophy and Executive Director of Faculty Development



    McConnell Hall-Library 272

    Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

    Teaching areas: ethics, wicked problems, unconventional forms of instruction
    Research interests: ethics and disability; environmental, social, and personal resilience

    More information about Dr. Keith

    Dr. Katy Shepard, Adjunct Philosophy Faculty


    Hemphill Hall 4024

    Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

    Teaching areas: ethics, introduction to philosophy, professional ethics
    Research interests: aesthetics, art and identity, identity and politics

    More information about Dr. Shepard

    Mr. Darrell Shomaker, Assistant Professor of Philosophy


    RU Carilion - Roanoke 
    9th Floor, Rm 911

    M.A., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

    Teaching areas: ethics, heatlhcare ethics
    Research interests: adult aging and development, gerontology

    More information about Prof. Shomaker

    Mr. Mike Zarella, Philosophy Adjunct Faculty


    Hemphill Hall 4212

    M.A., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

    Teaching areas: introduction to philosophy, ethics
    Research interests: applied philosophy

    More information about Prof. Zarella