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:

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