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"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
— Aristotle


In addition to the intrinsic interest of issues in Philosophy and Religious Studies, these disciplines also have significant practical benefits for students. For more information, see Philosophy and Religious Studies. See also The Danger of Picking a Major Based on Where the Jobs Are (The Atlantic, June 2015).



The Association of American Medical Colleges recently introduced a new version of the MCAT test, which is required for admission to medical school (see New MCAT Test). On the evidence of the sample questions that have been published, pre-med students who take one or more courses in philosophy will be very well prepared for questions in the new test on critical analysis and reasoning skills (see questions 5-9 in Sample Questions).



The Department issues an annual electronic Newsletter each June.

Latest Newsletter: 2016

Previous Newsletters: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008



For a very brief history of the Department, click here.


Withers Hall

"In unphilosophical minds any rare or unexpected thing excites wonder while in philosophical minds the familiar excites wonder also."
— George Santayana


"To know one religion is to know none."
— Max Müller







The NC State Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is committed to:

  • offering a high-quality undergraduate Philosophy curriculum, including a major and minor in Philosophy, that gives students an opportunity to confront through historical and contemporary resources a wide range of central philosophical issues, such as the relationship between the mind and brain, the ethical implications of scientific advances, the justification of moral, political, and legal institutions, the relationship between human knowledge and reality, and the nature of the logic that structures human language and thought;
  • offering a high-quality undergraduate Religious Studies curriculum, including a major and a minor in Religious Studies, that provides students an extended opportunity to examine the multiple interpretations of the category “religion” – including religion as a social construction, as an element of psychological development, as a branch of metaphysics, and as a constellation of ritual practices – and the ways in which religious traditions have played a central role in human culture and history;
  • developing the analytical abilities and expressive powers of its students;
  • providing and expanding educational and research opportunities in interdisciplinary fields related to Philosophy and Religious Studies at the undergraduate and the graduate level; and
  • conducting research, teaching and scholarship that further knowledge and understanding in Philosophy, Religious Studies, and related interdisciplinary fields.