“Philosophy, if it cannot answer so many questions as we could wish, has at least the power of asking questions which increase the interest of the world, and show the strangeness and wonder lying just below the surface even in the commonest things of daily life.”
-Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy (1912)

About Our Offerings

mckeeThe University of Northern Colorado's Department of Philosophy offers several different courses of study in philosophy. Among these is a traditional philosophy B.A. designed to give students a solid grounding in both the history of philosophy and the central areas of philosophical inquiry: ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics, and a traditional philosophy minor. A major in philosophy with an emphasis in ethics and public policy is also available for those who are especially interested in the practical connections between philosophy and the sphere of human action.

In addition, the Department of Philosophy administers UNC’s legal studies minor, a minor designed to complement any regular pre-law major or any other law-related degree program available at UNC. There is no major in legal studies at UNC, although students interested in a solid law-related major might consider the emphasis in ethics and public policy described above. For more information about both pre-law at UNC and the legal studies minor, visit the Pre-Law Web site.

A number of courses of interest to a wide audience of undergraduates are available, including both a number of courses in the Liberal Arts Core and a fairly wide variety of courses of general interest that do not satisfy general education requirements or requirements in the Liberal Arts Core but that many students who are neither majors nor minors in philosophy take anyway. Perhaps the best examples of courses of this latter type are Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Religion.

There is no graduate program in philosophy at UNC, but students pursuing graduate degrees in other fields may do work on specific philosophical topics by arranging to take one or more directed studies courses with members of the philosophy faculty.

studentAs our students can attest, there are a great many reasons to study philosophy, not all of them, by any means, narrowly vocational.

The group of students presently studying philosophy and/or legal studies consists of approximately 75 majors (60 or so pursuing the regular B.A. and another 15 or so pursuing a B.A. with an emphasis in Ethics and public policy), about 20 philosophy minors, and another 25 students or so who are legal studies minors. With a staff of four full-time faculty members, this makes most upper-level classes reasonably small, with average enrollments of from 30 to 35. Class sizes in introductory level classes are larger: enrollments of 65 are common.

The small size of our Department is a strength. It makes for an intimate setting conducive to lively philosophical discussion. The main office, faculty offices, and a seminar room available for upper level classes and for study and informal discussion can be found on west campus in McKee Hall. The main office is located in McKee 318.

All decisions regarding curriculum, programs, and personnel are made by a group consisting of the Department’s teaching faculty and an annually elected student representative whose involvement helps ensure that students have a real voice in all the Department's affairs.

Questions or comments? If so, please feel free to contact directly any of the members of our faculty or staff, or to the acting chair:

Nancy Matchett, Chair
Department of Philosophy
Campus Box 126
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639

Email: Nancy.Matchett@unco.edu
Telephone: (970) 351-1567
Fax: (970) 351-2311