Philosophy is a branch of the humanities with ancient roots. The word "philosophy" comes to us from Ancient Greek and means "love of wisdom." Philosophy students today seek to answer many of the same essential questions as did Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle such as " What is there? What am I? How do I know? What should I do?" The contemporary philosopher's approach to answering these questions is systematic, relying on reasoned argumentation. Among the major fields of study within philosophy are metaphysics (the study of reality and being), epistemology (the study of knowledge), logic (the study of principals and reasoning), and ethics (the study of values and morals).
The Department of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest in the United States and sponsors an excellent undergraduate program. Approximately 300 students are majoring in philosophy, and thousands more learn about philosophical thinking in the department's many undergraduate course offerings. The department is at the forefront of philosophical research in a wide variety of areas. It also places a strong emphasis on undergraduate education. Philosophy courses such as PHL 301 Introduction to Philosophy, PHL 304 Contemporary Moral Problems, and PHL 317K Introduction to Philosophy of the Arts are among the most popular courses on campus.
As with any degree in Liberal Arts, a degree in philosophy provides graduates with skills in critical thinking, writing, and in particular, logical thought. These skills are useful in a variety of careers. In addition, philosophy is often listed as one of the best majors for students interested in law school.