Department of PhilosophyAcademics

About the Department

Unlocking Wisdom

Studying philosophy gives you a conceptual framework for thinking about diverse view-points and problem-solving, which is essential to any career path. At Gustavus, philosophy courses will ask you to think about challenging ideas such as conceptions of right and wrong, race and gender, and truth and knowledge. Gustavus's philosophy professors are award-winning, top scholars in diverse philosophical fields, from religion and sport, to food and addiction. They will work with you and your classmates to take existing ideas, push them to a breaking point, evolve them, and develop new ways of seeing the world. Ultimately, you will learn to articulate your own ethics, develop strong arguments, and advocate for living responsibly in society.

Your professors invest in building a strong community with students and other faculty members across campus, working one-on-one with you towards your career and life goals. Philosophy graduates from Gustavus thrive in careers across industries, including law, finance, entrepreneurship, education, tech, and politics. They are transformational thinkers, making the world a better place.

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Discover a Community Committed to Your Success

As a philosophy student at Gustavus Adolphus, you will be taught by some of the country's leading scholars in the field. Located in St. Peter, Minnesota, the beautiful Gustavus Adolphus campus is a perfect place to learn, have fun, and build supportive relationships with proximity to big-city opportunities. You're minutes away from the medium-sized city of Mankato and an hour from the dynamic Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This smaller community is the ideal foundation for your big ideas.

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Discover your path:
Majors, Minors, and Related Programs

The philosophy major and minor are easily interconnected with other majors across campus. That's why most students have a second major or a minor from another department. At Gustavus, your philosophical studies will extend beyond intellectual or scholarly education. You will learn to live philosophically. Through your degree, you will engage with real-life philosophical applications in small classes with engaging discussions that may be about anything from environmental sustainability to infusing accent philosophy with rap.

Opportunities in Philosophy

Get Outside the Box or Ask If the Box Even Needs to Exist

Experiential learning is central to studying philosophy. You can embrace the many ways to get involved beyond the classroom. Picture yourself studying global thought in Argentina, listening to a world-renowned scholar, or meeting top-business leaders for career networking. By embracing these opportunities, you can deepen your knowledge, wrestle with different perspectives, and develop practical skills that will serve you well in your professional pursuits.

Explore Opportunities in Philosophy

  • Study Away — Studying in another country enhances your academic journey and broadens your perspectives, fosters personal growth, and prepares you to be a global citizen who can engage with philosophical ideas from different cultures and settings.
  • Research — The research component of the philosophy major helps you refine your intellectual abilities and build strong analytical and communication skills.
  • Discussions and Events — The campus is a rich environment to foster intellectual curiosity and build a sense of community through discussions, guest lectures, and events.
  • Professional Development — The faculty in the philosophy department and the Center for Career Development staff are committed to supporting you in your professional development journey, providing guidance, mentorship, and resources to help you build a strong foundation for your future career.


The Gustavus philosophy department is a close-community with an expansive and global mindset. Discover how students and faculty are shaping their discipline and building a better world.

Meet our Faculty

Dr. Peg O’Connor

Dr. Peg O’Connor

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, Philosophy

“Wittgenstein, Addiction, and Recovery – Listen to the Learning for Life Podcast” Dr. Peg O’Connor, Professor of Philosophy and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at Gustavus, talks about teaching amid the COVID-19 pandemic, her background and fascination with the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and his thought, what it means to be a philosopher, her alcoholism and sobriety, bringing […]

Read more about Dr. Peg O’Connor

Keep in Touch with the Philosophy Department

The philosophy department pushes you not just to think, but to transform your thinking into ethical actions that are aligned with your values. With award-winning faculty and opportunities to be involved across campus such as in music, theatre, athletics, or social justice groups, you will develop skills transferable to any career as you leave ready to make a positive impact in your community.

Contact Philosophy

Phone: 507-933-7548

Old Main, 202A
800 West College Avenue
Saint Peter, MN 56082