Students will graduate with full development of critical thinking, reading, writing, and discussion skills, which form a solid foundation for a variety of careers, including positions in environmental ethics, bioethics, business, government, and public policy. Graduates have also worked in diverse fields such as the forest service, in environmental research at Chesapeake Bay, and environmental law.
The study of philosophy also provides the necessary tools to succeed in a variety of graduate programs, including philosophy, business, history, law, political science, and religion. All of our students who have declared and interest in graduate school have been accepted at well-recognized programs, such as:
- Washington University, St. Louis
- Western Michigan University
- University of Arizona
- University of Calgary
- University of Hawaii
- University of Houston
- University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
- University of Louisville
- University of Memphis
- University of Nebraska
- University of Notre Dame
Class of 2000
When Chris Mixson was preparing to graduate from UE in May 2000, he wasn’t sure what to do next.
He’d earned a degree in philosophy, with a minor in biology. But it was his close relationships with the faculty at UE that showed him the first step to his current career as an environmental lawyer.
“My philosophy advisor, Dr. William Connolly, suggested that I consider graduate school for philosophy, but I was personally not ready to jump into post-graduate studies immediately after UE. Dr. Jim Brenneman, my biology professor, suggested something called the Student Conservation Association, which is an environmental non-profit organization related to AmeriCorps,” Mixson said. “Through that program, you can be an intern in a national park, work outside with your hands, and work with kids by showing them around the parks. That was a great suggestion, I knew I wanted to work outside because of a fantastic field studies course I took over my senior year spring break with biology professor Dr. Dale Edwards.
“So I worked for the Student Conservation Association for two years in natural resources management of public lands and environmental education. In addition to working at great places with great people, SCA helps you to pay off your student loans.”
Mixson enjoyed his work so much he decided he wanted to take it a step further. He applied to several environmental law schools, and was accepted into the nation’s top program: Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. His philosophy and biology education prepared him well for future studies, and his close relationships with UE faculty helped guide him after UE as well.
Today, Mixson is in private practice in Reno, Nevada, and his environmental law clients include Native American tribes and the Sierra Club. And a dozen years after his graduation, he still credits his UE education and close relationships with his faculty (his UE philosophy advisor attended his wedding, in fact) with preparing him for success beyond the classroom.
"A degree from UE prepared me to succeed," Mixson said. "Philosophy teaches you how to read and think critically, and that is exactly what lawyers do."
Class of 2003
As an undergraduate, Derek Jones took a range of courses but was drawn to the clarity and precision of philosophy. "Although I enjoyed many of my other courses," he noted, "I found that the things I liked most about them — discussions of meaning, knowledge, and the nature of the world around me — were handled most directly and precisely in the philosophy curriculum." At UE, Derek was active academically and socially. He held positions in a number of student organizations and graduated with majors in philosophy, literature, and creative writing.
After graduating from UE, Derek was deployed to Pristina, Kosovo, with the U.S. Army National Guard. Serving as executive officer for an infantry company, he found himself balancing logistical responsibilities with additional duties, including intelligence analysis and public relations. "Though some think philosophy isn't a practical discipline, it's a field that emphasizes problem-solving and analysis, which are valuable skills for any line of work. My philosophical training at UE provided me with the skills I needed to produce original solutions to unconventional problems in a complex and morally ambiguous environment."
Since returning from Kosovo, Derek has earned an MA in philosophy from the University of Houston and is pursuing a PhD in philosophy at Indiana University. His education at UE prepared him well for graduate work. "The UE philosophy faculty members are knowledgeable, and they are active participants in some of the most cutting-edge debates in the field," he said. "Moreover, they're excellent teachers and mentors."