Philosophy is a discipline with ancient roots and endless applications in our rapidly evolving world. As a philosophy major at Rollins, you’ll explore the ideas of history’s greatest thinkers—from Plato and Aristotle to Descartes and Nietzsche—and engage enduring questions about existence, knowledge, truth, and ethics.

Along the way, you’ll learn to apply logic, challenge assumptions, and examine what’s beneath the surface. You’ll develop the ability to reason effectively, communicate persuasively, and think critically, creatively, and ethically. And while reflecting on big questions, you’ll gain self-awareness and empathy that enrich your entire life.

Philosophy is an ideal springboard for graduate programs and professional schools as well as a wide range of careers in everything from law and public policy to business and banking.

Why Study Philosophy at Rollins

  1. Faculty Mentorship

    Whether reading Aristotle in ancient Greek or publishing research on the father of existentialism, you’ll benefit from close connections with your professors.

  2. Linguistic Opportunities

    What sets Rollins apart from other philosophy programs is an emphasis on language. You’ll experience the nuance of texts in the original Greek, Sanskrit, Latin, Hebrew, and Syriac.

  3. Renowned Debate Program

    As a member of our national champion debate team, you’ll not only compete around the world but also hone your rhetorical prowess and presentation skills, gaining valuable training for law school and other graduate programs.

Interested in Studying Philosophy at Rollins?

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Kolten Ellis ’16

“Rollins’ philosophy classes taught me to critically evaluate discussions around key intellectual and social issues in our world. These skills are invaluable for my intended career path in law and political philosophy. Moreover, the dedication of the professors to their students’ success simply cannot be overstated.”

Kolten Ellis ’16

Law Clerk, United States Courts

Rollins Philosophy Careers

Rollins philosophy grads are making tomorrow happen at some of the world’s most innovative companies.

  • Kate Barnekow

    Kate Barnekow ’15

    Staff Attorney, The Humane Society of the United States
  • Julia Boguslawski

    Julia Boguslawski ’01 ’03MBA

    Chief Marketing Officer, American Gaming Systems
  • Nick Dolce

    Nick Dolce ’05

    Managing Attorney, Department of Children and Families
  • Chad Harris ’00

    Chad E. Harris ’00

    Assistant General Counsel, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO
  • Jonathan Titone

    Jonathan Titone ’99

    Global Market Consultant, Northern Trust Corporation
  • Mitch Verboncoeur

    Mitch Verboncoeur ’14

    Associate Attorney, McKool Smith

Real World Experience

From community engagement courses to internships and research, philosophy students hone their skills in the real world.

  • The Florida Bar
  • Equality Florida
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • Hope Community Center
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Florida House of Representatives
Professor and students in a class discussion at a Rollins outdoor classroom

See for Yourself

Get a feel for Rollins’ unique brand of engaged learning and personalized attention through one of our virtual or in-person visit experiences.

Take a Closer Look

Popular Courses

A Day in the Life of a Rollins Philosophy Major

“To me, philosophy cultivates critical-thinking skills, exposes learners to different ways of knowing, and has the potential to fundamentally shift your worldview to critique systems of oppression and legitimate voices of those most marginalized. In my opinion, these skills are absolutely essential to the transformative change for which our global community aches.”

Caitlin Robison ’20

PhD Candidate, University of Florida

Beyond the Classroom

Debate Team Hone everything from reasoning to rhetorical skills as a member of Rollins’ top-ranked debate team, which boasts numerous first-place finishes at the state, national, and international levels. In addition to participating in competitions all over the globe, the debate team also hosts international teams for an annual event, The Great Debate.

Philosophy and Religion Club This popular forum brings you together with faculty, visiting experts, and other students for dialectical conversation. A speaker introduces a theme, provides background, and then opens a lively discussion.

Study Abroad From Israel and Italy to Greece and Ghana, Rollins philosophy majors can explore the world and refine their cultural fluency and communication skills through dozens of faculty-led field studies and semester-long study abroad programs.

Keep Exploring

Take a deeper dive into philosophy at Rollins by meeting your future professors, seeing our grads in action, and sitting in on a class.

Abrielle Mannino ’25 and Renee Stone ’85

March 15, 2023

Paying It Forward

Highly accomplished environmental lawyer Renee Stone ’85 sits down with Abrielle Mannino ’25 to discuss her biggest takeaways from Rollins, the value of the liberal arts, and insights gleaned on her path to advocacy.

Professor Eric Smaw

January 26, 2023

Smaw Selected as an ACS Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow

The appointment will enable philosophy professor Eric Smaw to serve as Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), where he will oversee ongoing diversity initiatives for the College.

July 06, 2022

Standing Guard

Through an eminent career in security, childhood refugee Akmal Ali ’03 devotes each day to keeping us safe.

March 01, 2022

Rollins Launches New Graduate Certificate in Racial Reconciliation & Community Restoration

This innovative certificate program is built to empower those seeking to make a difference in the community and addressing racial inequality.

September 01, 2021

McLaren Awarded Fulbright Fellowship to India for Spring 2022

The honor reflects philosophy professor Margaret McLaren’s decades of work surrounding human rights and globalization.

A grid of images depicting service learning experiences at Rollins College.

July 26, 2021

Leadership Lessons (L)earned

These Rollins College grads credit thriving careers in medicine, law, and business to lessons learned in service of others.

Expert Faculty

All of our philosophy faculty hold terminal degrees in the field and boast expertise in a broad spectrum of specializations. Our expert professors are also dedicated mentors who elevate learning through personalized attention inside and outside the classroom.

Department of Philosophy & Religion

French House
1000 Holt Ave. – 2773
Winter Park, FL 32789

Telephone: 407.646.2139

Visit the Department of Philosophy & Religion Website

Contact Philosophy Professors

  • Tom Cook

    Tom Cook, PhD

    Professor of Philosophy

    Research interests: 17th-century philosophy, especially Spinoza; philosophy of mind; and moral psychology

  • Margaret McLaren

    Margaret McLaren, PhD

    Professor of Philosophy

    Research interests: Human rights and globalization, feminist theory and gender issues, and 20th-century French philosophy

  • L.  Ryan Musgrave

    L. Ryan Musgrave, PhD

    Associate Professor of Philosophy; Program Coordinator, Sexuality, Women’s, and Gender Studies

    Research interests: Philosophy of law, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, feminist theory, American philosophy, and philosophy of education

  • Eric Smaw

    Eric Smaw, PhD

    Associate Professor of Philosophy; Co-Director, Pre-Law Advising

    Research interests: Philosophy of law, political philosophy, ethics, and human rights