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

Litigation Associate, Lewis Rice LLC

Rollins Philosophy Careers

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

  • Self portrait of Kate Barnekow.

    Kate Barnekow ’15

    Staff Attorney, The Humane Society of the United States

  • Self portrait of Julia Boguslawski

    Julia Boguslawski ’01 ’03MBA

    Chief Marketing Officer, American Gaming Systems

  • Self portrait of 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

  • Self portrait of Jonathan Titone.

    Jonathan Titone ’99

    Senior Vice President, Global Market Consultant, Network Management, Northern Trust Asset Servicing

  • A headshot of Mitch Verboncoeur

    Mitch Verboncoeur ’14

    Principal, 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
Rollins College students enjoying lunch by the Lakeside pool.

Apply By November 15

It’s never been easier or more rewarding to apply to Rollins. No app fee, formal essay, or test scores required. Apply by November 15 to receive priority consideration for admission and academic scholarships that range from $15,000 per year to full ride.

Start an Application

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.

Student debates from podium.

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.

Alise Fortune, Alexis Munsey, Olivia Tamburlini, Rivers Lenholt, Coco Marshall, and Alec Kriegbaum.

Bright Lights

Rollins’ 2024 valedictorians share how the College connected them to their purpose, what they’ll miss most, and what’s next in their meaningful lives and productive careers.

Musgrave Receives AAC&U Fellowship and SAAP Appointment

Philosophy professor L. Ryan Musgrave has recently earned two prestigious honors within the philosophy space.

Graphic depicting global challenges.

Solving the World’s Greatest Challenges

Rollins graduates earn more than a degree. They gain the knowledge and skills to address large-scale issues like climate change and human rights.

Smaw Receives Torch of Excellence Award

Philosophy professor Eric Smaw has been selected as a recipient of the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award for 2023.

Smaw Receives Honorary Degree for Impactful Work in Humanities

Philosophy professor Eric Smaw has been selected to receive an honorary doctorate from Hellenic American University.

Abrielle Mannino ’25 and Renee Stone ’85

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.

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

  • 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

  • Scott Rubarth

    Scott Rubarth, PhD

    Associate Professor of Classical Philosophy

    Research interests: Ancient philosophy and science, stoicism, and philosophy of media

  • 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

Professor and students in a class discussion at a Rollins outdoor classroom

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