Are you finding it difficult to choose a college major because your interests are so numerous and your career aspirations are just as vast? Then a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies from SJC Long Island might be for you. Here’s why to major in philosophy and religious studies at St. Joseph’s:
1. Gain the needed tools and versatility for the future.
Both philosophy and religious studies are rooted in the past, relevant to the present and focused on tomorrow.
“The classes I took in religious studies have been tremendously important in my everyday life. They play a role in not only helping me better understand the history I will teach, since religion has played a role in most world events, but also the diverse students who will make up my classroom. Having knowledge of all major religions will enable me as a teacher to better meet my students’ needs and understand their backgrounds. These courses will not only change the way you view the world, but also how you view yourself.”
–Dana Rundberg ’17, B.A. in History and Philosophy/Religious Studies
2. Focus on questions of broad human concern.
Who am I? What can I hope for? What are justice, freedom and beauty, and why should I care? These big questions center on what matters in our personal lives, careers and our roles as citizens. They also exemplify our core values here at SJC; intellectual and spiritual values, integrity, service and social responsibility.
Philosophical study acquaints our students with the historical conversation about human concerns and helps them develop the ability to recognize problems, analyze and articulate them and solve them in creative ways. Religious studies invites students to acquire a deep understanding of the universal religious impulse and its manifestation in different historical periods and cultures, as well as its role in today’s world.
3. Combine a strong foundation in the liberal arts with sound professional training
Philosophy and religious studies courses can complement your professional course of study by encouraging you to think deeply about issues that arise in your chosen career and make you better able to move up to leadership positions by expanding your creative and critical thinking.
“When I applied to St. Joseph’s College for my undergraduate degree, I never thought I would become a double major in speech pathology and philosophy/religious studies. The classes I took on Buddhism and Hinduism were my favorite because I really got to open my mind and understand the world through a different lens. I know the religious studies classes I took will benefit me in my spiritual and professional life moving forward.”
–Melissa Miglionico ’17, B.A. in Philosophy/Religious Studies and Speech Pathology
4. Become a thoughtful and caring agent in the workplace and the larger world.
Whether you’re in accounting, management, the healing professions or teaching, a better understanding of religion will assist you in working with your clients, patients and students. Training in philosophical thinking will strengthen your analytical skills and position you to engage in divergent thinking.
5. Prepare yourself for creative career options.
Our major has a flexible core with classes in both religious studies and philosophy. Students then choose to specialize in either religious studies or philosophy, as their interests take them. Graduates have gone on to graduate programs in law, library science, social work and the ministry.
Because philosophy focuses on thinking well rather than just knowing, asking questions as well as answering them and justifying viewpoints instead of just having one, it can help you as you evolve your professional directions and prepare you for careers that do not exist today.
“Philosophy opened my mind to think in ways that it had not been trained before. Studying philosophy prepares students to think critically and question the status quo. These skills are invaluable for any career path.”
–Alexandra Mercado ’13, B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies*
*Went on to get a master’s degree in library and information science.