Engaged Philosophy

Engaged Philosophy takes what you’re learning in your courses and puts it into practice through internships, research, study away, winter term, career exploration, and beyond.

Here’s a sampling of recent projects, field experiences, and post-graduate destinations for philosophy majors.

RISE at Oberlin
Research. Internships. Study Away. Experiential Learning.

Ways Philosophy Majors Rise

Research

  • The philosophy department has a thriving Honors Program, which allows students to pursue independent research projects on a topic chosen in consultation with a professor. Recent topics for honors projects include issues related to war, disability, happiness, and consciousness.
  • Students have regular opportunities to engage with philosophers from across the country and abroad who come to Oberlin to present their research in our Visiting Speaker Series, at the annual Rhoden Lecture in ethics, law, and health care, and at the internationally renowned Oberlin Colloquium in Philosophy.
  • Collaboration with professors has yielded student publications in professional journals twice in recent years—something that’s quite unusual in philosophy.

Internships

  • Environmental Defense Fund, Boston
  • National Institutes for Health, Washington, DC
  • Law intern, Iowa State Public Defender
  • Vegan bakery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Village Education Project, Ecuador

Study Away

  • CIEE Tokyo Arts & Sciences, Sophia University
  • IFSA-Butler Cuba Study Abroad at Universidad de La Habana, Cuba
  • DIS–Study Abroad in Stockholm, Sweden
  • St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University, England

Experiential Learning

Students in the course Philosophy in the Schools (PHITS) develop their philosophical skills and deepen their philosophical understanding by teaching philosophy to children. Each week the students go into the local elementary school and teach three classrooms of second graders and one of first graders. There, the college students read a children’s poem to the class and then facilitate a philosophical discussion about the theme of the poem. The PHITS program seeks to teach valuable skills such as articulating diverse perspectives, respectful listening and discussion, and structuring an argument.

First Destinations of Recent Philosophy Majors

  • Graduate Schools:
    • JD at Suffolk University Law School, Georgetown University Law School, and Case Western Reserve School of Law
    • MS in engineering design innovation at Northwestern University
    • MS in speech language pathology at Columbia University
    • MA in philosophy at Tufts University and University of Pittsburgh
    • PhD in philosophy at Stanford University, University of Pittsburgh, University of California Berkeley, Northwestern University, and Rutgers University
    • University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Positions:
    • Patient navigator, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, N.Y.
    • Intern, Kendal at Oberlin, Ohio
    • IT architect intern, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
    • General manager, Goodkind Coffee, Ohio
    • Teaching fellow, KIPP Academy, N.Y.
    • Account analyst, Elite SEM, San Francisco
    • Literary intern, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agency, N.Y.
    • Metal shop director, Chicago