As a Central philosophy major, you'll learn to construct arguments and think logically. Our graduates pursue advanced degrees in philosophy, theology, law, medicine and educational administration, as well as paralegal careers and teaching English as a second language. If you are an analytical thinker who likes to deconstruct arguments and seek the logic in the world’s activities, this may be exactly where you belong. We cover a wide variety of topics, including logic, religion and history of philosophy. Most philosophy majors also choose to double major or minor in another field, like mathematics or psychology. 

of philosophy grads complete a second major
  • Central philosophy graduates have received full scholarships to the University of Iowa
  • Central President Mark Putnam was a philosophy major in college

The Real World


Successful Careers

  • Psychotherapist, Mental Health Center, Washington, Iowa
  • Pastor, Silver Creek Community Church, Silver Creek, Minn.
  • Urologist, Surgical Associates of Grinnell, Grinnell, Iowa
  • Assistant to the president, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
  • Software engineer, Innovative Software Engineering, Iowa City
  • Attorney-Injury, LaMarca & Landry, P.C., Des Moines


  • Philosophy Club
  • Phi Sigma Tau, philosophy honor society
Central College student

Graduate Placement

  • University of Iowa


Philosophy majors may also pursue internship opportunities to prepare for future careers.

A number of graduates have also completed terms of service with the Peace Corps and Teach for America. 

Courses & Faculty

Philosophy courses introduce students to logic, the history of western philosophy, important areas of philosophical investigation and applied philosophy. Every philosophy course emphasizes the careful analysis and construction of arguments. Reading and discussion of primary sources is preferred to textbook summaries in most courses.

The major consists of 30 semester-hours of philosophy classes, and three courses are required: Classical Thought, Modern Thought and General Logic. Students should begin with 100-level courses, but most classes may be taken in any sequence. 

Learn more about philosophy in the course catalog.

Learn more about philosophy in the course catalog.

Meet the faculty:
  • Chad Ray, B.A., Ph.D., Dr. Jacob and Gela Schnucker Sessler Chair in Philosophy and Religion and Professor of Philosophy, interest areas include ethics, political philosophy, Greek philosophy and Augustine
  • Mark Thomas, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Philosophy, interest areas include German Idealism, metaphysics, theory of knowledge and the relationship between faith and reason


Philosophy  photo

Sample Schedule

First year

Intro to Philosophy


Sophomore year

Classical Thought

Modern Thought

Junior year

General Logic

Readings in Metaphysics

Philosophy of Mind

Modern Continental Philosophy

Senior year

Readings in Moral Philosophy


Business Ethics

The Central Difference


Central College is one of the most beautiful college campuses you'll find. A perfect mix of old and new, our buildings reflect our history and our future. Central's distinctive library is a spacious and popular haven with more than 230,000 volumes, computer stations, a multimedia collection and extensive online catalog.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with Central College to enhance their development as global citizens. Academic opportunities and internship programs also are available in Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York City. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

Central College Philosophy Students

Learn More

Want to find out more about philosophy at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.