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.

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

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.

An Introvert’s Path to Leadership

“Meticulous” accounting student Anne Williamson ’20 steps out of her comfort zone and finds success.

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 and Washington, D.C. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • 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

Central Offers Special Pandemic Summer Course for Students

Central College will offer two special remote courses in the summer of 2020 about the COVID-19 pandemic — one for incoming first-year students and another for current students.


  • Philosophy Club
  • Phi Sigma Tau, philosophy honor society

Graduate Placement

Central students go on to graduate school in many fields, including philosophy, law and theology at a number of universities, including The 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.

Central College student

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.

Meet the faculty:

    Sample Schedule

    First Year

    • Intro to Philosophy
    • Ethics

    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
    • Plato
    • Business Ethics


    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.