Department of Philosophy

Philosophy -- the careful investigation of the logic of difficult questions -- has a rich history of integrating the knowledge and formal tools from a broad range of fields, using them to construct novel solutions to ancient problems and chart new territory for study. Philosophical investigation has given rise to many contemporary disciplines, including linguistics, computer science, psychology, political theory, and legal interpretation.

The philosophy department at USC continues this tradition, with particular research strengths in moral psychology, metaethics, philosophy of language, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of action, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, political philosophy, philosophy of law, and the history of philosophy.

Undergraduate students can take courses on a diverse range of philosophical topics, including moral controversy, rational choice, time and time-travel, freedom and equality, symbolic logic, and the history of Western philosophy.

The department offers a major in philosophy as well as two interdisciplinary majors -- one in Philosophy, Politics, and Law, and one in Philosophy and Linguistics -- and a 5-year Progressive Masters degree in Philosophy and Law.


We're happy to announce that for the 2015/16 job placement season, graduates of our PhD progam have been awarded seven tenure-track jobs and two post-doctoral positions. 

Placement Record

Scott Soames in the NYT

Our department chair wrote an op-ed that recently appeared in the New York Times.

Philosophy's True Home

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Why study philosophy?

USC Philosophy Student Club

This club exists as a complement to the classroom where its members, far from passively imbibing, actively express and discuss their ideas and thoughts with a like minded peer group. Thus, we are inspired more by the symposium than by the academy. The aim is to promote more of a free flowing engagement with ideas.

Find out more
  • School of Philosophy
  • 3709 Trousdale Parkway
  • Mudd Hall of Philosophy, MHP 113