department of philosophy

Chafee Hall, Room 230, 142 Flagg Road, Kingston, RI 02881

bbartels@uri.edu401.874.2418

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Career Tips

Professional Degree Options

Law School

  • Develop a cohesive and focused array of academic, extra-curricular and experiential commitments, in order to project an application of unified commitment within a specific area of law.
  • The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) carries enormous weight in the admissions process, sometimes even more than the GPA. Start with a thorough reading of the Law School Admissions Council web site. This excellent resource provides practical information about the preparation and application process but also explains what to expect in the testing arena.
  • Take PHL 101 and PHL 205 as soon as you can in your philosophy major, in order to solidify your critical reasoning skills (essential for the LSAT).
  • Join the URI Honors Program early in your studies and try to design a senior Honors project that connects to your legal aspirations.
  • URI has a small Pre-Law support program that offers general advice
  • Get involved in a student organization
  • Volunteer for a community group whose mission reflects your values and legal interests
  • Find a campus job that involves you in activities related to your legal aspirations
  • Consider an internship related to the legal field – or a study away internship at the Washington Center
  • Add a minor to your philosophy degree. here are a few suggestions:
    • Interested in environmental law? Pursue the Sustainability minor.
    • Want to work for the FBI? Consider the Forensic Science minor.
    • All about race, equity and institutional fairness? Try Labor Studies, African and African American Studies, or Non-Violence and Peace Studies.
    • More of a nuts and bolts process and policy person? There’s Community Planning, Justice Law and Society, or International Development for you.
    • Want to legislate for death and dying? Try Gerontology or Thanatolgy minors.
    • And for you business types headed for the intersection between law and commerce? Consider Public Relations or Leadership minors.

Medical School

Because of its emphasis on ethics, critical thinking and dealing with ambiguity, philosophy prepares one at a high level of competence for clinical medicine. By pairing philosophy with a pre-medical course of study (which involves completing specific courses rather than a specific major), you can qualify for medical school and perform well on the Medical School Admission test.

  • The first stop at URI for aspiring medical students is the Pre-Health office and advisement team in the URI Honors Program
  • Take PHL 212 (Ethics) and PHL 314 (Ethical Problems in Society and Medicine), as well as either or both of PHL 215 (Science and Inquiry) and PHL 452 (Philosophy of Science). Having a grasp on issues in Bioethics and Philosophy of Science comes in very handy during the interview process for medical school.
  • Find a research position on campus. The College of Pharmacy in particular offers term time and summer research positions for undergraduates through its INBRE Biomedical facility. You can also set up research experience in other areas and apply for financial support from the URI Undergraduate Research Initiative.
  • Volunteer for medically-relevant organizations
  • Work with URI’s Emergency Medical Services to train and function as an Emergency Medical Technician.
  • Join the URI Honors Program early in your studies.

Business and Management School

Studying philosophy serves as an excellent foundation for a business career because philosophy majors acquire those skills that allow them to remain flexible and innovative, and to keep learning for life. Most applicants to selective programs work for a year or two before applying for the MBA, so be sure to check out our advice on careers as well.

  • Add a minor to your philosophy degree. here are a few suggestions:
    • If you are quantitatively oriented, consider a minor or double major in economics, math, or general business
    • If you want to lead a company some day, think about leadership studies, math, economics, psychology, or a language
    • If you see yourself working on the technical or marketing side of business outreach, try communication studies, public relations, film media, marketing courses within general business, or computer science
    • If you’re more artistic, and want to write copy, design images or compose music for advertising, look at writing and rhetoric, English, art, music or computer science.
    • If you like fashion, consider textiles, merchandizing and fashion design; and you can consult with the theater department you can put together a minor with an emphasis on costume or set design
  • Learn a language, spend some time studying abroad using the language, and/or do an internship or volunteer work abroad
  • Take on leadership roles – being President of a student society or Greek organization, captain of a team, chair of an event or initiative, or even the owner-operator of your own business
  • Work – try to get a paid, skilled position with a company or organization that does the sort of work you hope to be doing in your career
  • Be entrepreneurial. Found a new student organization, write a grant for a project, start your own business, design your own minor, function as the manager for a band. Raise money for a cause.
  • Join the URI Honors Program, using your senior Honors project as a segue into the area of business you want to pursue.
  • Start using career services early on and educate yourself about who recruits at URI and who does not.
  • If you have a truly stellar record, try applying for a Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall, Mitchell, Rotary or Gates scholarship (see http://www.uri.edu/hpr/Scholarships.html)

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