Philosophy (BA)

What is the degree programme about?

What is my purpose? How can I lead a good life? What is justice? What do we owe to future generations? What is beauty? Is there a God? What is true? What is science? What is a good argument? How are language, thinking and reality related to each other? Are we free? Philosophy has always been concerned with the fundamental questions of life and co-existence. In philosophy you address these and other questions when studying philosophical texts.

While philosophy has been around for 2500 years, it is a modern scientific discipline inviting interdisciplinary debate. At FAU's Institute for Philosophy, you are introduced to the historical background of the subject, from antiquity to the present. You address and discuss current philosophical theories using the knowledge and skills you obtain during the degree programme, such as historical understanding, greater ethical awareness, structured thinking, analytical techniques, critical reasoning and very good interpretation and writing skills.

What can I do with this degree?

The career prospects on the current labour market are very good for graduates of philosophy because it is not limited to a particular professional field. You can apply your skills in many different areas.

In Philosophy, you do not train for a specific profession, as is the case with many other degree programmes. Experience has shown that graduates of philosophy start careers in

  • media (radio, online media, television)
  • publishing
  • business and political consulting
  • public relations
  • knowledge management and foundations
  • or even in the software industry

You can also work in research. However, you should be aware that only a limited number of graduates can work permanently within a university environment.

More information on potential occupational fields is available here.

What qualities and skills do I need?
  • an interest in reading
  • a sense for reasonable, logical connections
  • a good amount of intellectual curiosity even for demanding abstract contents (you should not be afraid of difficult texts)
  • a passion for structured, (self-)reflected, unprejudiced thinking
  • an interest in writing your own academic texts
Good reasons for studying philosophy at FAU
  • In Philosophy, you will explore fundamental questions of being over the course of three years. You can pursue philosophical insights without having to worry about their specific purpose.
  • You acquire knowledge and skills for a wide range of different occupational fields. Knowledge in intellectual history and argumentation and analysis skills will help you prepare for the career you want to pursue.
Potential challenges
  • The introductory course in the foundations of logic is not easy.
  • The degree programme allows you to shape your study profile according to your own interests. However, this also requires that you are well-organised, especially when it comes to structuring your study plan and choosing your specialisations. For written assignments and essays it is particularly important that you are able to distinguish important contents from unimportant contents and manage your time well.
  • You have to be able to cope with intellectual challenges. Sometimes, it is hard to stay on top of things when you are faced with a variety of complex issues requiring detailed research and substantiated discussion. Patience is also important. You cannot find satisfactory answers to major philosophical questions in a hurry.
Can I study abroad?

The Institute for Philosophy has an Erasmus partnership with the University of Crete in Rethymno. Detailed information on the exchange programme with the University of Crete is available here. If you are interested, please contact Prof. Dr. Ernst.

As a student of philosophy you can participate in the Erasmus programmes of other subjects in the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy (political studies, sociology, contemporary Orient studies), subject to an external application (Fremdbewerbung). Information on the respective offer and relevant contacts is available here.

General information on studying abroad is available on the website of FAU's Central Office for International Affairs. FAQs and the information on the individual application steps for the Erasmus exchange programmes are particularly helpful.

Combinable degree programs

Can be combined*

Archaeological Sciences (BA), Book Studies (BA), English and American Studies (BA), French Studies (BA), German Language and Literature (BA), Greek Philology (BA), Hispanic Studies (BA), Islamic-Religious Studies (BA), Italian Studies (BA), Cultural History of Christianity (BA), Art History (BA), Latin Philology (BA), Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin (BA), Oriental Studies (BA), Education (BA), Political Science (BA), Chinese Studies (BA), Scandinavian Studies (BA), Sociology (BA), Theatre and Media Studies (BA)

*These courses are scheduled in such a way that the subjects can usually be combined without overlapping.

Can be combined after consulting a study advisor*

Computational Linguistics (BA), Digital Humanities and Social Sciences (BA), Cultural Geography (BA), History (BA), Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Studies (BA), Japanese Studies (BA), Business and Economics (BA)

As it is not guaranteed that there will be no overlap between teaching times in this combination, you will be required to submit proof of consultation with a study advisor when enrolling. Please contact the Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) or the Student Service Centre of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology.

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Degree program start date and application deadlines

The FAU website provides an overview of the current application deadlines as well as information on the selection process and how to apply.

Start date of degree program: Winter Term

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Degree type: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Type of study: Two subject Bachelor's degree programme
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 6 Semester
Start date of degree program: Winter Term
Size: (currently 50-150 Students)
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology
Admission: No Admissions Restrictions