Philosophy students pursue their own paths to wisdom by encountering the best that has been thought and said about basic human concerns throughout civilization. They engage some of the major philosophical, religious and moral traditions of the world, and they are encouraged to see the relevance of these ideas and practices so that they engage conceptual, social and religious concerns with greater coherence, perspective and responsibility.

Most importantly, students will see the relevance of these ideas and use the skills developed to respond to new problems and become responsible citizens who can better relate to the diversity of thought, both religious and non-religious, found in the contemporary world.

Philosophy can be characterized as the attempt to make rational sense of things. Ultimately, then, it is the attempt to discover and articulate what is truly meaningful, including what it is, if anything, that makes life itself meaningful.

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2023 Ethics Bowl Team

Ripon College Ethics Bowl Team qualifies for national competition

The Ripon College Ethics Bowl team has qualified for the National Ethics Bowl Competition after placing fifth at the Upper Midwest Regional Ethics Bowl Competition […]

Mathias Risse

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Harvard University Professor Mathias Risse will talk about his new book “Political Theory of the Digital Age: Where Artificial Intelligence May Take Us” Thursday, Oct. […]


Paul Jeffries

Jeffries, Paul

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Chair of Philosophy Department

John Sisko

Sisko, John

Vice President and Dean of Faculty, Professor of Philosophy


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers.

Advising at Ripon


Requirements for a Minor in Philosophy
Total Credits 20 credits
Prerequisites Requirements for a minor in philosophy: PHL 320 History of Philosophy: Major Philosophers
Elective Courses At least one additional course in philosophy at the 300 level; and three additional philosophy courses for a total of 20 credits.
100 Philosophy, 120 Introduction to Philosophy, 200 Topics, 202 Business Ethics, 222 Religion, Different Religions and the Truth, 241 Ethics, 243 Philosophy and the Environment, 245 Professional Ethics, 281 Human Nature, 290/390 Reality and Knowledge, 300 Departmental Studies, 320 history of Philosophy: Major Philosophers, 353 Human Rights, Religion Rel 200/300 Special Topics

Career Tracks

An undergraduate degree in philosophy can lead to a career in teaching, law, business, ethics, mediation, government, grant writing and many other fields. Recent graduates have been accepted into graduate-level programs at some of the nation’s most prestigious research universities, including: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Texas A&M University, the University of Minnesota, Marquette University and the University of Oregon.

Job titles of recent graduates include lawyer, grant writer, financial advisor, teacher and professor.

Unique Opportunities

  • The philosophy program culminates in a capstone experience in which students develop their own philosophy and dialogue with others in a public presentation of part of that philosophy.
  • Students participate in regional and national conferences and seminars, where they present on their research ideas.