Undergraduate Advising


Majors and Minors

All students who wish to declare a major or minor in philosophy must meet with a faculty member (one of the designated advisors or any other full-time faculty member) who has agreed to serve as an advisor. During the meeting, students will develop an academic plan of study and complete the paperwork required by Columbian College.


Should I Go to Grad School for Philosophy?

Where to Start

A good first step is to meet with your faculty advisor and at least one other faculty member, who can help you consider whether graduate study is the right path. Note that any member of the Philosophy Department core faculty can serve as a student's advisor.

Academic Standing

In general, even those who are very interested in philosophy should think twice about graduate studies in this discipline if they do not have an A- or A cumulative GPA, with mostly A's in philosophy courses, and an average of at least high 600s on the GRE. An outstanding record is important not only for admission to a competitive graduate program, but also for receiving graduate fellowships, without which graduate studies may be unaffordable.

Prestigious graduate programs are extremely selective, typically matriculating six to 12 students each year among a couple hundred who apply. It is somewhat easier to gain acceptance to less prestigious programs, but their graduates sometimes find it more difficult to compete in the academic job market.

That being said, we are proud that our strongest students majoring in philosophy have proven to be well suited to pursue graduate study and academic careers in philosophy.

Jobs in Academia

Teaching philosophy for a living can be very rewarding. Unfortunately, the job market in this field has been unfavorable for decades and is likely to remain so. While there are opportunities for those who persevere, the road to success is long and potentially frustrating. Students who aspire for an academic career should be prepared to work hard and should have an alternative career direction in mind, in case prospects change.


GW Academic Resources

Gelman Library Philosophy Research Guide
Use the curated collection of resources to assist with research and exam preparation.

Academic Commons
Book peer tutoring or review sessions, research and writing help, step-by-step study strategies, language support and more.

Blackboard Syllabi Repository
Visit the online repository of syllabi to help inform decisions about course registration.

CCAS Undergraduate Advising
Get assistance from your Columbian College academic advisor to navigate declaring a major or minor and other academic support.

Receive a tuition discount if you are a current undergraduate GW student enrolling in a GW graduate program.

GW Libraries
Explore on-campus libraries and online research databases such as JSTOR. 

Language Center
Sign up for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses, practice with language meet-up groups, take a language exam or talk to someone about waiving language requirements.

Office of the Registrar Forms
Find the materials you need to request special course registrations and withdrawals, transcripts, transfer credits and more.

Writing Center
Make a free appointment to work with a writing consultant on your next project, from the brainstorming phase through drafting and revising.