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College of Humanities & Sciences

Department of Philosophy

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Philosophy at VCU

The Department of Philosophy offers an undergraduate major in philosophy, as well as minors in philosophy and the philosophy of law. 

The department offers four ways to major in philosophy:
a regular Philosophy concentration
Philosophy and Law concentration 
Philosophy and Science concentration, and
an Ethics and Public Policy concentration.



Melissa Siebert is the advisor for philosophy majors. If you have questions about course scheduling, graduation requirements, or navigating VCU, please schedule an appointment with Melissa Siebert through SSC/Navigate.


Current and Upcoming Seminar in Philosophy (PHIL 490) topic:

Spring 2022: The Meaning of Life, taught by Catherine Sutton

In this course, we will survey theories of the meaning of life and the philosophy of death. 


Fall 2021: Population Ethics, taught by Miles Tucker

How many people should there be? Can we make the world better by making more happy people? If so, is there any limit—or might we be obligated to create as many happy people as possible?

This course will provide an introduction to problems in population ethics. We will begin by carefully examining the ‘repugnant conclusion’: the seemingly unavoidable claim that for any possible world of very happy people, there is a better world where everyone has a life that is barely worth living. We’ll then examine a number of alleged solutions to this puzzle. Finally, we'll turn to questions about procreation and the moral status of merely possible persons.

View our previous seminar topics.



Donald Smith, Department Chair:; (804) 828-3191
Emma Bilski, Administrative Assistant & Webmaster:; (804) 827-2184

News and Events

Fall 2021 Talks & Workshops

"Should We Prioritize the Welfare of Animals Over the Welfare of Humans?" with Dr. Robert Gruber

Friday, October 1, 3:30pm-5:30pm



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