Educational Programs

Associate in Arts with an Emphasis in Philosophy


Program description

In MCTC’s Philosophy program, you will have the opportunity to ask the “big” questions of what exists, how we know what we know, how we should act and how we should reason. Focusing on critical thinking and reasoned arguments, the program explores themes of ethics, logic, self-identity, religion, the environment and social activism from the perspectives of varied cultures, traditions and radical thought.

Program start and location

Students are accepted into this program anytime. Courses are taught on MCTC’s main campus. See above for semester offerings of courses.

Degree options and requirements

Associate of Arts with an emphasis in Philosophy—60 credits

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As governed by MCTC Policies 3.03 and 3.05, students seeking an associate in arts (A.A.) degree from MCTC must successfully complete a total of 60 college-level credits as outlined below.

MnTC Requirements: 40 Credits

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Students must successfully complete a total of 40 credits of coursework in all MnTC goal areas.

  • Goal Area 1. Written and Oral Communication A minimum of 9 credits, which must include ENGL 1110 and 1111, as well as an eligible speech communications course.
  • Goal Area 2. Critical Thinking This goal is accomplished through completion of the 40 MnTC credits.
  • Goal Area 3. Natural Sciences A minimum of two courses in different disciplines, one a lab science.
  • Goal Area 4. Mathematical and Logical Reasoning A minimum of one course.
  • Goal Area 5. History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences A minimum of three courses, in three different disciplines.
  • Goal Area 6. Humanities and Fine Arts A minimum of three courses, in three different disciplines.
  • Goal Areas 7–10. Human Diversity, et. al. A minimum of one course in each goal area 7–10.

Required Coursework: 5 credits

  • Health: 2 credits • Physical Education: 1 credit • INFS 1000: 2 credits

Completion Requirement

Students seeking an A.A. degree must complete ENGL 1110 and information literacy requirements within their first 24 college-level course credits (those courses numbered 1000 or above).

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What you will learn

  • You will read about the major philosophers and philosophical traditions including African, Asian, European, Middle Eastern, American and feminist.
  • You will develop an understanding of the historical and contextual framework for philosophical concepts, arguments, theories and schools of thought.
  • You will learn how to identify the origins, assumptions, motivations and implications of concepts, arguments, theories and schools of thought.
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  • You will gain skills for analyzing the similarities and differences among multiple perspectives, such as religious, cultural, racial, theoretical, gender and location.
  • You will get experience in proposing clear, well-supported arguments for a particular thesis, course of action or workable solution.
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Points of pride

  • MCTC’s diverse student population is reflected in the global and multicultural approach to the study of philosophy. In this dynamic academic environment, you will challenge ethnocentric, patriarchal, racist and classist traditions of philosophy.
  • You will receive personal attention from faculty members’ diverse teaching backgrounds who hold masters’ or doctoral degrees.
  • Coursework, assignments and activities provide you with opportunities to apply philosophy and critical thought to historical and contemporary issues of social justice within the global community.

Where you could work

  • Careers related to this major are those that value critical and analytical thought from multiple perspectives.
  • Graduates often pursue careers in teaching, law, business, religion, environmental sciences, political and social science, humanities and literature. 
  • In addition, a philosophy curriculum is excellent preparation for graduate programs in a variety of fields.

Potential job titles

  • Teacher
  • Professor
  • Religious Leader
  • Lawyer

Occupational outlook

With an A.A. in Philosophy from MCTC, you can go on to get a four year degree in a number of different fields of study. You will have a solid preparation for your continued educational path working with ideas, whether you want to go on to law school, seminary, become a teacher, or any number of different professions.

Beyond-the-classroom opportunities

The Philosophy Club brings students and faculty together in an informal setting to discuss philosophers and ideas; strengthen critical thinking and writing skills; and promote conferences, speakers, and publishing opportunities. There are also frequently guest speakers invited to speak at the department.


This program is part of the Academy of Liberal Arts and Transfer. Click here for more information.

Articulation Agreements and Common Course Outlines

Click here for Articulation Agreement.

Click here for Common Course Outline information.

Liberal Arts / General Education

MCTC's Liberal Arts and General Education courses and programs are ideal for satisfying requirements and for transferring to other four-year institutions.

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