The academic culture in Philosophy is centered around the individual investigator. Research is generally an individual matter, augmented by discussion with other philosophers, which is an important part of the development of philosophical ideas.
Students develop their own research in classes at the upper levels. Each year the Department of Philosophy conducts an undergraduate seminar. Students attending this seminar will learn about the conduct of philosophical research and the research of faculty members and participate in discussion that often centers on research.
Students have an opportunity to make presentations to the the Undergraduate Philosophy Council, the Philosophy Department's undergraduate organization. Here they present their own ideas to other students and engage in lively discussion. In addition, there are at other institutions undergraduate conferences in philosophy and undergraduate journals of philosophy to which students have opportunities to contribute.
Students are encouraged to develop and pursue independent projects in the context of the senior honors thesis. The undergraduate honors thesis involves one to two semesters of guided research along with one to two semesters of guided thesis writing followed by an oral defense of the thesis.
Students can do work internships (in law, government, public interest NGOs, education, etc.) and the related academic work can involve research.