The Department of Philosophy offers courses in all principal areas of philosophy, but emphases include ethics, social and political philosophy, and history of philosophy.
Typically, over 80 of the 4500 undergraduates at Santa Clara University are majors in philosophy, and many students with other majors have elected to minor in philosophy.
- Department activities include Cafe Socrates, a popular weekly discussion group for students and faculty.
- Each year the department bestows two awards on outstanding students in philosophy and offers enrollment into the national philosophy honor society.
- Each year, a scholar of prominence occupies the Fagothey Chair for at least one term.
- The department annually hosts a professional conference with invited philosophers internationally renowned in their fields.