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Penn’s Public Philosophy Certificate Program

Overview and Eligibility
The Graduate Certificate in Public Philosophy is designed to expand upon a student’s disciplinary training by adding the philosophical knowledge and practical skills needed to engage with members of the public on vital issues. Incorporating coursework, research and community engagement, students will gain both an enriched understanding of relevant topics as well as significant experience in working with non-academic audiences.
Philosophical tools and knowledge have the potential to improve civic dialogue and inform public debates on contentious issues. To do so requires those with academic training to cultivate both the knowledge and communication skills needed to effectively engage with the public. Ultimately, it requires doing public philosophy: interacting with diverse sets of people in non-academic settings to explore issues and critique the reasoning methods used to evaluate them. In doing so, it seems especially worthwhile for academics to reach out to members of their communities who might have fewer opportunities to participate in this kind of dialogue.
Academic positions increasingly incorporate components of public outreach or community engagement. The research, training, and practical experience gained from completing the Certificate Program demonstrate a level of proficiency in building productive relationships between the academy and the public. The Program also enhances pedagogical and communication skills through work with diverse groups.
The Program is open to students already enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania.