Ashoka University: Leading Liberal Arts and Sciences University

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Testimonials - About

Studying Philosophy leaves a mark on you. And it is rewarding. If you don’t believe us, look below and read what our graduates have to say.

Advanced Major

 

” I’ve completed an Advanced Major in Philosophy at Ashoka along with a Capstone Thesis. The topic of the thesis was Nagarjuna, who is a prominent Buddhist Philosopher.

Through campus placements, I got placed at Leo Burnett, where I will be joining next month. It is a prestigious advertising agency and I will be undertaking the role of a brand strategy associate. Having completed a degree in Philosophy also offered me the opportunity to join graduate schools such as Kings College London to pursue Law, but I declined the offers in part due to the ongoing situation.

I think that a training in Philosophy at Ashoka set a standard for the way I’ve approached any challenge. Along with provide me with the confidence to put a philosophical rationale behind the ideas and thoughts that drive our daily lives, it also helped streamline my thought process. Once you undergo Philosophical training especially with the distinguished faculty, you place emphasis on justifying every opinion you’ve ever had and every opinion you will form. You cannot accept ideas at face value anymore and the wheels start turning as soon as you are faced with one. It also changes the way you write in a way that is extremely useful when it comes to competitive and standardised examinations. The major also sharpens analytical skills and marries them with a unique approach to literature which ensures that one excels in fields such as the one I’m involved in.”

~Devanshi Iyer, ASP 2020

Philosophy Major

 

“The best thing about the Ashoka philosophy program is the flexibility and independence it offers to navigate various sub-fields of philosophy. The program rigorously prepares us for graduate studies by giving us intensive training in writing philosophy and also allows to sharpen our pedagogical skill by working as TAs. Being a small department, the professors and students share a warm relation which adds to the outside classroom learning experience. I am also grateful for the support I received from my department (especially, Prof. Rosenhagen and Prof. Weltman) during my graduate school applications.”

~Ritam Chakraborty, UG 2020, moving on to do an M.A. in Philosophy at SFU in Canada


“The program is challenging and fulfilling, the faculty erudite and kind, and the students passionate and welcoming.”

~Anonymous, UG 2020, moving on to Oxford to do a BPhil in Philosophy


 

“It took me quite some time to figure out my major. I started with Psychology, then maybe literature, and then finally decided to do maths. I think the thing with me was that I liked the idea of training my mind. Wanted to level things up. I guess that’s one of the consequences of growing up in this world obsessed with self-help. You always want to level up.

When I decided to do Philosophy, I got that. Leveled up, in part. Though, there were a few courses that did much more for me. You know how you think philosophy is going to be a bunch of people talking about life? That does happen sometimes here. On the other hand, there were some training courses. Core philosophy courses like Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind, and so on. A philosopher’s training comes in seeing arguments for what they are. Realizing that we say or think things that are sometimes not quite right. Philosophy to me is about slowing down.

Whether about perception, happiness, existence, or even science, philosophers seem to see something that others don’t. The professors train you to slow down. It seems so simple. Suddenly arguments unravel. If you slow down, you realize that we’re jumping to conclusions all the time. Slowing down not only helps you understand when someone is inconsistent but also to interpret people charitably. Most of all, you get an idea of when you bullshit.

Honestly, if you’re majoring in philosophy, I feel excited for you. These 3 or 4 years will be transformative. So, if you’re anything like me and you feel pulled towards a variety of disciplines, I do suggest you give Philosophy a try.

I’m planning to get into filmmaking. I do think for making serious art, a certain amount of specificity is required. Philosophy builds that in you. Right now, I’m planning to come back for ASP and do a creative thesis in Philosophy. Let’s see how it goes.”

~Vanshaj Garg, UG 2020

PPE Major

 

“I studied Philosophy in the capacity of being a PPE major, having done an equivalent number of courses to achieve a Philosophy minor. Philosophy allowed me to approach the texts from other disciplines with a fresh perspective, and kept me grounded in that I was always aware that there exist counter-arguments to my own ideas. This pushed me to think in new and unique ways to come up with better arguments. It has greatly improved my writing and broadened my critical thinking skills.

Doing Philosophy also helped me understand that I really enjoyed critical engagement with academic texts, and pushed me to apply (and get into!) graduate schools in the United States and Europe. It was a pleasure to have studied under the amazing Philosophy department at Ashoka.”

~Varsha Nitish, UG 2020

 

Second Major Equivalent

 

“I earned a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy & Economics, and used my ASP year to write a Capstone Thesis and earn a Second Major Equivalent in Philosophy.

I have since been accepted to an M.A. program in Linguistics at McGill University, on a full scholarship with a stipend. My acceptance was a result of my philosophy education at Ashoka. Philosophy both sparked my interest in the study of language and gave me the tools to conduct rigorous academic inquiry. I was also told that my writing sample, a reworked version of my Capstone Thesis, played the biggest role in the admission committee’s decision.

On a broader note, my philosophy education taught me how to properly take in information, process it, and articulate whatever output I came to. Those are priceless, domain-agnostic skills that I’ve found useful in any work I’ve involved myself in.”

~Gaurav Kamath, ASP 2020

 

Offers received: University of Oxford (BPhil in Philosophy); Indian Institute of Technology – Gandhinagar (MSc. Cognitive Science); offer accepted: University of Oxford

“The academic training and support that I received at Ashoka really helped me during my graduate application process. I’m extremely grateful for all the support I received, especially from the philosophy department.”

~Mahati Garimella, ASP 2020

 

“I’m a graduate student in the philosophy department at USC (University of Southern California). I did a Second Major Equivalent in Philosophy (my UG Major was Math) with a Capstone Thesis and I’m now working towards a PhD in philosophy, so I owe a lot to Ashoka’s philosophy department! My undergraduate studies in philosophy set me up for an academically rigorous environment. I had incredibly kind, supportive, and insightful professors to guide me along the way. The department taught me, amongst so many other things, how to think creatively and communicate clearly.”

~Megha Devraj, ASP 2018

Capstone Thesis

 

“I have received an offer for a place in the MPhil program in Political Theory at Oxford. I have also been selected for a Felix scholarship, which covers full tuition and living expenses. Honestly, I couldn’t have secured a place at my preferred school without all the help and support I received from the Philosophy Department, and especially from Professor Weltman. The Philosophy graduate school session also clarified a lot of things for me, and I am truly indebted to all my professors for everything!”

~Jyoti Shankar Nayak, ASP 2020

MLS

 

“I’ve had the good fortune of being associated with the Philosophy Department at Ashoka University as a student as well as a teacher and my experience on both sides has been only exceptional. As a student I had the opportunity to study under what is undoubtedly the best faculty in Philosophy in the country and their consistent, unfailing support at each step. As a TA (for Metaphysics) and a Teaching Fellow (for Environmental Ethics, Indian Civilisations, Mind and Behaviour, Existentialism, Philosophy of Love, also for Morality and the Good Life (YIF) and Love and Friendship (YIF)), I had the complete guidance of all my professors, and a wonderfully curious and excited bunch of students. The department is extremely active—there are always events to attend or classes to sit in on.

In September 2021, I will be heading to Simon Fraser University to pursue a fully funded two-year Masters in Philosophy, especially designed for those wanting to move into doctoral studies in philosophy. The MLS and the teaching opportunities thereafter have been monumental in allowing me to make this shift from my undergraduate discipline – i.e.,  History – to Philosophy at the graduate level, and have helped me secure admission into a fantastic programme such as the one at SFU. I could not possibly have asked for a more stimulating and supportive environment to nurture my academic interests.”

~Reetika Kalita, MLS 2019 

(You may have spotted this testimonial in the TF section also.)

Philosophy Minor

 

“I completed a minor in Philosophy as part of my ASP degree. This September, I will begin my Masters in Political Science and International Relations at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Studying philosophy at Ashoka University has helped me hone my critical thinking skills, and sharpened my academic and non-academic writing. It has also broadened my repertoire of knowledge, which has in turn enhanced my thinking within the social sciences. While I might not study the discipline formally in the future, I am definitely a philosopher by attitude!”

~Nivedita Joon, ASP 2020. 

 

“I completed a Philosophy Minor and am currently working on my thesis in Psychology about the causes and impact of discrimination faced by women in academia. My studies in Philosophy were invaluable when it came to teaching me how to think logically, write better, and finding ways to break down what was presented to me.”

~Vidhika Gadia, UG 2020

 

“I’ve had the good fortune of being a TA for Professor Juliana’s Philosophy of Mind (CTS) and Professor Raja’s Philosophy of Love course. I have also had the opportunity to TF for Professor Raja’s course on Love and Friendship – a YIF course offered by the Philosophy Department.

My experience with the subject matter of Philosophy is inseparable from how my Professors have taught Philosophy to me at Ashoka. The instruction of Philosophy here has encouraged me to embark upon a lifelong path of challenging my intellectual horizons, of learning to think with more confidence and direction, and of ensuring I apply my skills beyond academia to moments in my everyday life. It is true that Philosophy seeps into everything, and I have found that the phenomenal faculty and the talented Philosophy students of our Department embody that ethos.

As a student, and as someone who has engaged in Philosophical instruction to some extent at Ashoka, not one day has been dull. The stimulating and sparkling class discussions and the carefully curated coursework, coupled with the brilliant philosophical rigour of our Professors, birth actively curious, open, and hard-working individuals, who tread the path of success. Indeed, this unmatched learning environment has introduced me to a family of brilliant thinkers – whose zest I carry within me everywhere I go. Doing Philosophy at Ashoka has and will continue to make me a better thinker, writer, and human being.

The highlight of studying Philosophy at Ashoka, according to me, is that one learns that the great ideas of past Philosophers are just the beginning.”

~Aadya Singh, UG 2020, moving on to pursue an ASP

and a Second Major Equivalent in Philosophy

(You may have spotted this testimonial in the TF section also.)

 

“I completed a minor in Philosophy, along with a major in Psychology. Philosophy is a discipline that teaches you skills that are important no matter what field you are in. It has taught me to be precise and clear in my thoughts and writing, which has helped me immensely in my research work. It also sharpened my analytical and logical skills, something that is really valued in the job market. I am currently working as a Research Associate in a company that is at the intersection of AI and Psychiatry. The skills I have gained from Philosophy are helping me in many ways – from problem-solving to understanding classification systems, to structuring content.

I have also had the wonderful opportunity of being a TA and a TF for Symbolic Logic, one of my favorite courses at Ashoka. It was a really rewarding experience to be able to teach and learn from such bright students. The guidance from Prof. Raja, the instructor of the course, also pushed me to think of ways to keep classes engaging and helped me learn to teach more effectively.”

~Kriti Jain, ASP 2019 

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