Philosophy Department


"Good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience." 
~ R.J. Light

Major Advising Coordinator (MAC) - Philosophy Department

Prof. Kathleen Wininger

P:  (207) 780-4928 


In the Department of Philosophy, good academic advising is critical. Advising is a collaborative process between a student and a faculty advisor in a major and/or minor. The advisor assists in developing a student's sense of competence by helping to identify both strengths and weaknesses, and by the recommendation of courses that stretch, but do not over extend those strengths. They address but do not focus on weaknesses. To develop a student's sense of autonomy, the advisor takes into consideration that the student helps in the decision making process and that the student must also live with the decisions they have made. In the development of purpose, the advisor also assists the student in the development of awareness as to what is involved in educational and career decision-making. They help students set life goals and develop an action plan for implementation, which is an important aspect of developmental advising.

• When will a faculty advisor be assigned?
When you decide to declare Philosophy as your major/minor, we will refer you to the department's Major Advising Coordinator and in collboration with him/her an advisor will be recommended.  This will involve filling out a Declaration of Major/Minor form at the department.  Please call the department administrative specialist at 780-4258 or email: when you are ready.  

• How does our department handle advisor assignments?
One of two situations will happen, the Major Advising Coordinator will help you determine who you will be assigned to or if you have someone in mind, you may request that professor as your advisor. 

• Can I change my advisor once I have been assigned one?
Yes, at any time. Please contact the administrative specialist (phone: 207-780-4258, email: and let her know. The administrative specialist will make the necessary changes.

• If I am a Philosophy major/minor and I forget who my advisor is what do I do?

Call the Department of Philosophy's administrative specialist (207-780-4258 or email: or the Student Success Center.

• Can I get an advisor at any time during the school year?

• If I want to make an appointment to meet with my faculty advisor, how do I handle this?

Once you have been assigned a faculty advisor, call that faculty advisor directly and leave a voice mail message or contact him or her by email.


Philosophy of Law Guest Lecturer

Lady Justice

Professor of Philosophy Robert Loudon welcomes guest lecturer Robert Ruffner, Esq. to speak in his Philosophy of Law (PHI 260) class. All USM students of philosophy and law are welcome to attend this lecture.

Thursday, November 19th at 2:45 in Luther Bonney #502, Portland Campus
Robert J. Ruffner, Esq. will be the Guest Lecturer in Professor Robert Louden’s Philosophy of Law class on November 19th at 2:45 in Luther Bonney #502. Ruffner, a trial attorney specializing in criminal defense, is a 1996 graduate of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Mr. Ruffner began practicing in Maine in 1999 as a Domestic Violence prosecutor with the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office. He then joined the litigation firm of Friedman Babcock & Gaythwaite where he practiced insurance and criminal defense. Ruffner formed his own practice in 2001 to focus on Criminal Defense.

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