The Department of Philosophy at Maryland offers instruction in most traditional areas of philosophy, often in interaction with other disciplines. Most doctoral students work in the fields that represent the distinctive strengths of the program: aesthetics, moral and political philosophy, the philosophy of language and linguistics, philosophical logic, the philosophy of mind and of cognitive science, and the philosophy of science.

 The University of Maryland, located in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, is ranked among the top thirty American universities and thirty-eighth in the world. Located “inside the Beltway”, the University is nine miles from the National Mall. Many students live near campus, while others live downtown and commute by Metro (subway) to the College Park Green Line station. The capital city provides a rich cultural life, with the Kennedy Center, National Symphony Orchestra, and the National Opera, alongside many casual venues for theater and popular music. On the mall are the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, including the National Gallery of Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

The area is also the home of several other prominent universities, including American, Catholic, Georgetown, and George Washington, and farther away, George Mason, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Virginia. Surrounding the Washington region are nearby state and national parks, as well as the waterways of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, from the Shenandoah and Appalachian Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay and Assateague seashores.