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The Department of Philosophy offers a major program that serves two different goals:
  • For students who desire to achieve a general liberal arts education and who do not plan to do graduate work in philosophy, courses are selected to enable the student to become a cultured, liberally-educated person.
  • For students who plan to do graduate work in philosophy, the department has designated a faculty adviser for preprofessional philosophy. This adviser carefully selects a series of courses and seminars in order to give the students a firm grounding in the discipline and prepare them for acceptance into graduate school.

The Value of Philosophy

Philosophy addresses one's life as well as one’s career.

The aim of philosophy courses is to help the undergraduate student examine the ultimate nature of people, the universe, God, the basic principles of moral evaluation as they apply to personal questions and social and political policies.

Since these concepts underlie most human endeavors, the study of philosophy, together with the practice of its methods of analysis and argumentation, prepares students to responsibly address basic problems later encountered, whether personal, social, or professional.

Nationally, philosophy majors rank second of all (nearly 100 tested) majors in verbal and analytical aptitudes.

Philosophy assists the student in reasoning well and writing effectively. Consequently, a philosophy major serves as an excellent preparation for the professions, including law, business, and government service as well as for graduate study and the teaching of philosophy.

Philosophy Prelaw

The department offers a philosophy prelaw program for those students interested in philosophy or a general arts education, and in pursuing a legal career. It is generally acknowledged that a concentration in philosophy and the other arts provides an appropriate basis for the study of law. Students in the prelaw program complete the requirements of philosophy track Law and Politics, which are presented on our Curriculum & Courses page.

Learn more about the prelaw track by contacting Dr. Steve Nuttal, associate professor of philosophy, by email at or by phone at (716) 375-2260..

Faculty Research & Honors

    Nov 14, 2017

    Dr. Michael Chiariello
    Professor Emeritus and Director, Study Abroad in Perugia
    Dr. Michael Chiariello, Professor Emeritus, organized and chaired a series of panels to discuss the findings of a newly published volume, Gli Affreschi delle Palazze. Una storia fra Umbria and America (The Palazze Frescoes. A Tale between Umbria and America). The book, edited by professors Tommaso Di Carpegna Falconieri and Grazia Maria Fachechi, University of Urbino, Italy, offers the first full study and digital reconstruction of one of the most important fresco cycles in Italy, before Giotto. These frescoes were originally painted, at the end of the 13th century, in the ancient convent of Poor Clares of Santa Maria Inter Angelos, known as Le Palazze, near Spoleto, in Umbria. In the 1920s, the frescoes were removed, divided, and purchased by five American museums: the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, the Worcester Art Museum, the Fogg Museum at Harvard, and the Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn, Pa. The bilingual book is richly illustrated with essays by scholars from both the U.S. and Italy. It contains a DVD that offers the reader a virtual tour of the cycle in its original site on the walls of the convent, thus virtually reuniting what has been dispersed and at the same time advancing a fuller understanding of the cycle’s artistic context. The October presentations were held at The College of the Holy Cross, the Worcester Art Museum, Temple University, and the Glencairn Museum. The lead researchers, Di Carpegna and Fachechi, were joined by Dr. Jonathan Kline of Temple University in sessions chaired by Chiariello, who is a board member of the Romeyne Robert and Uguccione Sorbello Foundation, which supported the project.

A Great Choice

100% of our philosophy grads from 2011 to 2014 said they would choose the same major if they had to do it again.