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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

    May 24, 2018

    Dr. Barry L. Gan
    Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Center for Nonviolence
    Dr. Barry L. Gan gave a presentation and participated in a follow-up panel discussion about nonviolent movements and the nature of their success at Colgate University on April 26. Gan co-presented with Jack DuVall, director emeritus of the Washington, D.C.-based International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, producer of the PBS series "A Force More Powerful" and co-author of the book by the same name. The presenters were invited by Colgate University's Political Science Department. The previous week, Gan facilitated a discussion at Genesee Community College between advocates on either side of the gun control debate. The YWCA and several churches in the Batavia area had invited Gan to facilitate the discussion to help demonstrate how people from very different positions might be able to reach an agreement.

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.