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.
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.
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 or by phone at (716) 375-2260.
The Department of Philosophy offers a B.A. in philosophy and five minors in philosophy.
Bachelor of Arts in philosophy
From matters of law and politics to ethics and medicine, from justice and society to art and literature, the major in philosophy enables students to thoughtfully understand and critically assess the essential dimensions of these pressing issues. In the process, the major helps students to develop crucial cognitive skills in logical thinking, interpretive comprehension, critical evaluation, and argumentative writing.
The student tailors the program of study to their specific interests by selecting one of four possible tracks: 1. philosophy, law and politics; 2. philosophy and social justice; 3. philosophy, art & literature; and 4. philosophy, ethics and medicine.
Degree requirements and a four-year plan for the philosophy major
For non-majors, the philosophy minors enable students to pursue course work that will supplement their major field of study.
Students may choose between the general philosophy minor and a philosophy minor with one of four possible tracks: 1. philosophy, law and politics; 2. philosophy and social justice; 3. philosophy, art & literature; and 4. philosophy, ethics and medicine.
Requirements for the philosophy minors