A modern curriculum that embraces traditional and new ideas

Do we have free will? What makes an action right or wrong? What is justice? What makes you the same person today as you were a year ago? Philosophy tackles questions like these–basic questions about life and the human condition. As a philosophy student you’ll study classic texts in depth and also engage with current thinking in ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of the arts. Philosophy is excellent preparation for careers in law, public administration, or any field that requires skills in analysis, reasoning, and writing. It connects up with many other disciplines, so students majoring in the arts, humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences, often pursue an additional major or minor in philosophy. It is also integral to the Social Justice Studies minor.


Campus Locations

Main Campus - Alfred, NY


Philosophy (BA)

Double Major

Double Major option(s) offered.
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In addition to courses listed in the catalog, we often offer special topics courses. Many of these connect philosophy with other fields such as politics, psychology, history, or fine art. Recent topics courses that have been offered include:


Feminist philosophy

Love, Beauty, and the Arts


Comedy, Social Justice, and Censorship

Philosophy and Film

Work: Blessing or Curse

Environmental Ethics and Aesthetics

Requirements for the Major:

The philosophy major consists of 32 credits in philosophy (at least 20 of which must be 300 level or above). With permission of the major advisor, a student may substitute up to 4 credits of the 32 from a related discipline.

Requirements for the Minor:

The philosophy minor consists of 20 credits in philosophy (at least 12 of which must be at the 300 level or above). With permission of the minor advisor, a student may substitute up to 4 credits of the 20 from a related discipline.

View general education requirements.

Philosophy as a double major is available to all AU students. A total of 32 credit hours from the Philosophy major is required. Of these hours, at least 20 must be 300-level or above. With permission of the major advisor, a student may substitute up to 4 credits of the 32 from a related discipline.


Philosophy has connections with many other disciplines, and many students combine their major with a philosophy minor. The flexible structure of the philosophy program makes this easy to do, both for students in Liberal Arts and Sciences, and for students from other units.

The philosophy minor consists of 20 credits in philosophy. A minimum of 12 credit hours must be at the 300 level or above. With permission of the minor advisor, a student may substitute up to 4 credits of the 20 from a related discipline.

If you’re the kind of person who is intellectually curious and likes to think hard about life in general–about society, culture, science, the arts, human nature, and so on, studying philosophy in college will help your reflections be better informed and more rigorous. It will also equip you with knowledge and skills that graduate schools and employees value. These include critical thinking, analyzing texts and information, and the ability to discuss ideas clearly, both orally and in writing. Philosophy thus prepares students for a wide variety of careers, including law, public administration, education, and business.

Our philosophy majors have gone on to pursue graduate studies at:

  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Fine Art)
  • Simon Fraser (Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • University of Pittsburgh (Public and International Affairs)
  • University of Nevada (Law)
  • Seattle University (Law)
  • University College Dublin (Philosophy)
  • University of Buffalo (Law)
  • University of San Diego (Law)
  • University of Chicago (Philosophy)
  • University of Virginia (Philosophy)
  • Syracuse University (Public Administration)
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (Law)

Our graduates include:

  • District Manager (US House of Representatives)
  • Senior advancement data specialist (Colorado State University)
  • Immigration attorney (Erie County Bar Association)
  • Software Engineer (Microsoft)
  • Senior Legal Counsel (Stryker)
  • Digital analyst (thinkcube)
  • Operations Manager (
  • Account Executive (EPIC Insurance)

Student Stories

Case Ponce

Bringing People Together...With Games.

"Most students stay in their school, whether it be Art or Engineering. I want to bring people together with games. No matter why we came here, we can all agree that we stay for the people."

Case Ponce, 2021
Find out more about Case

Similar Programs

If you're interested in pursuing an education in Philosophy at Alfred University, you may also be interested in adding the following majors and minors to your plan of study:

All Undergraduate Programs