Philosophy (BA)

Philosophy (BA)

Philosophy (BA)
Find out more about the Power of Philosophy

Philosophy involves a critical examination of our most fundamental beliefs about truth and reality, right and wrong. In this major, students study the traditional answers to the basic questions in Western philosophy and also the important critiques of that dominant tradition. They will explore ethical and justice issues which are crucial to contemporary legal, political, and public policy debates. Philosophy majors learn sophisticated forms of reasoning and textual analysis, and deepen their understanding of basic human problems and possibilities.

Learning outcomes. Students will: 

  • Explain a section from a philosophical text, a philosophical theory, a philosophical issue, or a philosophical argument. 
  • Identify arguments and distinguish premises and conclusions.
  • Formulate an argument in support of or in opposition to a claim.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a basic problem or a major theory in a main area of philosophical inquiry.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a primary claim or critical response to a primary claim in the history of western philosophy. 


Credits Required.

Philosophy Major


General Education




Total Credits Required for B.A. Degree


Coordinator. Professor Mary Ann McClure, Department of Philosophy (212.237.8340,

Advising resourcesSample Four-Year Plan of Study

PART ONE: CORE COURSES                                                                                      Subtotal: 21 credits

PHI 105 Critical Thinking and Informal Logic
PHI 210 Ethical Theory
PHI 231 The Big Questions: Intro to Philosophy
PHI 310/LAW 310 Ethics and Law 
PHI 330 Philosophical Modernity

Critiques of Philosophical Modernity 
Select One 
PHI 343 Existentialism 
PHI 351 Classical Chinese Philosophy
PHI 354/AFR 354 Africana Philosophy

Capstone Courses
Select One

PHI 400 Senior Seminar in Ethics
PHI 401 Senior Seminar in the History of Philosophy
PHI 402 Senior Seminar in Metaphysics and Epistemology

PART TWO: ETHICS AND VALUE THEORY                                                        Subtotal: 3 credits

Select one 
PHI 201 Philosphy of Art
PHI 203 Political Philosophy
PHI 214 Environmental Ethics
PHI 216 Ethics and Information Technology
PHI 224/ANT 224/PSY 224/SOC 224 Death, Dying, and Society: A Life Crises Management Issue
PHI 302 The Philosophy of Rights
PHI 315 Philosphy of the Rule of Law: Theory and Practice 
PHI 317 Philosophy of Law in Global Perspective
PHI 322/CRJ 322 Judicial and Correctional Ethics
PHI 333/GEN 333 Theories of Gender and Sexuality
PHI 340 Utopian Thought 
PHI 423/POL 423 Selected Topics in Justice

PART THREE: HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY                                                         Subtotal: 3 credits

Select one
PHI 202 Philosophical Visions of American Pluralism
PHI 326 Topics in the History of Modern Thought
PHI 327 19th-Century European and American Philosphy
PHI 343 Existentialism 
PHI 351 Classical Chinese Philosophy
PHI 354/AFR 354 Africana Philosophy

PART FOUR: METAPHYSICS AND EPISTEMOLOGY                                       Subtotal: 3 credits

Select one 
PHI 104 Philosophy of Human Nature
PHI 204 Logic
PHI 205 Philosophy of Religion
PHI 304 Philosophy of the Mind
PHI 374 Epistemology 
PHI 377 Reality, Truth, and Being: Metaphysics

PART FIVE: ELECTIVES                                                                                                   Subtotal: 9 credits

All students select three additional philosophy courses at the 300-level or above in consultation with an advisor.
Please note: No course may fill multiple requirements in the major.


                                                                                                                                             Total Credit Hours: 39

                                                                                                                                                   Last Updated: 2/14/18