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For 2,000 years, philosophy has been the foundation for a liberal arts education. The study of philosophy examines knowledge, truth, reality and existence. It teaches us to ask big questions about how the world works, and sharpens our ability to understand and analyze concepts, assumptions, beliefs, logical errors and commonly held opinions.

Why Choose Philosophy?

The Education

Philosophers grapple with big questions:

  • What is the nature of the good life?
  • What does it mean to be ethical?
  • What can we know with certainty?
  • What is the nature of reality?

One of the great strengths of a philosophy education is that it develops your ability to ask good questions. As Aristotle said, the mark of a well-educated person is not knowledge itself, but the ability to ask good questions. And to be able to ask the right questions at the right time is highly prized by employers and colleagues.

The Personalization

As a philosophy major or minor, you will get to choose from a variety of classes taught by excellent professors. Classes are taught in several formats — seminar, interactive, and single philosopher. In interactive classes you will engage in discussions with other students and the professor. In seminars, you will address topics of interest with other philosophy majors or minors. And in single philosopher classes, you will take an in-depth approach to studying one philosopher.

You will be assigned a faculty adviser who will help you pick the classes that interest you, and make sure you meet all the major requirements. If you’re interested in a graduate or professional degree, you will also meet with a pre-health, pre-law or graduate school adviser.

Funded research grants are available for students who wish to further personalize their study. Conducting a research project with a faculty member is a great learning experience to have before graduation, especially if you are considering graduate school.

The Professional Options

Philosophy majors receive among the highest average scores on professional and graduate school entrance exams like the GRE, GMAT and LSAT. They also have one of the highest acceptance rates to medical school.

What Will You Learn?

As a philosophy major, you’ll learn to engage with big questions about justice and truth. You will learn to read carefully, argue concisely and write precisely. You’ll be able to understand, analyze and challenge:

  • Assumptions
  • Beliefs
  • Logical errors
  • Commonly held opinions

Based on your interests, you’ll have the opportunity to take courses on:

  • Ethics
  • Critical thinking
  • Logic
  • Ancient Greek philosophy
  • Modern philosophy
  • Medieval philosophy
  • Nineteenth-century philosophy
  • Twentieth-century philosophy
  • Faith & Reason
  • American philosophy
  • Existentialism
  • African and Latin American philosophy
  • Race, gender and class
  • Political philosophy
  • Philosophy of law
  • Philosophy of art
See the Degree Requirements

Philosophy is also offered as a minor.

What Will You Do?

Philosophy is the foundation of a liberal arts education, which in turn, is the best base for many career paths. Philosophy also provides the ideal foundation to go on to work in medicine, dentistry, allied health or law.

While at Manhattan, I was able to double major in psychology and philosophy, minor in Italian, conduct and publish research, and study abroad for a semester in Florence, Italy. All of these experiences allowed me to meet many amazing and intelligent people from whom I learned a lot. The professors in the Philosophy Department truly care about their students’ education and are dedicated to being supportive and helping their students succeed — qualities that I hope to replicate in my own career.

Victoria Argento ’15, Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at Hofstra University