All Programs


Philosophy BA | +MS Option | +MA Option |

Philosophy BA | +MS Option | +MA Option |

Philosophy PhD | +MS Option |

Philosophy PhD | +MS Option |
Philosophy PhD | +MS Option |
Philosophy PhD | +MS Option |

The GRE is not required for admissions, but applicants may submit scores if they would like to do so.

Philosophy Minors

Requirements: A minimum of 18 graduation credits (9 or more of which must be in coursework at or above the 300 level and/or in courses requiring at least one prerequisite course) from coursework with an A PHI prefix, including at least two of the following: A PHI 110 or 111, 210, 212, 310, 312.

Law and Philosophy

The study and practice of Law requires a unique combination of argumentative skills and reasoning abilities. Indeed, the American Bar Association's Council of Legal Education and Opportunity recommends that students interested in studying the Law take courses that “teach reasoning and analytical skills.” The discipline of Philosophy has traditionally played a role in the development of such skills and abilities in students.

The Law and Philosophy minor provides students with intensive training in reasoning and argumentation. It allows students to examine many of the current moral, political, and legal issues that are of interest to lawyers, judges, and legal scholars, as well as to professions in criminal justice, security and preparedness, government, and social work. Students will investigate questions such as: What is the relation between law and morality? How do changes in technology contribute to changes in the law (e.g., regarding medicine or environmental issues)? Does the law help or hurt oppressed groups in society? What makes something a human right, and how should respect for human rights be instantiated in the law? What is the basis of international law and can international law contribute to peace?

In the classroom, students will learn to engage in reasoned debate about complex problems, to argue for or against certain propositions, to defend views against objections, and to subject their own biases to careful scrutiny. Special emphasis is placed on reading arguments carefully, analyzing their structures and assumptions, and writing logically, clearly, and precisely.


The minor requires 12 core credits in Philosophy and 6 credits of legal studies electives. At least 9 of the total credits must be in coursework at or above the 300 level.

Elective courses may be law-related courses from Philosophy or other units, including Africana Studies, Business, Criminal Justice, Journalism, Political Science, and Sociology. Subject to prior approval by a Law and Philosophy Advisor, senior students may take an Albany Law course and count it as an elective.

  • Philosophy course (12 credits)
    • 3 credits from either APHI 112 Critical Thinking or APHI 210 Introduction to Logic
    • 3 credits from APHI 212 Introduction to Ethical Theory or APHI 220 History of Social and Political Philosophy or APHI 326 Moral Philosophy
    • 3 credits from APHI 325 Philosophy of Law
    • 3 credits from a 300-level or 400-level course in Philosophy
  • Elective courses (6 credits)
    • APHI 114 Morals and Society or APHI 115 Moral Dilemmas
    • APHI 338 Moral Problems in Medicine
    • APHI 350 Philosophy and Feminism
    • APHI 355 Global Justice
    • APHI 365 Environmental Ethics
    • APHI 417 Bioethics
    • APHI 474 Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy
    • AAFS 400 The Law and African-America
    • BLAW 220 Business Law
    • BLAW 200 Legal Environment of Business
    • RCRJ 202 Introduction to Law and Criminal Justice
    • RCRJ 302 Punishment and Corrections
    • RCRJ 353 American Criminal Courts
    • RCRJ 401 Crime Deviation and Conformity
    • RCRJ 424 Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law
    • AJRL 225 (= ADOC 225) Media Law and Ethics
    • RPOS 326 Introduction to Public Law
    • RPOS 328 Law and Policy
    • ASOC 203 Criminology
    • ASOC 385 Sociology of Law

Requirements: A minimum of 18 graduation credits including an introductory course (A PHI 114 or 115 or 212); an introductory course in biology (A BIO 102, 110, 120 or A BIO 209; biology majors may substitute an advanced biology course for this requirement); Moral Problems in Medicine (A PHI 338); 3 credits at 300-level or higher in ethical and/or political theory (A PHI 320, 321, 326, 425, 474 or R POS 301, 302, 306, 307, 308, 310); and 6 credits from advanced related courses.

Advanced related courses include: A ANT 312, 360, 361, 364, 365, 418, 450; A BIO 205, 212, 214, 311, 318, 329; A ECO 381; A GOG 310; A PHI 355, A PHI 417; A PSY 329, 385, 387; A SOC 359; H SPH 342; R CRJ 405; R POS 328; U UNI 310.

Advanced related graduate courses include: A ANT 511, 517, 518; A BIO 511, 519; A ECO 509, 511, 512; A PHI 505, 506, 517; H EPI 501, 502; H HPM 501, 511; R POS/RPUB 502. Students may use other courses to fulfill the related courses requirement at the discretion of the director of the program, Professor Piotrowska.

Cognitive Science

Requirements: The minor in Cognitive Science requires 18 Credits, 9 Credits or more of which must be in course work at or above the 300 level and/or in courses requiring a prerequisite. All students must take

  • Introduction to Cognitive Science (A LIN 301, A PHI 301, or A PSY 301)
  • 3 courses from: A CSI 201N, A LIN 321, APHI 210L, A PSY 365
  • 6 Credits from the following:
    • A CSI 101N, 201N, 210, 310, 409
    • A LIN 322, 421, or 421Z, 422
    • A PHI 332, 415, 418, 422, 432
    • A PSY 210, 211, 381, 382, 382Z
Graduate Bioethics
Bioethics at UAlbany

Albany is a great place to do graduate work in philosophy with a specialization in bioethics. The philosophy department faculty includes Monika Piotrowska, who works on ethical and conceptual issues in biotechnology, and Kristen Hessler, who has active research interests in healthcare and public health ethics. Other members (Marcus Adams, Rachel Cohon, and Ron McClamrock) have also published research in bioethics. Still others (Jason D'Cruz, P.D. Magnus, Jon Mandle) have interests that are related to bioethics.

Beyond the philosophy department, several of the University's other schools and departments offer opportunities for interdisciplinary work in bioethics, including biology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, the School of Public Health, and the Department of Public Administration and Policy (ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 10 in the country). Faculty from all of these departments, as well as The Alden March Bioethics Institute and the Albany Law School, are available to our students for consultation, and to act as external members of dissertation committees, making it possible to combine genuinely interdisciplinary work with rigorous training in philosophy.

MS/PhD Dual Degree

The philosophy department has joined with the Bioethics Program of Clarkson University and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to offer a dual degree program. The program offers students an opportunity to earn a PhD in Philosophy and an MS in Bioethics with fewer course credits than would be required to complete each degree separately. The total number of credit hours normally required to complete both programs is 96. The dual degree program requires 70 credit hours: 52 credits in the PhD in Philosophy program and 18 credits in the MS in Bioethics.

Students must apply to each program separately and each program must accept them through its own admissions process. Any financial aid awarded is institution-specific. Thus, for example, a student who receives an assistantship from the University at Albany to pursue a PhD in Philosophy can only use the tuition scholarship for University at Albany courses.

It is not necessary to begin both programs at the same time. A student can choose to first apply to the PhD in Philosophy program and later apply to the MS in Bioethics program.

More information on how to apply to the MS in Bioethics program can be found here.