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Bachelor of Arts


Program of Study

The philosophy program covers texts and methods of inquiry developed by significant figures in the history of thought – from ancient philosophers such as Plato and Socrates, to early modern thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes and Immanuel Kant, to recent figures such as Thomas Kuhn and Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Foundation courses focus on philosophical problems related to topics such as personal identity, human consciousness, moral dilemmas, religious belief, semantics, and logical reasoning. 

During your junior and senior years, you get to choose from advanced courses available including political and social philosophy, the philosophy of mind, biomedical ethics, ethical theory, and metaphysics.

To complete the philosophy major, you must earn at least 36 credits in philosophy. You will work with your academic advisor to choose courses related to your interests and career goals.

Required Courses

  • Introduction to Philosophical Problems
  • Symbolic Logic
  • Introduction to Ethical Theories
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • 17th & 18th Century Philosophy


Elective Courses

Seven additional courses in philosophy that must include:

  • One upper-level course in historical philosophy
  • At least one 400- or 500-level philosophy course 



Combined BA/MA in Philosophy

The department offers a combined BA/MA program in philosophy, for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity.

If you're accepted into this accelerated program, you can start completing your master's degree requirements in the beginning of your junior year. It's possible to earn both degrees in just nine semesters.

Career Paths

Philosophy majors regularly earn higher LSAT and GMAT scores and higher GRE verbal and analytical writing scores than other majors.

If you're looking to earn a graduate degree in any area, the philosophy program can help you reach your goals.

Program alumni have become successful:

  • Lawyers
  • Human capital managers
  • Political advisors
  • Public administrators
  • Marketing managers
  • Business executives

"The philosophy program was great preparation not only for the LSATs but for core aspects of my work as a lawyer. I learned how to read critically, synthesize information, and write clearly, which made my first year of law school less overwhelming. I was able to dive into a lengthy judicial opinion or law review article and easily follow the arguments on both sides of an issue."

- Daksha Bhatia, BA in Philosophy, '11

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Bachelor of Arts

The undergraduate program in philosophy helps students become accomplished critical thinkers and writers who are knowledgeable about the main areas of Western philosophy. Students learn to analyze both familiar and abstract concepts, to produce well-constructed arguments, to criticize the arguments of others fairly, and to express their ideas clearly in writing. They come to comprehend some of the most important philosophical problems, both as they have been addressed by great thinkers of the past and as they are examined today.

Learning objectives:

  • Students understand and recognize the significance of the history of philosophy.
  • Students understand the scope of philosophy and encounter material from its several areas.
  • Students are able to read philosophical texts critically.
  • Students are able to write clearly about philosophical topics.

What Makes The University at Albany Great

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Living-Learning Communities

Live and take classes with other incoming freshmen who share your personal interests, passions or intended academic major.

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Study Abroad

Become a global citizen: international experience is crucial to success in business, education, research, and public policy.

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Undergraduate Research

Research, scholarship, and creative activities at the University at Albany is an option for all students, across all academic disciplines. You will be able to learn more about a specific academic field or career path all while building a long-lasting mentoring relationship with a faculty member or principal investigator.

Explore Minors

Build competency in a passion or strengthen your resume.

A minor consists of 18–24 graduation credits which must include a minimum of 9 graduation credits of advanced coursework at or above the 300 level. Most undergraduate degrees require completing a minor and it has to have a different title from your major.

Full List of Minors
  • Acting
  • Africana Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Bioethics
  • Biology
  • Broadcast Meteorology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Studies
  • Cognitive Science
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice Studies
  • Documentary Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • Educational Studies
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • Financial Market Regulation
  • Forensic Science
  • French
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Geography
  • Globalization Studies
  • Hebrew
  • History
  • Informatics
  • International Studies
  • Italian
  • Japanese Studies
  • Journalism
  • Judaic Studies
  • Korean Studies
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Law and Philosophy
  • Leadership
  • Legal Studies
  • LGBTQ Studies
  • Library and Information Science
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Music
  • Musical Theatre
  • Neuroscience
  • Organizational Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Portuguese
  • Pre-Education
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Russian and Eastern European Studies
  • Social Welfare Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Sustainability
  • Theatre
  • Theatrical Design/Technology
  • Urban Studies and Planning
  • U.S. Latino Studies
  • Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies