Philosophy Program Information

There are many benefits to studying Philosophy at Geneseo:

  • Small class sizes. For the 2022-23 academic year, the average class size for all 300-400 level philosophy classes was 14. Meanwhile, (excluding PHIL 237, which almost exclusively serves Business students), our 200 level courses averaged 23 students for 2022-23, with more than 50% of these courses under 20 students. This allows us to get to know each student and actively guide their development.
  • A wide range of courses and topics. Our faculty have expertise across a variety of areas of philosophy including: history of philosophy, Eastern philosophy, bioethics, political philosophy, normative and applied ethics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of race, feminist philosophy, lgbtq+ issues and philosophy.
  • Particular strengths in ethics/values. Our new interdisciplinary Ethics & Values in Society Minor highlights 12 different philosophy courses from the 100-400 level that focus on moral and political issues.
  • Individual attention via directed studies, thesis supervision, TA opportunities, and student representation in Department Meetings.
  • Interdisciplinary Connections (e.g. to the Edgar Fellow's Program and Women's & Gender Studies) and Innovative Programs (the Outreach Program and the Summer Institute for Ethics and Justice Pre-College Program)

Our major and minor programs combine rigorous expectations with the ability to customize your experience. Our new major (introduced in the Fall 2021 semester), for example, requires only 33 credit hours (11 courses). The overall small size of the major leaves plenty of room to pursue other interests—whether in the form of a second major, a minor, or just a wide range of electives. This also allows students maximal freedom to study abroad or to pursue internships. 

The Ethics & Values in Society minor requires coursework outside of philosophy, allowing students to choose from a wide variety of areas of the humanities, social sciences, and interdisciplinary programs, in addition to philosophy-based requirements. Often this allows students to count courses for a major or second minor for the Ethics & Values in Society minor as well; in addition, students may combine the Ethics & Values in Society minor with a Philosophy major or minor.


Prospects for Graduate School

Our program is strong enough to get our students into several of the top graduate programs in philosophy throughout the United States. Several of our recent alumni are pursuing advanced degrees in philosophy in programs at Berkeley, Columbia, Notre Dame, Duke, Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), Purdue, and Binghamton.