Philosophy Major Requirements (Pre-Fall 2021)

For students who matriculated at Geneseo prior to Fall 2021, the philosophy major at Geneseo requires 30 credit hours (10 courses). Although seven of these courses are required, 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.

Required Courses

  • PHIL 111 Introduction to Logic (3 credit hours)
  • PHIL 205 Ancient Philosophy (3 credit hours)
  • PHIL 207 Modern Philosophy (3 credit hours)
  • PHIL 330 Ethical Theory (3 credit hours)
  • PHIL 340 Theory of Knowledge (3 credit hours)
  • PHIL 355 Metaphysics (3 credit hours)
  • PHIL 397 or PHIL 398 Seminar (3 credit hours)
  • Electives in philosophy (9 credit hours)

Note: Only one 100–level elective will count toward the major. PHIL 393 and PHIL 399 do not count toward the major.

Minimum Competence Requirement

A grade of C– or better is required for each of the following courses: PHIL 111, 205, 207, 330, 340, 355 and either 397 or 398.

Department Writing Requirement

The last paper written by each major in PHIL 205, 207, 330, 340 and 355 will be dated, copied, and placed in the student’s file before the paper is graded. Two faculty will review the files of graduating students to determine a) whether the student’s writing improved, and b) action that should be taken in case additional work is needed.

For further information, please contact your advisor or Dr. Levy, the Department Chair. For information on writing requirements for “double” or “triple” majors consult the Undergraduate Bulletin under “Multiple Majors,” or the Office of the Dean of the College.

Double Major

Students have found that by electing philosophy as a second major they can develop skills that will be invaluable throughout their careers. They learn to think, read, and write clearly, coherently, and critically. They learn to analyze and evaluate arguments. They learn the art of questioning, that is, how to inquire. Finally, they practice stepping out of a given framework when viewing a problem. Many seemingly unsolvable problems are unsolvable only because the solver is uncritically committed to certain assumptions.