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Programs

A student can major or minor in philosophy, take philosophy courses as part of other majors or minors, and study philosophy in the Hofstra University Honors College or the First Year Connections program.

The Hofstra University Department of Philosophy offers three degrees. A student may also focus on a particular area, such as philosophy of law, applied ethics or philosophy of science.

The Bachelors of Arts degree in Philosophy offers an in-depth training in philosophy. Focusing on critical thinking, the bachelor degree prepares students to apply the tools of philosophy to any industry they are passionate about. The skills developed can be used in careers including law, journalism, business, medicine, cognitive science, neuroscience, computer science and many others. A concentration or even a philosophy minor in applied ethics is helpful in many professional areas (medicine, law, business, engineering), which recognize the importance of applied ethics and may require instruction in it. With a concentration (or even a minor) in philosophy of law, a philosophy major is one of the best preparations for a career in law.

A Bachelors of Science in Philosophy develops the skills similar to the B.A. in Philosophy, but course work is focused on philosophical areas of particular relevance to another professional, technical or scientific area that the student is also interested in studying. Students who might find this program of particular interest: science or engineering students with a possible interest in patent law; science students with interests in developing writing and critical reasoning skills; business students interested in developing a broader intellectual background and understanding of ethics; pre-med students who want to develop their analytical, ethical and critical reasoning skills in a program related to their pre-medical studies; any student who wishes to study philosophy in connection with another area of study.

The B.A. in Pre-health with a concentration in Philosophy degree develops the same skills as the B.A. in Philosophy, but the program is designed to include all the courses needed for medical school, while offering a concentration in philosophy. This program is designed for pre-med students who want a broad liberal arts background, in addition to preparing for medical school. Read “Why Philosophy is good preparation for medical careers” [PDF]

Overview of comparison between the B.A. and B.S. in Philosophy

Interdisciplinary and Minor Programs:

A minor is 18 credits (6 3-credit courses)

  • A regular Philosophy Minor is 18 credits in philosophy (9 hours at the 100-level and 6 hours in residence
  • The Philosophy of Law minor is directed by Dr. Amy Baehr (email), Associate Professor of Philosophy. Philosophy is great for pre-law students. Some pre-law students do a double-major philosophy with political science or economics or sociology, or major in one area and minor in the other. Students who are interested in patent law and who study engineering would also benefit from a double-major with philosophy or a minor in philosophy.
  • The Minor in Scientific Reasoning and Data Analysis is an interdisciplinary minor program also housed in the philosophy department. Dr. Christopher Eliot (email), Associate Professor of Philosophy, directs this program.
  • Philosophy is the home of the interdisciplinary program in Cognitive Science. Dr. Anthony Dardis, Professor of Philosophy (email), is the Cognitive Science program director.
  • Philosophy, Society and Business

Concentrations within Philosophy

Students can also concentrate within the major or minor in Applied Ethics. Dr. Ralph Acampora (email), Associate Professor of Philosophy, directs the Applied Ethics concentration. 

Other Interdisciplinary Programs

Philosophy courses are also part of several other interdisciplinary programs, for example:
  • Technology and Public Policy
  • Urban Ecology
  • Environmental Resources
  • Sustainability Studies
  • Criminology and Forensic Studies
  • American Studies
  • Public Affairs
  • Global Studies

Honors College and First Year Connections

Philosophy is a core discipline for the Honors College year-long introductory course Culture and Expression and philosophy faculty regularly teach that course. The Honors College also offers Honors Seminars which are frequently on philosophical topics and taught by philosophy department faculty.

Philosophy courses are also offered in the First Year Connections program.