Undergraduate programs in
Philosophy is the major of presidents, prime ministers, and even a pope. Students who have majored in philosophy have served as Supreme Court justices and cabinet secretaries. They are entrepreneurs and CEOs, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and Academy Award-winning actors and directors.
Philosophy is the study of wisdom, and it addresses problems and questions that affect all aspects of human existence: the fundamental nature of truth, the meaning of law and justice, the foundation of ethics and morality, the processes of science, the role of the state and religion, the value of art, and the origin of knowledge.
Philosophy majors score better than most other majors on the admission exams for graduate school (GRE), business school (GMAT), law school (LSAT), and medical school (MCAT), and their earning power consistently ranks near the top among humanities majors.
Take philosophy courses as part of an interdisciplinary program such as technology and public policy, urban ecology, criminology and forensic studies, sustainability, or public affairs. There is also a philosophy concentration for pre-health majors.
Want to explore a philosophical topic? Take an online tour of our offerings in Ethics.
Our colloquium series features regional and international speakers and topics like “How biology is changing our politics,” “Does evil exist?” and “The value of humanism.”
Events such as “Ask A Philosopher,” “Reasoning Evening,” “Philosophy in Film,” invite students and faculty to share ideas in an informal setting.
Why are philosophers so successful?
Philosophy gives you training in life-long skills that do not become outdated. They give you the ethical and conceptual foundations for many areas of life and are applicable to many professions.
Consider a major in Philosophy because ...
Philosophers are exceptionally good at analyzing and synthesizing complex information.
The content of philosophy is relevant to everyday life. Just as our mobile devices need operating systems, we need moral operating systems. We all have opinions about morals and values, but philosophy gives us a firmer grasp of the foundations of ethical values such as freedom, individuality, community, and the meaning of life, and how they work together.
Philosophers excel at “critical thinking” and “thinking outside the box.” Philosophy is both scientifically informed and relevant to important developing areas of modern life, such as neuroscience, public policy, and computer software design.
Majors and Programs
Hofstra offers two types of Philosophy degrees. In addition, many of our students pick up a double major in another subject area related to their future plans. Through courses in ancient, modern, and contemporary philosophy, you will become a creative problem solver who can make sense of complex information in a modern world.
In addition to our majors, we offer a Philosophy minor as well as minors in Ethics; Philosophy of Law; Philosophy, Society and Business; Cognitive Science; and an interdisciplinary minor in Data Analysis and Scientific Reasoning.
BA in Philosophy
The BA in Philosophy is a broad-based liberal arts degree that is good preparation for a wide range of careers including law, journalism, business, medicine, cognitive science, neuroscience, medicine, and computer science. Students pursuing this degree can pick up a minor or concentration that focuses on law, applied ethics, cognitive science or business.
BS in Philosophy
The BS in Philosophy degree is focused on philosophical areas that are relevant to another professional, technical or scientific discipline. This degree differs from the BA program primarily because it requires students to complete more requirements in a discipline outside philosophy, either through a double major or a minor.
BA in Pre-health with a concentration in Philosophy
This degree develops the same skills as the BA in Philosophy, but the program includes all the courses needed for medical school. This program is designed for pre-med students who want a broad liberal arts background, in addition to preparing for medical school.
In the Classroom
Learn from the Experts
Your professor are distinguished scholars who are actively engaged in research and have a broad range of specializations including ethics, metaphysics, and the philosophical studies of mind, language, knowledge, environment, mathematics, law, and science.
More about our department
Debut Novelist Discusses Her Philosophy Studies
Michelle Hart '11, whose novel "We Do What We Do In The Dark" is receiving acclaim from TIME, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times, discusses why she paired her studies in English with a major in Philosophy. "I ended up taking a course on the 'Philosophy of Literature' [with Dr. Mark McEvoy] and very quickly realized how closely linked those two subjects were. Together, I felt they gave my life purpose and shape," she said. (Photo by Candice Singh)
Celebrating His Paper's Publication
“Punishment for the Failed Criminal,” a paper by philosophy major Evan Lopes ’23, has been published in the undergraduate philosophy journal Ephermeris. In the piece, Lopes analyzes the similarities and differences between successful criminal acts and attempted but failed criminal acts. The measure of punishment for each should be the same, he argues. Whether or not there was resulting harm is incidental.
Fellowships for Philosophy Research
Students Rocco Distefano and Simon Ignat were awarded Hofstra’s Firestone Fellowship, an award that allowed them to continue research projects over the summer. Distefano focused his research on systematic racism and its impact on immigrant populations on Long Island from the 1920s to 1990s. Ignat studied the works of Nietzsche. (Distefano and Ignat are pictured with classmate Kayla Hernandez.)
Philosophy Student Accepted to Luxembourg
A high school introduction to philosophy sparked an obsession for Casey Grippo. At Hofstra she immersed herself in the study of philosophy and Europe’s age of enlightenment. Casey continued her studies at the preeminent University of Luxembourg and Boston University.
KANT and the Meaning of Religion
Dr. Terry Godlove, professor of philosophy and religion, has written Kant and the Meaning of Religion, published by Columbia University Press. The book discusses how Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of religion contributed to our secular age in which belief and especially unbelief have become real options for millions of people.
In a survey of recent alumni:
100% of respondents in this major reported that they were employed or attending or planning to attend graduate school within six months of graduation.
100% of those alumni reporting employment responded that they landed their positions within six months of graduation.
$49K was the mean annual reported salary for social science alumni following their first year after graduation.