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Philosophy (BA), 4-Year

Vines growing on a pillar

Our philosophy major is designed to develop communication, critical thinking, and reasoning skills to prepare you for rewarding career paths — including law, government, and education.

Overview & Distinctions


D'Youville's Philosophy program focuses on examining ideas which have shaped our intellectual heritage. The coursework is designed to develop strong analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills. You'll learn to analyze, compare, and evaluate ideas in order to formulate policies on personal and social levels.

The Philosophy major leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. An internship and senior research project are requirements of the program.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • Gain research experience by working with D'Youville faculty on a research topic in either theoretical or social values in your senior year.
  • Get individualized attention in small classes taught by faculty with national reputations in the field.
  • Build your resume with professional internships at nonprofit agencies, corporations, or federal, state or local government offices, while gaining perspective on a future career.
  • Flexible requirements for the major means you can customize the curriculum to suit your future career goals, such as taking a second major.
  • D'Youville's long commitment to a liberal education means that you'll receive the kind of interdisciplinary education that will give you a rock-solid foundation. Gain skills like problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and written, visual, and oral communication — all skills that employers believe are critical to success, no matter what career path you decide to take.
  • Students seeking to continue their education will find the robust skills developed through their study of Philosophy have provided them a distinct advantage over their peers. Students with a degree in Philosophy:

Automatic Merit-Based Scholarship Considerations

When you apply for admission at D’Youville, we’ll automatically consider you for our merit scholarships. Undergraduate scholarships can cover as much as 50% of your tuition, and there is no need to fill out a separate application!

Transfer students can qualify for scholarships, as well. And unlike other schools, maintaining your scholarship is easier at D'Youville because we use a realistic 2.25 GPA requirement to determine your eligibility for merit-based scholarships each year. 

Check out the chart below to see if you qualify:
Scholarships GPA Scholarship Amount
President's 88+ $14,000
Founder's 83 - 87.9 $12,000
Dean's 80 - 82.9 $10,000
Transfer 3.5+ $5,500
Transfer 3.25 - 3.49 $5,000
Transfer 3.0 - 3.24 $4,500
Transfer 2.75 - 2.99 $4,000

Find more information and additional scholarships on our scholarships page.

View All Scholarships

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

First Time Freshmen

D'Youville selects students who are academically well-rounded and committed to meeting the challenges of a high-quality education. If you have been successful in a traditional college preparatory program in high school, you should be well-prepared for the academic challenges at D'Youville.

Students entering D'Youville as a freshman must meet the following minimum entrance criteria:
High School Average SAT + (or) ACT
80 980 19

+ Score is based on the new SAT score format which went into effect in March 2016.

Our admitted freshman class profile:

High school average: 85% attained a B or better
Class rank: 87% of students in the top 50 percent of their class or higher
Test Scores 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Median
SAT Evidence-based Reading and Writing* 460 590 530
SAT Math* 510 590 550
SAT Composite* 1010 1180 1090
ACT Composite* 21 25 23

*These scores reflect the new SAT score format, which went into effect in March 2016.

Transfer students

Students entering D'Youville as a transfer student must meet the following entrance criteria:

Criteria for Admission: Transfer students with a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher will be considered for admission.

Average Cumulative GPA: 3.26

Review the steps to apply for admission to D'Youville as a transfer student.



Degree: B.A.

Course Requirements for the Major:

In the specific areas of concentration:

Course Number Course Name Credits
PHI 201

Ethics in Theory & Action

This course is an examination of human conduct and responsibility and the relationships between individuals and society.

Prerequisites: None

PHI 204

Logic & Practical Reasoning

This course is a study of formal reasoning methods through informal fallacies, class logic and introduction to propositional logic.
Offered in: Fall Only
Prerequisites: None

PHI 280

Western Ancient Philosophy

This course explores the birth of Western philosophy in Ancient Greece and Rome through a reading of primary source texts. The course addresses such issues as the reliability of sensory experience, the nature of happiness, and the meaning of justice. Special emphasis is placed on the conceptions of character and virtue in the works of Plato and Aristotle.

Prerequisites: PHI-101 or PHI-201 or Permission of Instructor

PHI 305

History of Modern Philosophy I

This course explores metaphysical and epistemological theories in their relation to a study of the main philosophical controversies in the 16th and 17th centuries. Students read works from Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley and Hume, and are given a background on Kant.

Prerequisites: PHI-201 or at Least Sophomore Status

PHI 310

History of Modern Philosophy II

This course explores important themes and issues in philosophy in the 19th Century through a reading of primary source texts. The course addresses such issues as the basic structure of consciousness, the limits of human knowledge, and the possibility of historical progress. Special emphasis is placed on the conception of rational freedom in German Idealism.

Prerequisites: Phi-201 or at least sophomore status.

PHI 450

Senior Research

This course consists of individualized or small seminar research and reading projects under the instructor's supervision. Students have the option to apply for admission to PHI 600, Philosophical Theories, as a substitute for this requirement.

Prerequisites: None

*PHI 600

Philosophical Methods

This course examines the historical development of metaphysical and epistemological methods: existentialism, phenomenology, and analytic philosophy.

Prerequisites: None


Four Electives (two at 300 level, two at 400 level)

Choose four PHI electives with two courses at the 300-level and two at the 400-level.
PHI 444 Internship 3-12
Total 36-45

In other academic areas required for the major:

Course Number Course Name Credits

Four Electives

Four courses in a related field of study.
Total 12

Major: 45
Core requirements and electives: 75
Total: 120

*Undergraduate credit only will be awarded when taking course.



The required philosophy internship offers on-site experience in several related areas:

For students interested in designing their own internships, the faculty will help make the arrangements.

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