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Philosophy B.A.

Professor engaging with students in the classroom.

Philosophy, B.A.



The philosophy program leads to the bachelor of arts degree in philosophy. Of the 33 credit hours in philosophy required for the major, six serve as the basic core: PHI 201, 204, 280, 305, 310, 450 and 600. Twelve additional credit hours in philosophy must be taken, along with four support courses in a related field (e.g., business, accounting, management, computer science or any other area which supports a student’s goals). A student may develop the philosophy major by completing 12 hours beyond the basic philosophy core. The 12 hours must include two courses at the 300 level and two courses at the 400 level. A minimum three credit hour internship is also required.

Philosophy Minor

Students may take a philosophy focus majoring while in another subject by completing 15 credit hours in philosophy. This set of philosophical courses requires registration in PHI 201 and 204, with the remaining nine credits coming from any two 300-level and one 400-level philosophy course.

Students within the program must maintain a minimum G.P.A. of 2.0 in philosophy courses taken at D’Youville. Courses are available during a two-year cycle unless noted otherwise.


Course Requirements

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.


Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

Applicants must meet the following three criteria:

  1. Combined SAT scores of at least 980 (or ACT equivalent score of 19)
  2. A high school average of at least 80 percent
  3. A high school rank in the upper half of the class

Transfer Admission

Students must have a minimum G.P.A. of 2.33. Transfer credits will be determined on a case-by-case basis to assess adaptability to curriculum requirements.

Each student accepted into the program must submit a letter of intent prior to course registration.


Liberal Arts Department

A student seeking to become a liberally educated person needs exposure, in breadth and in depth, to the humanities and the social sciences.

These studies, concerned not merely with information but with values, help the student’s development as a total person. This implies not only intellectual and social development, but also maturity in assessing the values essential to a sound philosophy of life. The department of liberal arts offers degrees in English, global studies, history, liberal studies for education, psychology, sociology and philosophy. Requirements for these programs are listed in the courses of instruction section of this catalog. Courses are also offered in foreign languages, fine arts and religious studies.

Students within the department must maintain a minimum 2.00 grade point average in courses taken at D’Youville in their major subject area.