Jun 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

Philosophy, B.A.

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David Levy, Chair (Welles Hall 107B) - philosophy.geneseo.edu  

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the history and development of significant philosophical views.

2. Demonstrate understanding of concepts and theories central to philosophy including specifically​
           a. questions of value
           b. questions of knowledge and existence

3. Demonstrate critical thinking, reading, writing and discussion skills including:
            a. the ability to extract arguments in classic and contemporary philosophical texts and relate them to
                appropriate philosophical context
            b. construction of sound deductive arguments and strong inductive arguments to evaluate philosophical
                concepts, positions, and arguments
            c. engagement in dialectical discussion: to participate in sustained and coherent discussion of arguments
                including articulation of clarifications, objections, and responses
            d. the ability to present viewpoints/arguments that differ from or oppose one’s own fairly and charitably, and
                to respond to such viewpoints/arguments
            e. proficiency in oral discourse: to orally present philosophical arguments (whether one’s own or those derived
                from reading) clearly and to encourage other students to engage with those arguments
            f. reflecting upon the ways in which philosophical reasoning, argumentation, concepts, texts, etc. apply to
               everyday life, including personally, locally, socially, politically, nationally, globally, etc.

4. Engage proficiently in philosophical research and writing including:
            a. locating, evaluating, and interpreting scholarly philosophical sources
            b. producing one’s own philosophical research question(s) and pursuing primary and/or secondary source
                research, while properly crediting sources
            c. constructing original arguments in written form in a manner consistent with disciplinary norms concerning
                argumentative writing

General Education Requirements (30-46 Credits)

Prerequisite coursework may be required to satisfy certain General Education courses and will count as elective credit.

Total Credits Required to Complete Major: 33

Basic Requirements: (33 Credits)

One course in the History of Philosophy (3 Credits)

One course in Value Theory (3 Credits)

One course in the Alternative Voices Area (3 Credits)

Capstone (3 credits)

Electives in Philosophy (12 Credits)

4 additional PHIL courses, no more than 1 of which is at the 100 level and at least 2 of which must be at the 300/400 level


Students must complete at least 18 credits in PHIL courses at or above the 300-level. PHIL 493   and PHIL 399  require department approval for use in the major.
At least one of Value/Core must be at 400-level. Students who satisfy the “alternative voices” category with PHIL 315 will need only one elective above 300-level.
Experimental courses at the 200- or 300-level may be used toward the major only with Department approval.

Minimum Competence Requirement

A grade of C- or better is required for all courses taken for the major.

Department Writing Requirement

To demonstrate writing proficiency, including research skills specific to Philosophy, all Philosophy majors will complete a significant writing assignment in each of their 400-level courses. The student will produce a finished written work of substantial length, which reflects the application of discipline-specific research skills.

Sample Course Map

For students who Matriculated prior to Fall 2022: please select the bulletin year in which you entered the college (matriculated) at the top right of this page.

Curriculum Map

  • First Year
  • Second Year
    • Fall - 14 Credits
    • Spring - 15 Credits
      • Value theory Elective - Credit(s): 3
      • PHIL Elective - Credit(s): 3
      • Electives - Credit(s): 12
  • Third Year
    • Fall - 15 Credits
      • Alternative Voices - Credit(s): 3
      • PHIL Elective - Credit(s): 3
      • Electives - Credit(s): 9
    • Spring - 14 Credits
      • PHIL Electives - Credit(s): 3
      • Integrative and Applied Learning - Credit(s): 3
      • Electives - Credit(s): 8
  • Fourth Year
    • Fall - 15 Credits
      • Core Area - Credit(s): 3
      • PHIL Electives - Credit(s): 3
      • Electives - Credit(s): 9
    • Spring - 15 Credits

Total Credits: 120

Note: Variation in the order of courses is possible, depending upon prereqisties.  Consult course information in the bulletin or your academic advisor to customize your eight semester plan.  

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.

KEY - Participation in a Global Society (PGS)


Sub Areas

Abbreviation Definition
DPP Diversity, Pluralism, Power
WCV World Cultures & Values
CGC Contemporary Global Challenges
CAI Creativity & Innovation
SST Sustainability

Learning Areas

Abbreviation Definition
HUMA Humanities
SOSC Social Science


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