728 Mazur Hall

David Wolsdorf, Professor, Acting Chair
716 Mazur Hall

Paul Crowe, Professor of Instruction, Undergraduate Advisor
747 Mazur Hall

TJ Cusack, Administrator

Irina Segal, Coordinator

Philosophy explores life's big questions about knowledge, existence, and value. What is it to be rational? What is the mind? What is it to be responsible for our actions? What kinds of facts and explanations do the sciences offer? What is a good life? Philosophy students learn to assess claims and evaluate arguments in a wide range of fields. They graduate with the ability to think incisively and critically, to write and speak clearly and intelligently, and to structure and simplify complex information. Philosophy course offerings cover pure and applied philosophy, contemporary philosophy and the history of philosophy; philosophy of race, gender, and other forms of social diversity.

The Philosophy Department offers a B.A. major (with or without pre-law emphasis), a minor, and a Certificate in Ethics. Students should be sure to see the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Paul Crowe, to plan their progress through the program.


The Ira Lawrence Family Award - Established from a gift to the Philosophy Department from Ira Lawrence, Jr. M.D. (CST '76), this award is given to a graduating CLA student majoring in philosophy with outstanding academic performance in the major.

The Thomas Meyer Memorial Award - Established by family, faculty and friends in memory of Thomas Meyer, former Philosophy department professor, this award is given to a CLA student majoring in philosophy for community building activities among philosophy undergraduates.

Professional Development

Philosophy is an excellent major or minor for careers in medicine, law, and business. The Certificate in Ethics offers important training for those preparing for leadership positions in professional communities. Career options are regularly discussed in the Undergraduate Philosophy Club and featured on the Philosophy Department web site.

Special Programs

Accelerated Degree Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Philosophy (4+1 Program) 

High-achieving undergraduates can apply for the 4+1 BA/MA accelerated degree program in Philosophy, which enables them to obtain their BA and MA in Philosophy in five years rather than the usual six. Students begin taking graduate courses in their last three undergraduate semesters, and then spend their fifth year completing all remaining MA requirements. Eligible students must have a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.5 and a 3.5 in Philosophy. Students will receive notification of eligibility at the end of their sophomore year, and applications will be accepted until October 15th of their junior year. For more information, please contact the Graduate Chairperson.