Old library with ancient busts

About Philosophy

The study of philosophy offers a strong foundation for a liberal arts education. At Buffalo State, our philosophy curriculum focuses on classic texts of the Western canon, emphasizing logic, critical thinking, and practical ethics. We are a small, selective program that offers students personalized attention and expert advising.

Buffalo State's philosophy major complements various fields of study; e.g., computer science, education, English, history, mathematics, psychology, and political science, to name a few. Philosophy majors outperform many other disciplines on graduate entry exams such as the GRE, MCAT, and LSAT. Our program offers students excellent preparation for law school and other graduate programs in the arts and sciences.

Philosophy (B.A.)

Philosophy, Minor

Religious Studies, Minor

Ethics, Minor

Mathematical Logic, Certificate

Why Study Philosophy?

Develop Your Complex Thinking: Computers are substituting for humans in performing “routine” work tasks that require the rote following of rules or directions. At the same time, workers are increasingly being required to complete more complex thinking tasks that computers still cannot perform, such as those that involve interactions with other humans (whether collaborating, persuading, or selling), or that require solving unexpected problems.  

Prepare for the Twenty-First-Century Workplace: Philosophy prepares students by helping to develop the skills and competencies that are always in demand. By studying philosophy, students learn how to: 

  • Be more thoughtful and reflective
  • Think analytically, critically, and logically
  • Analyze beliefs and values, especially on controversial issues
  • Examine and develop their own values
  • Write and speak with greater clarity and effectiveness
  • Read with deeper understanding of issues and reasoning
  • Reason or argue with greater ease and authority

Degree Information

Our philosophy major offers excellent preparation for law school and other graduate programs in the arts and sciences, including English, psychology, political science, and education.  

Students who complete the religious studies minor are well prepared to pursue careers within their own religious traditions as well as advanced degrees in divinity, theology, or religious studies. 

Philosophy graduates find careers in a wide range of fields, some requiring only a bachelor’s degree while others require a law degree or other graduate degree:

  • Attorney
  • Author 
  • Banker
  • Business leader  
  • College or university administrator
  • Film critic 
  • Filmmaker
  • High school teacher
  • Informational technology manager
  • Journalist 
  • Librarian
  • Marketing professional
  • Minister
  • Nonprofit administrator
  • Paralegal 
  • Politician
  • Philosophy professor 
  • Public relations specialist or director 
  • Psychologist 
  • Researcher
  • Social worker




Phi Sigma Tau: Buffalo State recently opened a local chapter of the international philosophy honors society.

Ethics Bowl: The Ethics Bowl group arranges weekly meetings to discuss topics such as illegal immigration, animal rights, and civic responsibility. And every year, students compete in the Northeast Regional Ethics Bowl.
Mock Trial: The simulated legal competition enables students to play attorneys and witnesses and prepare a case to argue against other teams at the local, regional, and national levels.
Faculty-Student Colloquia: Each semester, the department hosts a colloquia series to discuss novel concepts, emerging theories, and ideas. Students are encouraged to participate as commentators, presenters, and audience members.

Faculty-Student Colloquia Series

United Students Government: USG provides activities, representation, and services for students at the college. Students looking to gain leadership experience can get involved in USG by running in the annual spring elections or applying for appointed positions.

Learn About USG

Women in Philosophy (WIP): This campus group provides support for Buffalo State female philosophy students through colloquia, public lectures, field trips, and social events. 

Philosophy students have the chance to present projects at conferences off campus as well as at Buffalo State’s annual Student Research and Creativity Conference. 

Student Research and Creativity Conference

"I'm really impressed with my professors, I have a great amount of respect for them."

Committed Faculty

Buffalo State’s philosophy faculty members are committed to the life of the mind. They’re expert scholars who also are dedicated to creating a caring and supportive community in which our students can learn and grow.

Academic Rigor

Academic rigor: We offer academically rich and rigorous courses, as well as a multitude of enjoyable extra-curricular activities that strengthen students and prepare them for careers. 

Honors Choices

Philosophy offers departmental honors to qualifying students. The honors designation emphasizes independent work and requires that students conduct a comprehensive original research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Small Class Size

Typical classes within the majors have 20 students or fewer, which means students receive individualized attention from professors. 


Buffalo State offers four major scholarships for philosophy majors: 

  • Charles A. Messner Scholarship
  • George T. Hole Scholarship  
  • Sterling Scholarship  
  • Victor Balowitz Scholarship


Kimberly Blessing
“We found that students want to share concerns related to women studying philosophy and hurdles to being a female intellectual in general.”
Kimberly Blessing Professor
John M. Abbarno Lecturer
Kimberly A. Blessing Professor
John D. Draeger Prof + Dir, Tchng + Lng Ctr
Leigh K. Duffy Assistant Professor
Jason D. Grinnell Chair and Professor
Lynn M. Paszek Administrative Assistant 1
John R. Torrey Assistant Professor