Major Requirements

Courses at Hartwick aim to develop familiarity with major philosophical systems alongside the skills of philosophical analysis and imagination. Thus, in addition to studying key issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and value theory, philosophy majors study logic, tour significant portions of the history of philosophy, and explore at least one major thinker in depth for a semester.

Students who major in philosophy complete core courses in logic, ethics, ancient and modern philosophy. The remaining major requirements can be met with additional philosophy courses based on a student's interests and future career goals. Students are particularly encouraged to take courses that explore some of the intersections between philosophy and other fields. Philosophy majors here find themselves on an adventure of intellectual exploration culminating in an individual senior project -- a directed study in any area of philosophical inquiry. Having learned how to express and critique the ideas that matter most to them, graduating majors and minors are confidently prepared for future learning of all kinds.

All majors are encouraged to add another dimension to their study by taking related courses in a broad range of other disciplines. Students who plan to pursue graduate study in philosophy are urged to acquire a basic competence in German, French or Greek.

Graduates with a major in philosophy have many options. Those with demonstrated ability who desire to continue in the field may do graduate study in philosophy to prepare for college teaching. Students who have majored in philosophy as undergraduates also may pursue graduate study in other fields; philosophy is a recommended major for students considering law school, for example.

Requirements for the Major
10 (3 or 4 credit) courses in philosophy to include:

Six courses at 250 or above; four courses at 300 or above.

One logic course:

  • 236 Logic

Two History of Philosophy courses:

  • 201 Classics of Philosophy
  • 381 Ancient Philosophy
  • 383 Modern Philosophy

One course in values:

  • 271 Values and Society
  • 336 Ethics

Two courses in recent Philosophy covering two of the following:

  • 19th or 20th Century Philosophy
  • Contemporary Approaches to Philosophical Issues
  • A Major Philosopher of the Recent Past

Three elective courses in Philosophy  

Senior Seminar

  • 490 Senior Capstone Seminar

Upon successful completion of the Senior Capstone Seminar with a grade of A- or better, a 3.5 GPA in the major and 3.3 overall GPA, the student will be awarded departmental distinction.

Three-Year Degree Option:
For students majoring in philosophy, Hartwick’s Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program is a unique opportunity to earn a degree in three years. For more information visit the Program Web site at