Department of Philosophy


The Department of Philosophy offers an undergraduate degree as well as several minors and immersions that can be paired with most other undergraduate degree programs at RIT. Through studying philosophy, you are taught to evaluate complex problems, identify and examine underlying principles, investigate issues from diverse perspectives, and communicate clearly in both written and oral forms. As a result, our students have done extremely well getting into law, business, and graduate school. The department is motivated by a dedication to excellence in teaching and most of our faculty have received awards for their work in the classroom.


Philosophy Courses


Minors: Philosophy and Ethics


Immersions: Philosophy, Ethics, Religious Studies, Global Justice, and Renaissance Studies

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Undergraduate Programs

Students take coursework that provides a solid foundation in core areas of philosophy as well as a four-course specialization that focuses on an area of interest within philosophy, such as applied ethics or the philosophy of art and aesthetics, among others. To build further in-demand skills, a professional or technical core in a discipline outside of philosophy is also required. This can be fulfilled by completing a minor, double major, or other coherent set of courses that fit a particular interest. Options for 4+1 BS/MS with science, technology and public policy, or 4+1 MBA through Saunders College of Business are also available.

A philosophy bachelors in which you'll evaluate complex problems, identify and examine underlying principles, investigate issues from diverse perspectives, and clearly communicate your point of view.

Learn more about the Philosophy BS program 

Minors and Immersions

Employers show a preference for effective communicators with strong analytic or logical reasoning skills. An immersion in analytic and expressive communication provides you with the opportunity to develop both oral and written communication abilities grounded in reasoned argument, which in turn contributes to your individual confidence and empathetic thinking. Courses in this immersion may rely in part upon great or transformative texts selected for their relevance for learning rhetoric, argument, critical thinking, and/or ethics, and have the option to incorporate activities in RIT’s Expressive Communication Center.

Learn more about the Analytic and Expressive Communication Immersion program 

The ethics immersion helps students to understand more deeply the nature of ethical thinking, to recognize and understand ethical dilemmas in private, professional, and public settings, and to think clearly and critically about possible answers to ethical problems. The immersion also provides students with the opportunity to acquaint themselves with some of the most influential writings and thinkers in the philosophical canon. Courses are especially well suited to students considering careers in law, medicine, business, or politics.

Learn more about the Ethics Immersion program 

The ethics minor provides students with the ability to recognize ethical issues and to think critically to resolve them, both generally and within their chosen discipline. Students also learn how ethical problems can result from complex social structures and how changing structural features may avoid ethical problems. Three courses in philosophy are required plus two electives from the approved list, at least one of which must be outside philosophy. Only one 100-level course may be counted as part of the minor.

Learn more about the Ethics Minor program 

The global justice immersion examines attempts to create lasting peace and social justice on the international scale. Courses in philosophy and the social sciences help students to understand concepts of human rights, world poverty, and global solidarity. The immersion is well suited for students considering careers in law, politics, or public policy related fields.

Learn more about the Global Justice Immersion program 

The philosophy immersion provides students with an opportunity to study the nature, methods, problems, and achievements of philosophical inquiry. The immersion emphasizes the following goals: the ability to think rationally and critically, an awareness of ethical values, an appreciation of aesthetic values, an awareness of how the past affects the present and future, and an understanding of the relationship between individuals and the social settings with which they interact.

Learn more about the Philosophy Immersion program 

The philosophy minor provides students with the critical skill of philosophical analysis while they take courses on a wide variety of issues central to everyone’s existence. Students get a solid grasp of the major philosophers, movements, and topics of philosophical debate that continue to shape our lives and how we act.

Learn more about the Philosophy Minor program 

Religion plays a major role in human affairs. To understand more fully the nature of the relationship between society and the individual, it is essential to have some understanding of religion. The religious studies immersion engages students in the study of religion from the perspective of major Western and non-Western traditions through courses in disciplines such as anthropology, history, literature, philosophy, and psychology.

Learn more about the Religious Studies Immersion program 

Student Resources

Here you will find additional resources for the Department of Philosophy, such as information for applying to graduate programs, useful links, awards, etc. 

See Resources for the Department of Philosophy