Department of Philosophy at St. Bonaventure University


The Department of Philosophy offers a major program that serves two different goals:
  • For students who desire to achieve a general liberal arts education and who do not plan to do graduate work in philosophy, courses are selected to enable the student to become a cultured, liberally-educated person.
  • For students who plan to do graduate work in philosophy, the department has designated a faculty adviser for preprofessional philosophy. This adviser carefully selects a series of courses and seminars in order to give the students a firm grounding in the discipline and prepare them for acceptance into graduate school.

The Value of Philosophy

Philosophy addresses one's life as well as one’s career.

The aim of philosophy courses is to help the undergraduate student examine the ultimate nature of people, the universe, God, the basic principles of moral evaluation as they apply to personal questions and social and political policies.

Since these concepts underlie most human endeavors, the study of philosophy, together with the practice of its methods of analysis and argumentation, prepares students to responsibly address basic problems later encountered, whether personal, social, or professional.

Nationally, philosophy majors rank second of all (nearly 100 tested) majors in verbal and analytical aptitudes.

Philosophy assists the student in reasoning well and writing effectively. Consequently, a philosophy major serves as an excellent preparation for the professions, including law, business, and government service as well as for graduate study and the teaching of philosophy.

Philosophy Prelaw

It is generally acknowledged that a concentration in philosophy and the other arts provides an appropriate basis for the study of law. Students considering a career in law are urged to complete our department's Law & Politics track, which is presented on our Curriculum & Courses page.

Learn more about the prelaw track by contacting Dr. Steve Nuttal, associate professor of philosophy, by email at or by phone at (716) 375-2260..

Faculty Research & Honors

    May 11, 2017

    Dr. Michael V. Chiariello and Dr. Leigh A. Simone
    Departments of Philosophy and Modern Languages

    Dr. Michael V. Chiariello and Dr. Leigh A. Simone attended the 23rd annual conference of The Association of Core Texts and Courses in Dallas on April 20-23. The conference was titled "Bridging Divides, Crossing Borders, Community Building: Core Texts, Liberal Arts, College and The Human Voice." Chiariello chaired the session titled “Does Wealth Have Contexts?” He additionally presented a paper titled “Plato’s Cave: Meta-Politics for the Post-Factual Era." Simone chaired the panel “In Programs and Classrooms: Re-invigorating the Core through Considerations of Gender.” Simone also presented her paper “The People Have Spoken: How Will St. Bonaventure’s The Mind’s Journey to God be Re-Configured and Re-Imagined in the New Core?”

A Great Choice

100% of our philosophy grads from 2011 to 2014 said they would choose the same major if they had to do it again.