For students majoring in any other field, we strongly recommend a double major in philosophy. Philosophy might be the most useful major offered at Brockport. In addition to learning what some of the best minds in human history had to say about a wide range of important issues, our philosophy majors not only acquire but learn to integrate three skills, especially, in order to solve problems and meet challenges:
- Deep Reading
- Rigorous Thinking
- Clear and Concise Writing
By helping students to acquire these skills and to learn how to integrate and use them, the study of philosophy comes closest to fulfilling the function of a liberal arts education. The liberal arts—from the Latin artes liberales—are literally the arts (i.e., skills) of the free person, one free to choose his or her profession. The liberal arts are skills that apply to all professions. By learning to read deeply, to think rigorously, to write with clarity and precision, and to bring all of these skills to bear upon a wide variety of issues, our philosophy majors are well prepared to apply these skills in any profession they choose, as the evidence below reveals.
One way to evaluate a major is by comparing how students with the major compare to students with other majors in terms of scores earned on standard post-graduate exams such as the GMAT (the exam for business school), the LSAT (the law school exam), and the GRE (the exam for graduate school).
Philosophy Majors & Law School
Periodically studies are published comparing how different majors on average perform on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). They are also indicative of a well-known trend: Of all undergraduate majors, philosophy majors at least tie for the second highest average scores on the LSAT, just behind physics majors.
Philosophy Majors & Business School
On the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) from 2006 to 2011, the average of mean scores for philosophy majors was higher than that of any business major.
In fact, for every year from 2006 to 2011, philosophy majors had a higher mean score than that of any social science major (psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc.), any humanities major (English, journalism, art history), and the majority of natural science majors (e.g., chemistry and the biological sciences).
Philosophy Majors & Graduate School
On the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), for the academic year 2011-2012, students intending to study philosophy in graduate school:
- had the highest average verbal score,
- had the highest average analytic writing score, and
- had a higher average quantitative score than that of students intending to study either one of the other humanities, one of the life sciences (except biology—the scores were tied), or one of the social sciences, except economics.
So, philosophy might be the most useful major offered at SUNY Brockport. It is also the perfect complement to any other field of study. If you would like to know more about philosophy or what a philosophy major can do for you, stop by our office. The Department of Philosophy is located on the first floor of Hartwell Hall (one floor up from the ground floor), or contact Dr. Joseph Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.