The Philosophy and
Critical Thinking Program at LaGuardia Community College offers classes that
provide the students with the necessary tools to examine themselves and their
role in our globalized world.
The Philosophy Program, administered by the Humanities
Department, leads to an Associate of Arts (AA) degree. Philosophy majors study
the core areas of philosophy and acquire the critical thinking abilities that
are essential for success in all careers and areas of life. In addition to
helping students excel in all areas of academic study, philosophy has also been
called “the ultimate transferable work skill” because it helps students develop
the abilities that employers in all fields value: how to think critically,
reason effectively, communicate clearly, solve problems intelligently, make
enlightened decisions and construct thoughtful, well-grounded beliefs.
The Philosophy and Critical Thinking Program at LaGuardia
Community College offers classes that provide the students with the necessary
tools to examine themselves and their role in our globalized world. Philosophy addresses the foundational
questions that every human being wrestles with: Who am I? How am I to live my
life? What are aspects or issues that make me truly human?
Grounded on the development of critical thinking skills,
Philosophy at LaGuardia is seen as a first rate necessity, as a discipline that
will improve the lives of students and, by extension, the lives of our
community. Students are given the opportunity to think, present, and discuss
their ideas in an effective and clear manner, whether that be in written or
oral form. Students taking any of the classes the Program offers find
themselves thoroughly analyzing arguments and beliefs they and others bring to
the classroom. Students form a community
of thinkers that includes some of the great humanists East and West traditions
have produced, as well as their own peers.
Because classes in this program invite students to clarify
their assumptions and beliefs, classes are taught in a student-centered
way. This means that a lot of the
content being used in the classroom will ask students to assess knowledge that
they have gathered prior to coming to school and relate that with the materials
professors bring to the classroom.
Students will learn to analyze these sources in a thorough and competent
way and to apply them in an accurate and responsible manner to practical
When most people think of Philosophy they often don’t
realize that Philosophy is a truly practical and experiential discipline that
allows those participating in our classes to examine who they are and who they
want to become. It is this aspect of
Philosophy that benefits our students the most, as they learn to recognize
their own voice, their own independence, and their own position in the world,
therefore growing as more confident people.
In support of the LaGuardia’s mission to educate and graduate its students to become critical thinkers and socially responsible citizens, the College has undertaken a team approach toward advising, designed to support you in your major from orientation through graduation. Your Advising Team is made up of faculty, professional and peer advisors. They will guide you at every step during your college career. They are ready to help you:
In your first semester, your First Year Seminar (FYS) professor is your advisor. In your second semester and beyond, you can log in to My LaGuardia to contact advisor(s) or make an appointment. Visit the Advising page to learn more about when to get advised and how to prepare for an advising appointment, and check out the Advising Calendar for information sessions, events and more.
What do each of these fields have in common?
You can do any of them with a degree in Philosophy!
LaGuardia’s Philosophy program opens doors in all fields because you become an excellent critical thinker! Some of the skills you gain are:
Beyond giving us a greater understanding of our intellectual heritage and particular issues concerning ourselves and the world we live in, philosophy and critical thinking help us to develop the ability to:
The study of philosophy or critical thinking also helps in becoming a better student of other subjects, as well as becoming a better thinker and communicator as a whole. The honing of analytic skills and problem solving abilities enables greater success in many fields. The Times of London (August 15, 1998) writes of philosophy in America:
The great virtue of philosophy is that it teaches not what to think, but how to think. It is the study of meaning, of the principles underlying conduct, thought and knowledge. The skills it hones are the ability to analyze, to question orthodoxies and to express things clearly. However arcane some philosophical texts may be…the ability to formulate questions and follow arguments is the essence of education.
It can also be studied at many levels. In the U.S., where the number of philosophy graduates has increased by 5 per cent a year during the 1990s, only a very few go on to become philosophers. Their employability, at 98.9 per cent, is impressive by any standard. Philosophy has always been a good training for the law; but it is equally useful for computer scientists. In this country, the Higher Education Statistics Survey puts philosophy of science right up with medicine in its employment record for graduates.
Philosophy is, in commercial jargon, the ultimate transferable work skill.
Marketable Skills for Philosophy Majors
High GRE Scores: If you intended on attending Graduate
school in any field, consider that Philosophy majors earn the highest scores on
verbal and analytical sections of the GRE and earn the 5th highest scores for
quantitative reasoning in September 2012. These scores are reported on http://pleasandexcuses.com/2012/09/06/philosophy-major http://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_guide_table4.pdf
Salary Potential: A decent income is required to survive
these days, and a Philosophy major will offer you that! In 2013, Philosophy
majors were ranked 58 out of 130 college major for highest income potential. http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report-2013/majors-that-pay-you-back
In choosing an undergraduate program in Philosophy, you
should consider the quality of undergraduate education first, and then worry
about the quality of the Philosophy Department. It may be beneficial to attend
a college or university with a top-ranked PhD program in Philosophy, as long as
those amazing graduate students will be teaching your classes.
A career or vocation can be built up from any major and a
degree in the Humanities, philosophy in particular, provides you with the tools
to establish yourself as a critical thinker and reader, and will develop your
writing and speaking abilities. If you
truly enjoy what you study, you will figure out a way to make it work for you
by using your creative side to find the career that satisfies your thirst for
knowledge and advancement. Philosophy allows you to develop the skills all
employers, graduate programs, law, business, and medical schools want!
Explore career possibilities on Career Connect.
Log in to the CUNY Portal to review your Degree Audit to find out what classes to take. Have questions about using Degree Audit? Visit LaGuardia’s Degree Audit page for tutorials and how-to guides.
Review the Philosophy Curriculum and the recommended courses below.
Philosophy students will select one course from each of the five flexible core categories and one additional course from any flexible core category. Students can take no more than two courses from any single academic department in fulfilling the Flexible Core requirements.
To complete the degree requirements for the Flexible Core, students are advised to select courses from the recommended course selections listed below. Be sure to check Degree Audit to ensure courses fulfill unmet requirements.
See flexible sequence for students with basic skills needs. For information about this program’s retention and graduation rate visit the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment website page.
If the Philosophy bug has bitten you, you might find
yourself yearning to spend hours talking about Philosophy—which may not be
welcomed by your friends. Join other students who feel just like you during the
Philosophy Club’s sessions. These are student-led, student-organized sessions
in which a vast array of philosophical topics is explored weekly. We meet on Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4:30.
Refreshments are served at all Philosophy Club meetings! Check us out on
Facebook or subscribe to our listserv on Google Groups (LaGCCPhilosophy).
Philosophy Goes to
A special version of the club, Philosophy Goes to the
Movies, meets on Fridays from 2:30 – 6:00.
Students view a specially selected movie with philosophical questions
and themes, and then discuss these themes in a free-wheeling and provocative
Professors from the Philosophy and Critical Thinking Program
often invite their peers from different colleges to give talks to our
students. In the past few years these
lectures have included Professor Eric Schwitzgebel’s talk on The Craziest Metaphysics of Mind, Professor
Hans Halvorson’s talk on The Relativity
of Wrong Redux, Ms. Maria Kulp’s talk on Medically Assisted Death: Physicians and Suicide and Mr. Jung’s Psychopathy, its Challenge to Moral Theories.
The Spring semester is the perfect time to gather and
discuss philosophical papers developed by undergraduate students from CUNY and
beyond. Since its inception in 2010 the
Philosophy Conference has provided our community will a full day of fascinating
Philosophy Open House
The Philosophy and Critical Thinking Program, in conjunction
with the Philosophy Club, organizes an Open House every Fall semester. During
this event you can hear more about what the different classes are doing, the
research interests professors have, and you can enjoy listening to poster
presentations given by exceptional philosophy students.
Forum on Philosophy,
Religion and Science
Every year the philosophy program invites scholars and
students to discuss the intersection of philosophy, science, and religion.
Agreement with Brooklyn College
If you graduate with an A.A. in Philosophy from LaGuardia
Community College, you may transfer to Brooklyn College for a B.A. in
Philosophy as long as you meet the following requirements:
Associate in Arts degree
2) 2.99 GPA
3) Grade of
C or better in required courses
If you meet these requirements, 60 credits will count as
transfer credits towards the baccalaureate degree and an additional 60 credits
will be required at the senior college to complete the baccalaureate
degree. This Articulation agreement was
effective in Fall 2009 and is in the process of being updated to reflect
philosophy courses at LaGuardia which have been developed after this date.
Transferring to other
Pathways is designed to make it easier for you to transfer
from one CUNY college to another. When you’ve fulfilled a Common Core or
College Option requirement at one CUNY school, those requirements will be met
at any other CUNY school; AP credits and non-CUNY credits may also count toward
your Common Core or College Option requirements. Certain CUNY majors can easily
transfer their major credits. For information on Pathways, please refer to: http://www.laguardia.edu/pathways.