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Political Philosophy B.A.

Tackle some of our time’s most pressing challenges, focusing on the fundamental nature of government, political authority, freedom and law. For example, consider how societies can and should function.
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Students majoring in political philosophy are instructed and mentored by faculty in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs (shown in photo).

About this Program

  • Use the resources of both the Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Political Science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs through this interdisciplinary program.
  • Tap into faculty expertise on topics like race, capitalism, terrorism, freedom, equality and rights in the history of political thought, modern politics and ethics.
  • Learn from visiting scholars who have discussed such topics as human cloning, the ethics of war, free speech and how the ultra-rich avoid taxes and why this matters for democracy.
  • Conduct research and submit your work to undergraduate journals and conferences.
  • Join the Philosophy Club, a student-led group that meets for informal discussion, guest lectures and movie nights.
  • Compete for the Peterfreund Prize, a $1,000 award recognizing rising seniors for their exceptional philosophical achievements.
  • Prepare for a career in a variety of fields, including law, business, journalism, nonprofit work and government.
  • Gain ideal preparation for law school as studying philosophy has been shown to help students perform well on standardized tests like the LSAT, GMAT and GRE.

Program Information

Degree Type






College or School

Career Path

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College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is Syracuse University’s first and largest college. As the home of the liberal arts, our internationally recognized programs provide the cornerstone of a Syracuse University education with 50+ majors in the natural sciences and mathematics, the humanities and the social sciences (in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs).
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After taking introductory coursework sampled from topics like political theory, social and political philosophy, and moral theory, choose to specialize in two of these four areas: history of political thought, law, ethics and politics, and human nature and political theory.

  • Explain core concepts in political philosophy, such as liberty, equality, rights and federalism.
  • Identify and reconstruct political arguments, including the ability to identify premises and conclusions in political arguments.
  • Read and critically evaluate literature in political thought, including historical texts, scholarly publications and public scholarship.
  • Write short analytical essays in political thought.
  • Apply theories and concepts to relevant political case studies.

  • Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
  • Foundations of American Political Thought
  • The Creation of the U.S. Constitution
  • Philosophy of Feminism
  • The Politics of Citizenship

Extracurricular Opportunities

Student organization

Philosophy Club

The Philosophy Club aims to take philosophy out of the classroom by hosting informal discussions, guest lectures, movie nights, philosophy cafes (thought experiments and games with coffee and cookies), professional development workshops and more. Topics are based on club members’ personal interests, and membership is open to students from all majors.

Student organization

Mock Trial at Syracuse University

Members of Syracuse’s mock trial team gain skills that are relevant for careers in law, communication and research industries. Members can also travel to and participate in trial competitions.

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Peterfreund Prize

Syracuse University juniors and seniors are eligible for nomination for the undergraduate Peterfreund Prize. This $1,000 award recognizes keen interest in philosophical questions and outstanding work in philosophy courses.

Hands-on learning opportunities


Read about current student research in Aurantium (from the Latin for "orange"), our in-house undergraduate philosophy journal.

Learn more about this program

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