Director of Graduate Studies Graduate Administrator
William H. Baumer Elizabeth G. Felmet
136C Park Hall 132 Park Hall
Buffalo University at
Buffalo, NY 14260-4150 Buffalo, NY 14260-4150
Tel: (716) 645-0164 Tel: (716) 645-2970
Why UB for Philosophy?
The University at Buffalo is the largest graduate center within the State University of New York. Established in 1846 as a private institution, UB became part of the SUNY system in 1962. The Department of Philosophy offers doctoral studies in most recognized subdisciplines and historical periods of philosophy. These studies prepare students for teaching and for carrying out original research in philosophy. The department is distinguished by its unusually wide range of special interests and orientations in philosophy, and by the high degree of faculty-student interaction both in scholarly enterprises and in departmental affairs. Faculty-student cooperation has produced, among other things, a bicameral system of departmental governance and a highly flexible PhD program. The UB Department of Philosophy has nationally-recognized offerings in Logic, Aesthetics, Medieval Philosophy and Pragmatism.
Successful Job Placement
Openings for academic positions teaching philosophy at the college level are highly competitive. In recent years the ratio of potential candidates to available openings was as extreme as 8 to 1. This could equate to more than 2000 candidates for fewer than 250 openings.
The University at Buffalo boasts a remarkable record of placing our PhD graduates in academic positions. Of our 43 PhD graduates since 2000, 38 are employed, with 34 teaching at the college or university level, and 25 as Assistant Professor or higher. Four of these graduates are pursuing additional degrees in other fields. These data rival the placement records of schools renowned for their philosophy programs. In addition, Buffalo's special focus in ontology has resulted in an increasing number of students embarking on careers as ontologists in government and business.
Some of the institutions that employ our PhD graduates:
- US Naval Academy
- Rutgers University
- St. John's University
- Northern Iowa University
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Southern Illinois University
- Oklahoma State University
- Houghton College
- Colorado State University
- North Carolina State University
- University of Michigan
- Johns Hopkins
- NYS Attorney General's Office
- National Library of Medicine
- Ontology Works Inc.
- Ohio State University
- Oregon State University
- St. John Fisher University
- Fordham University
- Florida Atlantic University
- University of Santiago de Compostela
- Canisius College
- Niagara University
- Temple University
For a list of who's teaching where (of our graduates from the past 12 years), see our Alumni section on this website.
Quality, Dedicated Faculty
A true advantage of the Department of Philosophy at UB is the dedication of the faculty. Many schools feature prominent philosophers who publish extensively in high profile journals; other schools have professors who place a priority on their roles as educators. The UB faculty effectively combine both of these elements with top-notch researchers recognized for their contributions to the field who also make themselves available to their students with a sincere concern for the quality of education they provide. Not surprisingly, our faculty has amassed a collection of distinctions for both endeavors.
Recent Professional & Educational Acclaim:
- Kah Kyung Cho, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor; listed among the top ten most influential Asian-American philosophers by the American Philosophical Association in 2003
- John Corcoran, SUNY Exceptional Scholar Award for Sustained Achievement; received honorary doctorate distinction in 2003 from the University of Santiago de Compostela
- Jorge J. E. Gracia, SUNY Distinguished Professor; interviewed for feature article that appeared in fall 2002 American Philosophical Association newsletter
- Carolyn Korsmeyer, SUNY Exceptional Scholar Award for Sustained Achievement
- Barry Smith, world-class ontologist; research funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health
- Jiyuan Yu, SUNY Exceptional Scholar Award for Young Investigator Achievement; awarded National Humanities Center Fellowship
Our graduate students also frequently receive recognition for their work in the forms of awards, presentations and publications.
We host an impressive series of guest speakers each year. In Fall 2000, Onora O'Neill presented talks on "Action, Reason, and Judgement". In the Fall 2002, Martha Nussbaum joined us for a series of public lectures and talks with graduate students followed in 2004 by K. Anthony Appiah presenting "The Ethics of Identity". The 2006 Hourani Lectures featured Jeff McMahan of Rutgers University speaking on "War and Morality".
We hold yearly symposia such as "Uses and Abuses of the Classics: Interpretation in Philosophy" in April 2002 and "Philosophy and the Interpretation of Popular Culture" in April 2004.
The Peirce Professorship has co-sponsored "The Future of Realism in the American Tradition of Pragmatic Naturalism" in 2000 and "C.S. Peirce and the Art of Icons" in October 2002.
Ontology related conferences have included "The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality" (April 2003), "The Metaphysics of Medicine" (November 2004), "Mapping the Human Body" (April 2005), and "The Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe" (April 2006).
The journals hosted by the University at Buffalo include The Monist, one of the oldest and most prestigious philosophy journals in the U.S.
Faculty publications are extensive.
Our graduate students are encouraged to publish and to present their work at workshops and conferences, and many have successfully embarked on their professional careers while still students. The overriding goal of student work is to yield publishable-quality philosophical writing of the sort which can promote successful placement.
At UB graduate students are considered to be professionals, teaching a large portion of the undergraduate-level courses each semester and hosting one or more graduate student conferences per year.
The Graduate Philosophy Association (GPA) is extraordinarily active in promoting a positive environment for the student community and promoting interaction with the larger philosophical community.
Current initiatives include:
- an online store for philosophy-related merchandise
- an international "sister department" program to share ideas with philosophy programs in Eastern Europe and Central America
- a local outreach program to bring philosophy into public schools
- a series of Open Mike opportunities for graduate students to present current work to a public audience
See the Student Groups page for details on other projects that enrich the graduate student experience at UB.
Affordable Metropolitan Area
The City of Buffalo offers many advantages as a northeastern metropolitan area:
- An extensive array of cultural and entertainment opportunities: music, theatre, museums, and major league sports.
- An efficient expressway system resulting in very low commute times from anywhere in the metro area.
- An easy driving time to western and central New York southern Ontario attractions.
- An international airport that provides regular connections to many major cities including many daily flights to New York City.
The cost of living makes the Buffalo metropolitan area among the most affordable in the US with housing costs at 15 percent less than the national average.
Campus Safety and Security Information
The University at Buffalo is committed to assisting all members of the University community in providing for their own safety and security. The annual security & fire compliance document is available on the University Police website at: