Philosophy Major

The aim of the Philosophy program at NYU Abu Dhabi is to introduce students to a broad range of philosophical problems, to acquaint students with influential philosophical responses to these problems, and above all to train students to grapple with these problems themselves in a way that meets the highest intellectual standards.

Many philosophical problems have been studied, in different places, for thousands of years; others have arisen only with more recent developments in science or culture. Today philosophy has become a fully global discipline. The Philosophy program at NYU Abu Dhabi strives to integrate the study of contemporary international philosophy with an understanding of philosophy's rich multicultural history.

The Philosophy major prepares students for advanced study in philosophy or related fields, as well as for any profession that requires rigorous and cogent thinking, reasoned argumentation, and clear and persuasive writing. Most importantly, the study of philosophy prepares students for a more reflective and examined life — one of deepened awareness and understanding.


Ten courses, which must include the following:

  • 1 Introductory Elective
  • 1 Introduction to Logic
  • 1 History of Philosophy Elective
  • 1 Theoretical Philosophy Elective
  • 1 Practical Philosophy Elective
  • 1 Advanced Seminar
  • 2 Capstone Project

Only one Introductory Elective may count toward the major in Philosophy.

All students should begin with an Introductory Elective. Satisfactory completion of an Introductory Elective is a prerequisite for all of the other courses required for the major, except Logic courses. Students who are considering a Philosophy major should also take Introduction to Logic as soon as possible — preferably before the end of their second year.

No credit toward the major is awarded for courses with a grade lower than C.

Students who choose to double major in Philosophy and another discipline and who choose to complete their Capstone project in that other discipline must still complete ten Philosophy courses. Instead of the two-semester Capstone Research Project in Philosophy, these students may elect any two additional Philosophy courses (other than Introductory Electives).

Capstone in Philosophy

The Capstone project in Philosophy represents the culmination of your work in the Philosophy major. It is a substantial work of written scholarship that enables you to explore a philosophical problem that is of particular personal interest to you and to make a scholarly contribution to ongoing discussions of that problem. You should expect to work on your Capstone project throughout your senior year, and your completed project should be a polished and professional example of scholarly research and writing.

On the basis of your proposal (submitted in the spring of your junior year), you will be assigned a faculty adviser. He or she will work with you as a supervisor and consultant throughout the process of researching and writing your Capstone project.

While you are expected to display a great deal of independence in the construction and execution of your project, your adviser can provide invaluable guidance and feedback. You should expect to meet with your adviser on a weekly basis once your senior year begins. (You are free to work out an alternative schedule, so long as your adviser approves.)

Philosophy majors also participate in the year-long Humanities Capstone Seminar, which is designed to complement the individual advising relationship. The seminar is a faculty-led work-in-progress group, in which Capstone writers will discuss research methods and problems across the humanities and learn to communicate their ideas to non-specialists. The seminars will keep students on a common schedule designed to allow sufficient time for revision of a complete draft before the final due date.

Minor in Philosophy

The minor in Philosophy provides students with a strong foundation of philosophical knowledge and trains students to engage with a wide array of philosophical problems. It is designed to be combined with a major in another discipline so as to enhance the investigation of the more philosophical aspects of that discipline, to help students develop the analytical, logical, and persuasive skills required by nearly all professional pursuits, and to enrich students’ intellectual lives.