The B.A. in Philosophy, Law, and Ethics (PLE) program is a selective interdisciplinary major with a core of philosophy courses designed to prepare students for law school, graduate school, and a range of leadership positions in the public and private sectors. Students will find a highly flexible and transfer-friendly curriculum that can be adapted to the interests of each student. The program includes government and history courses and an area of concentration outside of philosophy. The flexibility of the major is particularly helpful for students interested in the early entry law school program.
Through rigorous philosophy coursework students strengthen essential leadership skills, including critical and analytical thinking, effective writing, problem-solving, decision-making, and oral communication. There is ample opportunity for interaction with professors outside the classroom and personalized academic advising. The program provides options for community college transfers, high school graduates, and those returning to school after years in the workforce.
PLE majors study great works of philosophy and social science, and debate and write about important local, national, and global controversies. Students report time and again that they love the dynamic classroom interactions. Classes are also supported by co-curricular activities sponsored by the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics. The major requirements are designed to broaden a student’s exposure to and engagement with ideas, policy debates and important topics in public, personal, and professional life.
In consultation with a faculty adviser, students majoring in PLE choose one of five concentrations:
- The Philosophy and Public Affairs Concentration will prepare you for a career in public service, or graduate study in public policy, public affairs, law, political theory or philosophy.
- The Philosophy, Economics and Business Concentration will help you acquire skills that can be leveraged into a career in business and management or professional development and advancement within another career. It is also excellent preparation if you're looking to pursue law school or graduate study in interdisciplinary programs that combine philosophy, politics and economics.
- The Philosophy, Sustainability and the Environment Concentration is ideal if you are interested in a career in advocacy for environmental causes, environment-related business or the nonprofit sector.
- The Applied Ethics and Professional Life Concentration is a great fit if you are already working in a field where ethics and compliance are of particular importance, and you're looking to advance: government contractors, finance professionals, human resource managers and compliance officers, among others.
- The Student-Designed Concentration allows you to integrate your core study of philosophy with a sub-field drawn from any major or minor at UB. Your philosophy studies will prepare you to succeed in a wide range of fields: business, digital communications, entrepreneurship, journalism, law, education, advocacy or government.
“A philosophical background is useful for law school. The ability to read different writings in a short amount of time and to understand them—that’s two-thirds of the battle. It helps you explain the reasoning of judges, and you can always connect to law professors based on a philosophical theory.”
-Candice Miller, B.A. '19 and current law student
For more information about undergraduate admission, please contact the Offices of Admission at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.877.ApplyUB.