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  Old Westbury Home > History & Philosophy

History & Philosophy

The History and Philosophy Department offers two Bachelor of Arts degree programs. By selecting between them, and by choosing particular courses within them, students can tailor their course of study to their interests and gain excellent preparation for many career paths and graduate degrees. The degree programs are:


  • Comparative Humanities - a broad, interdisciplinary and multicultural degree featuring a study of both Western cultural traditions and at least two traditions from other parts of the world, including Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. At the lower level, the major introduces students to different disciplinary approaches to studying culture, from the perspectives of history, comparative religion and anthropology. At the advanced level, students explore the convergence of the worlds' cultures in the 19th and 20th centuries leading to the global community we live in today.


  • Philosophy and Religion - emphasizes the analysis of values, belief systems, and contemporary ethical issues with courses in diverse cultural traditions and major areas of philosophical and religious thought. Students explore the common aspects of these topics as well as their differences. Courses from the Western tradition and from Islamic, Asian, and African perspectives are included. All courses emphasize critical thinking and analytical skills and help students form a coherent set of ethical judgments and beliefs.


With an emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, language, communicative skills, and an appreciation of the diversity of modern American society, degrees in the department provide excellent preparation for professional careers and for graduate study in the liberal arts. Graduates of the program have gone on to successful careers in education, public relations, social services, and government. In an increasingly international world, the multicultural outlook and communications skills fostered by the department's programs are essential for every career path.


Did You Know?

More than 22% percent of Old Westbury's professors have earned among SUNY's highest honors - the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor, Distinguished Service Professor or Chancellor's Award for Excellence in teaching and service.

35 Old Westbury students gave up their traditional Spring Break rituals in 2006 and instead volunteered their time and effort in New Orleans to aid recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The JP Morgan Chase Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to support the Curriculum Materials Center in the College library.

SUNY College at Old Westbury, P.O. Box 210, Old Westbury, NY 11568-0210 - (516) 876-3000