Dec 17, 2018  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 

Philosophy Department

Chair: Gene Witmer
Graduate Coordinator: Robert D’Amico

Complete faculty listing by department: Follow this link.

The Department offers the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. General requirements for these degrees are described in the Graduate Degrees  section of this catalog, and program-specific requirements are provided on the Philosophy Program page below.

All graduate students must take in their first fall semester of enrollment the Graduate Proseminar (PHI 5935 ), an intensive workshop requiring regular writing and presentation of philosophical papers; they must also take in that first year the foundational course on Graduate Logic (PHI 5135 ). These two critical courses help ensure success in the core curriculum, which is designed to provide a thorough grounding in the three main divisions of philosophical work: history, value theory, and the various areas known together as M&E (“metaphysics and epistemology”). Requirements for the M.A. include an oral Final Exam administered by a selection of faculty but do not include a thesis.

Graduate students enjoy a supportive community. TAships are provided with shared office space, and most graduate students participate in organizing a yearly conference, the Southeast Graduate Philosophy conference (for more information, see Some funding for supporting graduate student travel to conferences is available.

Funding for graduate students is provided primarily by Teaching Assistantships. Most M.A. students are funded in this way. A typical TA assignment renders a graduate student responsible for three discussion sections (associated with a single course), ranging in size from 15-22 students each, under the supervision of the main instructor. Such TAs lead discussions once a week for each such section, grade assigned work, proctor exams, take attendance, hold office hours, advise students, and other such tasks as assigned by their supervisor. Newer TAs assist with lower level courses (such as Introduction to Philosophy and Contemporary Moral Issues) and more experienced TAs may, depending on scheduling needs, assist with more advanced courses. Those M.A. students who have demonstrated exceptional teaching capabilities may have the chance to teach their own course during the summer after which they have completed all course requirements for the degree. Ph.D. students who already have an M.A. more regularly get these opportunities, both during the summer and the fall and spring semesters.

Additional funding support may be available via TAships assisting for the University’s interdisciplinary humanities course IUF 1000 (What is the Good Life?) and working for the University Writing Program.  TAships assisting with online philosophy courses may be available at times as well.

For more information, please see the program page below as well as our website at