Dec 15, 2018  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 


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Philosophy Department 

Philosophy Program Information

The Department of Philosophy offers graduate degree programs leading to the M.A. and the Ph.D. degrees in Philosophy.

The Department is dedicated both to pursuing high quality research and providing a rigorous education to its graduate students, whether pursuing just the M.A. or the Ph.D.  Faculty provide philosophical expertise in a wide variety of areas, including ancient philosophy, modern philosophy, normative theory, political theory, ethics of technology, bioethics, philosophy of education, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of logic, philosophy of science, philosophy of social science, philosophy of language, argument theory and Continental philosophy.  For a full and updated list of areas of research see the pages of individual faculty.

The M.A. program is suitable for those planning or considering a Ph.D. in Philosophy, for those who hope to gain an advanced degree prior to pursuing professional degrees in such fields as law and medicine, and for those who are considering advanced work in related fields such as linguistics, classical studies, religious studies, psychology, and political science.

The Ph.D. program is suitable for those planning to pursue an academic career, including both those focused more on research and those focused more on teaching. Graduates should expect to be trained in doing high quality research in philosophy, to be mentored in the practice of teaching, and to have opportunities for teaching in a broader array of contexts that should serve well the ability to teach courses in writing and the humanities more generally.

Admission to either program requires either a bachelor’s degree in philosophy or sufficient course work in philosophy as determined by the department. Applicants to either program are evaluated on the basis of their academic record, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample. Students admitted into the Ph.D. program who do not already have an M.A. in Philosophy must complete the requirements for the M.A. as part of their first two years of full-time enrollment in the Ph.D. program.

General program information

All graduate students are required to take in their first year the graduate Proseminar (PHI 5935 ), an intensive workshop requiring weekly writing and presentation as well as a substantial paper at the end. The Graduate Logic course (PHI 5135 ) is also required in the first year as a foundational area for philosophy generally. Additional core courses include surveys in ancient philosophy (PHP 5005  and PHP 5015 ), in modern philosophy (PHH 5405  and PHH 5406 ), ethical theory (PHI 5665 ), epistemology (PHI 5365 ) and foundations of analytic philosophy (PHP 5785 ).

M.A. program information

The M.A. degree requires 36 hours of coursework, which can be completed in two years by registering for 9 credits each fall and spring semester. Distribution requirements mandate a selection of core courses and 6000-level seminars, while electives make up 6 hours of coursework. Requirements include an oral Final Exam administered by a group of faculty selected by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Ph.D. Program information

The Ph.D. requires 90 credit hours, which may include 36 used for the MA, additional courses at the 6000-level, 3 proposal research hours, 12 doctoral research hours, and the successful completion and defense of a dissertation. In completing the Ph.D. advanced students will normally have an opportunity to teach their own undergraduate courses under the supervision of faculty as well as to work as a Teaching Assistant in many other courses.

Further Information

For more information about the department in general, see its website at

More details about the M.A. and Ph.D. programs, their requirements, policies, and procedures, may be found at

Prospective students can find detailed information on the admissions process at

Questions and requests for help can be directed at the Graduate Coordinator, who may be reached at



Doctor of Philosophy

Master of Arts

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