Program Requirements

Graduate Program Requirements

The M.A. degree in Philosophy requires 36 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree:galileo

Graduate Seminars: 6 hours
Logic Requirement: 3 hours
Elective Coursework: 15 hours
Thesis or Non-thesis Project: 6 hours
Graduate Proseminar: 6 hours

Total: 36 hours

Graduate Seminars

As part of the program's emphasis on pluralism, two graduate seminars cultivate the skills required for professional-quality research in diverse areas of philosophical specialization. Taken in the second and third semesters in residence, the graduate seminars are required of all graduate students in the program and offer an opportunity for intensive primary-source reading and critical examination of significant philosophical figures, issues, and traditions.

Logic Requirement

Students take PHIL 51038, Intermediate Logic, in their first semester in residence. Students who have completed a comparable second course in symbolic logic prior to joining our program may request to be excused from this requirement and to substitute an additional elective course to meet the minimum credit hours for the degree.

ELECTIVE COURSEWORK

Students in our MA program have a unique opportunity to design an individualized concentration consisting of five of our graduate PHIL courses. This allows them to take full advantage of the extremely wide range of specializations represented by our faculty, many of which are interdisciplinary or cross traditional methodological boundaries within the discipline of philosophy. Our program is thus an excellent fit for students whose own interests span multiple areas and/or methodologies, but it also allows students to design a more traditional concentration in a particular subfield of philosophy. Students work with a faculty advisory group throughout their time in the program in order to design a concentration that reflects their interests, addresses any gaps in their prior philosophical training, and leaves them extremely well prepared to enter a doctoral program.

Thesis

Graduate students ordinarily complete the requirements for the M.A. in philosophy by writing a thesis. The thesis offers an opportunity for graduate students to work closely with a faculty member and a faculty advisory group in order to explore a topic of the student's choice. In certain cases, students choose instead to pursue one of our non-thesis project options. In either case, proposals for a culminating experience may be made only after a student has met the following requirements: completion of, or present good standing in, six hours of elective coursework and one section each of PHIL 60191 and PHIL 51038.

Graduate Proseminar

The Graduate Proseminar is a three-hour course that meets weekly to provide professional training to our graduate students. Topics covered include preparing strong applications to doctoral programs, applying to and presenting at academic conferences, and applying for grants and fellowships. In addition, students write and revise a paper which is appropriate for submission to conferences or for use as a writing sample for PhD applications. A third important focus of the Graduate Proseminar is the planning and organization of the annual May 4th graduate student conference.

 

Old Graduate Program Requirements (Through 2018-19)

The M.A. degree in Philosophy requires 33 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree:

Graduate Seminars: 6 hours
Breadth Requirement: 6 Hours
Depth Requirement: 9 Hours
Logic Requirement: 3 Hours
First-Year Paper: 1 Hour
Thesis or Non-thesis Project: 6 Hours
Colloquium: 2 hours

Total: 33 hours

Graduate Seminars

In support of the program's emphasis on pluralistic and interdisciplinary approaches, two graduate seminars cultivate the skills required for professional-quality research in diverse areas of philosophical specialization. Taken in the second and third semesters in residence, the graduate seminars are required of all graduate students in the program and offer intensive primary-source reading and critical appreciation of significant philosophical figures and issues.

Breadth and Depth

Elective courses are structured into breadth and depth requirements. Students take 1 course each in three of the four areas to promote breadth (9 hours total). In addition, students take 2 further courses in one of those three areas to promote depth (6 hours total). 

Area 1 Area 2 Area 3 Area 4

51060 Pragmatism

51065 Plato

51070 Aristotle

51076 Continental Philosophy

51077 British-American Philosophy

51091 World Philosophy

51491 Asian Philosophy

60201 History of Philosophy

51010 Problems in the Philosophy of Religion

51055 Phenomenology

51080 Philosophy and Art in the Modern Age

51086 Philosophy of Expression

61055 Semiotics

61056 Hermeneutics

51035 Philosophy of Science

51036 Philosophy of Cognitive Science

51040 Epistemology

51042 Metaphysics

51045 Metalogic

51048 Metaethics

51050 Analytic Philosophy

61050 Philosophy of Language

50005 Health Care Ethics

51020 Social and Political Philosophy

51025 Philosophy of Law

51030 Ethical Theory

51591 History of Ethics

Logic Requirement

Students take PHIL 51038, Intermediate Logic in their first semester in residence. Students who have completed a comparable second course in symbolic logic prior to joining our program may request to be excused from this requirement and take an additional elective course to meet the minimum credit hours for the degree.

First-Year Paper

The First-Year Paper PHIL 69198 affords first-year students the opportunity to initiate independent research upon beginning their graduate studies. Under the supervision of their advisory group, students write a paper of  3–4000 words. This paper will be suitable for submitting to conferences and perhaps journals and might provide a pilot project for the thesis.

Thesis

quill writingGraduate students ordinarily complete the requirements for the M.A. in philosophy by writing a thesis or by pursuing one of the non-thesis project options. The thesis offers an opportunity for graduate students to work closely with a faculty member and a faculty advisory group in order to explore a topic of the student's choice. Proposals for a culminating experience may be made only after a student has met the following requirements: six hours toward the breadth requirement (6 hours), and completion of or present good standing in one section each of PHIL 60191 and PHIL 51038.

Colloquium

The colloquium is a one-hour course that meets weekly to afford the graduate students an occasion to prepare for various events throughout the academic year. Considerable focus goes to the annual May 4th graduate student conference, which the graduate students organize.