Philosophy Department

Master of Arts in Philosophy

All students in the PhD program are awarded a MA when they pass the Qualifying Examination.  A few students are admitted to the MA program as such.  Some of these students hope to strengthen their background in philosophy and may subsequently apply to Ph.D. programs; others have professional or academic reasons to pursue a MA in Philosophy.   Both full and part-time students are admitted to the program.  

There are two courses of study (Plan A and Plan B) that lead to the MA.  Both require 32 credit hours of graduate level work.  All students are required to audit Introductory Logic (110) and pass a test given at the end of the course.  Students with insufficient training in the history of philosophy will be required to take History of Ancient Philosophy (201) and/or History of Modern Philosophy (202).  These courses will not count toward the 32 credit hour requirement.

Plan A (Thesis)

Total credit hours required: 32, to be made up as follows:

  • Three graduate courses at the 400-level.
  • Two graduate seminars (500-level) and at least one other graduate course (12 hours).
  • Thesis (8 hours).

The thesis is to be written under the supervision of one member of the Department and must be defended in an oral examination before a committee of three, one of whom will be from another department.

Plan B

32 credit hours of graduate level work are required. Courses taken must include at least four graduate courses at the 400-level and at least two graduate seminars (500-level) in Philosophy and may include no more than two courses outside the Department. No more than two courses (8 credits) may be in reading courses (Independent Study, PHL 491). The student must pass a comprehensive examination in an area of concentration. The student may choose to take either an oral or a written exam on the general topic of a paper chosen by the student.

Further information about these and other requirements of the MA program is available at the "Graduate Program Requirements" link in the box at the upper right.