Policies and Important Details

  1. The Ph.D. in Philosophy is for students with a background in philosophy. Normally at least a B.A. in Philosophy is required.
  2. To maintain status as a graduate student, registration in each fall and spring semester is required. Otherwise, admission lapses and permission to re-enter must be granted.
  3. Once a student has completed all course and required research credit hours, he or she must enroll in “Research in Residence” status until the degree has been granted. “Research in Residence” status is considered full time enrollment. Time restrictions on obtaining degrees will be strictly enforced and can be waived only by the Dean of the Graduate School.
  4. Upon completing the course requirements and passing the qualifying exams with a grade of 1 or 2, the student has completed the requirements for an M.A. in Philosophy.
  5. Upon completing the course requirements, passing the qualifying exams with a grade of 2, and successfully defending the Ph.D. proposal, the student is eligible for admission to Ph.D. candidacy.
  6. Upon passing the qualifying exams, the student in consultation with his/her selected Ph.D. dissertation committee chair will decide on the dissertation committee members. The dissertation committee will consist of not less than four members, three from the department's graduate faculty, and one from outside the Department. The chair has to be a member of the graduate faculty. The duties of the dissertation committee are:

a. To consult with and to advise students on their research.
b. To meet, at intervals, to review progress and expected results.
c. To read and comment upon the draft dissertation.
d. To meet, when the dissertation is completed, to conduct the final oral examination and to satisfy itself that the dissertation is a contribution to knowledge and that it is written in lucid and correct English and submitted in approved form.

The candidate is well advised to have a final acceptable typescript of the dissertation in the hands of each member of his/her committee at a time reasonably in advance of the final defense of the work.

Curriculum Requirements

Students must accumulate a 60 credits in philosophy with satisfactory grades, 45 credits of coursework and 15 credits of dissertation research. At least 21 of the 45 credits must be for courses at the 700 level. At least 27 of these credits must be earned while in residence.

Logic Requirement3
Formal Logic
Ethics Requirement
Select one of the following:3
Ethical Theory
Political Philosophy
Epistemology and Metaphysics
Select two of the following:6
Evidence and Knowledge in Medicine
Mind and Language
Induction, Probability, and Scientific Method
Select one of the following:3
History of Logic
History of Ethics
Presocratics and Plato
Aristotle and Hellenistic Philosophy
Medieval Philosophy
Early Modern Philosophy
The Phenomenological Tradition
History of Analytic Philosophy
600 or 700 PHI Electives9
700 Level PHI Electives 21
Research Requirement15
Doctoral Dissertation
Post-candidacy doctoral dissertation
Qualifying Exam 1
Language Requirement 2
PHD Dissertation 3
Total Credit Hours60


Our students will be well prepared to work as professional academic philosophers. They will have broad knowledge of the most important areas of philosophy and its history, and mastery of philosophical methods of argumentation. They will also have detailed knowledge in a particular sub-discipline of philosophy and (where relevant) its relations to other areas of inquiry, preparing them to conduct original research in this area. They will be able to disseminate philosophical knowledge by teaching a wide range of courses at the undergraduate level and specialist courses at the graduate level. They will also be prepared to become contributors to philosophical knowledge by presenting their work at conferences and publishing original research in the form of articles, monographs, and/or books.


Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate a deep and broad knowledge of the main areas of philosophy and their history, and mastery of philosophical methods.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to teach a wide range of philosophy courses at the undergraduate level, and courses in the area of specialization at the graduate level.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to contribute to philosophical knowledge by writing original philosophical research.