Mar 28, 2023
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The Master of Arts in Philosophy has three possible capstones, dividing the M.A. into three streams: the Thesis Stream, the Project Stream, and the Course Work Stream. Students will be permitted to switch streams in consultation with the Graduate Program Director and the student’s faculty advisor.
Requirements for admission to the program:
Applicants should provide a statement (maximum 1000 words) detailing their:
- interests in philosophy, including the area(s) of philosophy they believe will be the focus of their graduate work, potential thesis or project ideas,
- desire to pursue philosophy at the graduate level, and
- self assessment of their level of preparation for graduate work in philosophy.
This is required in addition to the personal statement required by the Graduate School as part of the general admissions packet.
- Two letters of recommendation, including at least one from a college professor, which speak to the applicant’s ability to pursue graduate level work.
- A minimum of six credit hours (or the equivalent) in philosophy from an accredited institution.
No GRE scores are required.
Additional Application Notes:
The admissions committee will consider conditional applications from students who do not meet all of the requirements. Those admitted conditionally will be required to overcome specified deficiencies existing at the time of admission. The admissions committee will consider applications as they arrive.
Some Notes Regarding the Graduate School’s Admission Requirements
All Graduate School Admissions requirements can be found on the school’s website
- The Graduate School has a minimum GPA requirement (a) 2.7 GPA overall or (b) 3.0 GPA in the last half of undergraduate course work
- The Graduate School requires a personal statement for the purpose of admission. The Philosophy M.A. Program’s application requirement for a Personal Statement of Philosophic Interests is in addition to this requirement. For the Graduate School personal statement, we recommend that applicants highlight their major achievements as a student, any personal or historical details that may be noteworthy, or their qualities as a lifelong learner.
- The Graduate School has several additional requirements for International students. Please be sure to meet all general application requirements.
History & Philosophy - College of Arts & Sciences
Degree Requirements: 30 hours
Required Courses: 9 hours
Nine hours from one of the following three options:
Option 1: Thesis Stream
The Thesis Stream requires the completion of a Thesis in philosophy. A committee of three members, chaired by the student’s faculty advisor, is responsible for confirming the student’s preparedness, approving the topics and readings, and accepting the thesis. One committee member may be from outside the philosophy section. The thesis must be publicly defended.
Option 2: Project Stream
The Project Stream requires the completion of a project (i.e., a substantial life experience, such as an internship, study abroad, an investigation, a consulting project, or a program - e.g. Peace Corps, paired with traditional philosophic research culminating in an oral presentation and substantive paper). A committee of three members, chaired by the student’s faculty advisor, is responsible for confirming the student’s preparedness, approving the topic and readings, and accepting the project’s substantive paper must be publicly presented after approval by the committee.
Option 3: Course Work Stream
The Course Work Stream requires a student to take 2 more courses than Thesis and Project Stream students. In addition, students in the Course Work Stream will focus on learning about philosophy as a profession. They will submit a long paper (usually drawn from course work, and usually 15-30 pages in length) for blind review by two faculty members of the philosophy section. Students will (1) incorporate the feedback from the blind review into a final version of the paper, and they will (2) either (a) submit the paper to a conference or (b) submit the paper for accepting the paper and the student’s work regarding the presentation or publication.
Restricted Electives Courses: 9 hours
The M.A. in Philosophy has two Divisions. All M.A. students, regardless of Stream, will belong to one of the two Divisions allowing them to concentrate on a set of philosophic ideas and issues. Students will decide their Division in consultation with Graduate Program Director prior to the assignment of a faculty advisor.
Select nine hours from one of the two divisions below (others by permission).
Elective Courses: 12 hours
The remaining 12 credit hours of the program will be met by some combination of Unrestricted Electives, Complementary Concentration Courses, Cognate Courses, or Undergraduate Courses taken for Graduate Credit, as described below.
Unrestricted Electives: 0-12 hours
Any 500 or 600 level PHIL course may be used to complete the number of course hours remaining once the core and restricted electives have been met. If a student opts for a complementary concentration or cognate courses, there may be little room for unrestricted electives (see below).
Complementary Concentration Courses: Maximum 6 hours
Students working on the M.A. in Philosophy may wish to take courses outside of philosophy that complement their particular project or thesis. Our Graduate Program Director can approve courses for use in this way. Here is a list of disciplines students might wish to consider for complementary concentration:
- African American Studies
- Political Science
- Social Foundations of Education
- Women’s and Gender Studies
Cognate Courses: Maximum 6 hours
Cognate Courses are courses in programs outside of philosophy that are (1) graduate courses and (2) have substantial philosophical content. The Graduate Program Director can approve courses for use in this way.
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