Nov 28, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Philosophy [M.A.]

Students in our Master of Arts in Philosophy program focus their work in one of two divisions, Methodology, and Social Justice. These divisions reflect two distinctive strengths of our faculty: its pluralistic composition and its focus on systemic forms of injustice. Faculty members work in analytic, continental, and Chinese philosophical traditions, and this pluralistic composition allows us to train students in a wide range of methodological practices, presuppositions, skills, styles, and theories. A second strength of the philosophy faculty at Eastern is our attention to systemic forms of injustice. Faculty members’ research programs include the examination of challenging moral problems related to gender, immigration policy, food production and consumption, the global environment.

The M.A. program 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 Coordinator and the student’s faculty advisor.

Program Admission

Our program has rolling admissions, so you may apply at any time. However, application deadlines are in place for prospective students interested in being considered for a Graduate Assistantship.

Application Requirements

  • Application to the Graduate School
    • The Graduate School has a minimum requirement of (a) 2.7 GPA overall OR (b) 3.0 GPA in the last half of undergraduate course work.
    • The Graduate School has several additional requirements for International students. Please be sure to meet all general application requirements.
  • Personal Statement of Philosophic Interests
    • Applicants should provide a statement (maximum 1000 words) describing their: (a) interests in philosophy, including the area(s) of philosophy they believe will be the focus of  their graduate work, potential thesis or project ideas, (b) desire to pursue philosophy at the graduate level, and (c) self assessment of their level of preparation for graduate work in philosophy. 
  • Two letters of recommendation, including at least one from a college professor, which speak to the applicant’s ability to pursue graduate level work.
    • In most cases, the application software will query your listed recommenders for their letters. That said, letter writers may submit letters by email to Graduate Admissions ( Your letter writer should include either your EID# or your date of birth so that admissions can properly associate your letters with your application.
  • A minimum of six credit hours (or the equivalent) in philosophy from an accredited institution.

Once you have applied, please email our Graduate Coordinator Dr. Kate Mehuron ( so that she can track your application. 

The admissions committee will consider applications as they arrive. The committee will consider conditional admission for students who do not meet all admission requirements. Those admitted conditionally will be required to overcome specified deficiencies existing at the time of admission. The GRE is not required for admission to this program.

Department Information

History & Philosophy | ​James Egge, Ph.D.Department Head | 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018,

Advisor Information

Kate Mehuron, Ph.D., Professor and Graduate Coordinator, 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018,

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.

  • 3 hrs
  • 1 hr
  • 2 hrs
  • 3 hrs

    Option 2: Project Stream

    The Project Stream requires the completion of a project such as a substantial life experience, 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. The paper must be publicly presented after approval by the committee.

  •   3 hrs
  • 1 hr
  • 2 hrs
  • 3 hrs

    Option 3: Course Work Stream

    Students in the Course Work Stream will focus on learning about professional writing in philosophy. They will submit a long paper (usually drawn from coursework, and usually 15-30 pages in length) for review by their faculty advisor and two other faculty members of the philosophy section. Students will (1) incorporate the feedback from the 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 publication in an appropriate journal. The student’s faculty advisor will be responsible for approving the paper for presentation or publication submission.

  •   3 hrs
  • Any two PHIL courses from the 500 & 600 Level (others by permission)

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,  or Cognate Courses, 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
  • Criminology
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • 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.