Jan 30, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Philosophy [M.A.]

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Our Master of Arts in Philosophy program focuses on 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, and 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 Coordinator and the student’s faculty advisor.

Program Admission

Graduate School Application

After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. The University is transitioning application platforms; pay close attention when selecting the application below.

The program you are applying to may not accept applicants every semester.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. In addition, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program, is required for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission. See International Admissions for international applicant requirements.

Applicants must also meet the following program 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, who can 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 (documents_admissions@emich.edu). 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 (kmehuron@emich.edu), 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 | ​Peter Higgins, Ph.D., Department Head | 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018, phiggin1@emich.edu

Advisor Information

Kate Mehuron, Ph.D., Professor and Graduate Coordinator, 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018, kmehuron@emich.edu

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.

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