Jun 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 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

Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Summer, Fall, or Winter. See Application Deadlines.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) 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. Conditional admission may be available to applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements. Requirements may be more stringent than the minimum graduate school requirements.

  • Personal Statement of Philosophical 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. The application software will query your listed recommenders for their letters in most cases.
  • 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.


Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application. 

Domestic Applicants Domestic applicants are required to submit only the transcript from the institution granting their bachelor’s degree if either of the following criteria is met: 1) Lists 30 or more credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.0 or over OR 2) Lists 60 or more credit hours with an overall GPA between 2.7 and 2.99. Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript. The University may ask applicants to submit additional transcripts after applying.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.

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


Department Information

History & Philosophy 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018

Peter Higgins, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

Kate Mehuron, PhD, Professor and Graduate Coordinator, 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018

Degree Requirements: 30 hours

Required Course: 3 hours

Thesis, Project, or Coursework Stream: 6 hours

Choose six 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. The Graduate School must approve the final thesis.

  • 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 philosophical research culminating in a substantive paper and oral presentation. 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.

  • 1 hr
  • 2 hrs
  • 3 hrs

    Option 3: Coursework Stream

    Students in the Coursework Stream focus on learning about professional writing in philosophy. They 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.

  • Any two PHIL courses (500-699) (others by permission)

Division Coursework: 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 the Graduate Program Director prior to the assignment of a faculty advisor.

Select nine hours from one of the two divisions below (others by permission).

Restricted Elective Courses: 12 hours

The remaining 12 credit hours of the program will be met by some combination of Philosophy Electives, Complementary Concentration Courses, or Cognate Courses, as described below.

Philosophy 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 division coursework requirements are 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: 0-6 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: 0-6 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.

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.

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