This is the first version of the 2023-24 General Catalog. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Learning Outcomes

  • Breadth of knowledge: demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of areas in philosophy—metaphysics and epistemology; value theory; history of philosophy; and logic, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of science.
  • Depth of knowledge: demonstrate advanced knowledge in at least one major subarea of philosophy.
  • Scholarship and research skills: develop the skills required to conduct rigorous philosophical research, including philosophical writing and communication skills; and the ability to engage others’ work.
  • Professionalization and career preparation: understand the disciplinary norms and standards of research, and of professional and collegial engagement with others; and develop a portfolio and skills contributing to one’s career prospects, guided by one’s career goals and interests, and informed by knowledge of different possible career opportunities and trajectories.

The Master of Arts program in philosophy requires a minimum of 30 s.h. of graduate credit and is offered without thesis. Students must earn a program grade-point average of at least 3.00. The M.A. is not offered as a terminal degree; it is awarded to students as they work successfully toward the Ph.D.

The M.A. with a major in philosophy requires the following coursework.

Metaphysics and Epistemology

Two of these (with earned grades of B or higher):
PHIL:4586Topics in Metaphysics3
PHIL:4588Philosophy of Mind3
PHIL:4589Philosophy of Language3
PHIL:4590Foundations of Cognitive Science3
PHIL:6300Seminar: Philosophical Analysis3
PHIL:6510Seminar: Metaphysics3
PHIL:6520Seminar: Epistemology3

Ancient and Medieval Philosophy and Modern Philosophy

Two of these (with earned grades of B or higher):
Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
PHIL:6100Seminar: Ancient Philosophy3
Modern Philosophy
PHIL:4260Spinoza and Leibniz3
PHIL:6200Seminar: Modern Philosophy3

Logic, Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy of Mathematics

One of these (with an earned grade of B or higher):
PHIL:4346Frege and Russell3
PHIL:4691Mathematical Logic3
PHIL:4692Modal Logic3
PHIL:4694Philosophy of Science3
PHIL:6620Seminar: Philosophy of Science3

Value Theory

One of these (with an earned grade of B or higher):
PHIL:4375Rawls's Political Philosophy3
PHIL:4480Analytic Ethics3
PHIL:4481Issues in Philosophy of Law3
PHIL:4482Early Modern Ethics3
PHIL:4485Political Philosophy3
PHIL:6400Seminar: Ethics3

Students may be able to apply PHIL:4798 Topics in Philosophy or a research course toward one of the requirement areas. Contact the graduate studies director for more information.


All students must complete 12 s.h. in coursework numbered 4000 or above. They should consult the graduate studies director for approval of elective coursework.

Final Examination

Students must pass an oral final examination that will not exceed three hours in length. They are informed of at least one of the exam questions no later than one week before their exam. Students who fail may petition the M.A. Examination Committee for a second opportunity to pass the exam. The second exam must be scheduled not sooner than three months, nor later than one year, after the date of the examination.


The Department of Philosophy and the College of Law offer a combined Master of Arts/Juris Doctor program. M.A./J.D. students may count 12 s.h. earned in the combined program toward both degrees. They must earn 18 of the 30 s.h. required for the M.A. in graduate-level philosophy courses (the usual requirement is 24 s.h.). They also must earn a minimum of 36 s.h. in undergraduate and graduate philosophy courses, combined (the usual requirement is 42 s.h.).

Separate application to each degree program is required. Applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the combined degree program.

For more information about the J.D., see Juris Doctor, J.D. (College of Law) in the catalog.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

The graduate program is designed to train teachers and scholars in philosophy. The Department of Philosophy also is invested in helping students to use their philosophical training careers outside of academia.

The Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.