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Master's Degree in Philosophy

Graduate study within the Department of Philosophy offers a broad range of specialization. As a Master's of Philosophy student, you will work in small, discussion-heavy seminar classes with leading scholars in their respective fields. You will have the opportunity to develop an expertise in a variety of areas, including Philosophy of Religion, Feminist Philosophy, Moral Psychology, Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Eastern Philosophy and Modern Philosophy. In consultation with your advisory committee — made up of nationally and internationally recognized faculty members — you will devise an individualized curriculum that reflects your own intellectual interests and prepares you to enter a Ph.D. program or meet other professional goals.

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M.A. Degree Requirements

A M.A. Degree in Philosophy may be earned by one of three plans:

  • Plan I — with thesis: 30 credit hours, consisting of 24 hours of course work and six hours of research;

  • Plan II — with report: 32 credit hours, consisting of 30 hours of course work and two hours of research. In addition, students who complete the degree with a report must give a public presentation of their work.

  • Plan III — with creative component: 32 credit hours of work including the creative component. The creative component may be a special report, an annotated bibliography, a project in research or design or other creative activity as designated by the advisory committee. In addition, students who complete the degree with a creative component must give a public presentation of their work.

Degree Requirements

  1. Symbolic Logic (can test out)

  2. A seminar in Ancient or Medieval Philosophy.

  3. A seminar in the history of Modern Philosophy.

  4. Another graduate‐level class in the history of philosophy (pre‐twentieth century).

  5. At least one class in Contemporary Ethical Theory or Topics in Ethical Theory.

Seminars in a major philosopher or in a field of philosophy can satisfy different requirements depending on topics covered. A seminar on Rawls could satisfy requirement five. A seminar on Aquinas could satisfy requirement two. Independent studies (PHIL 4990 or PHIL 5910) normally cannot be used to satisfy these requirements.

Graduate Student Policies

The Master of Arts program is designed for students to earn their degree in two years. It is expected that those holding teaching assistantships will complete their degree in two years. If, however, a student on a teaching assistantship has strong reasons for taking three years to finish, he or she may petition the department to continue the assistantship for a third year. The petition to extend the assistantship should be sent to the department head or graduate advisor by February 1st of the student’s second year in the program, and a faculty committee will make a decision by mid to late February. Due to the limited number of assistantships available as well as other student assessment factors, such an extension may be denied.

Program InformationGraduate CoursesAssistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)

Most of our M.A. students work as graduate teaching assistants throughout the academic year. GTA's receive a tuition waiver, health insurance and a monthly stipend to help with the cost of living.

Contact Us for More Information

Eric Reitan

Graduate Advisor


Shannon Spaulding

Graduate Coordinator



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