A full account of degree requirements and procedures is contained in the Philosophy student handbook.
PhD candidates must earn 18 credits in addition to the 30 credits taken in the Philosophy MA program, for a total of 48 credits. Transfer students who already have an MA in philosophy (or its equivalent) from another institution may be assigned credit for all or part of their previous graduate studies up to a maximum of 30 credits.
- Of the 48 total credits required to earn the PhD in Philosophy, a student must complete 42 credits in philosophy courses, and up to 6 credits in fields other than philosophy.
- Of the 42 philosophy credits, the student must earn at least 15 credits in philosophy seminars.
The Philosophy department does not require a specific program of courses. However, students who do not satisfy the core course requirements prior to receiving the MA must satisfy these requirements, including the required course in logic, subsequently.
At least a 3.0 grade point average must be maintained in the philosophy courses as well as overall.
Foreign Language Requirement
The candidate for the PhD must demonstrate a reading knowledge of an additional language to that required for the MA. The second language will be chosen from French, German, Greek, Latin, or (by petition) another language relevant to the student's dissertation.
Students can use elective courses toward completing one of the university’s graduate minors. These structured pathways of study immerse master's and doctoral students in disciplines outside their primary field and expose them to alternative modes of research and practice. Completed graduate minors are officially recorded on students' transcript.
During their final year of course work, PhD students typically complete the year-long Prospectus Seminar.
PhD Qualifying Examinations
Upon completion of all course requirements, PhD students proceed to PhD candidate status by passing the PhD qualifying examinations: the PhD Area Exam and two PhD Qualifying Papers.
The PhD Area Exam is a comprehensive exam completed after Prospectus that is designed to help students begin writing the dissertation. Students prepare for the exam by studying a list of texts that their supervisor and a second reader believe are necessary for the student to begin writing, which forms the basis of the exam questions.
The PhD Qualifying Papers are article-length essays that two faculty members have certified as publishable in form. The purpose of the Qualifying Papers is to give students experience with writing professionally in the discipline of philosophy.
The written dissertation and its defense in front of a committee of four faculty members constitute the remaining requirements for the PhD.