Graduate Catalog 2003-2004
The Department of Philosophy offers two distinct programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. Graduate programs combine areas of applied philosophy, such as philosophy of medicine, law, business, and the environment, with training in the appropriate historical, methodological, and theoretical approaches to traditional areas of philosophy, such as moral and political philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, and logic. The programs are flexible both with respect to areas of specialization and career interests.
The Ph.D. program is an integrated six-year program designed for students working toward the doctorate. The M.A. is granted as part of the total program.
The special M.A. program is intended for students who want to do advanced work in applied philosophy as preparation for a career either in teaching or in a nonacademic career in law, government, business, health care, or social service.
As an integral part of their studies in either program, students may undertake internships involving work of up to 15 weeks in nonacademic settings such as federal or state agencies, hospitals, corporations, charitable institutions, research centers, and foundations, or take a substantial number of courses in some other discipline.
Prerequisites to Graduate Work
The preferred foundation for graduate work is a major or minor in philosophy. However, applicants with less than this level of preparation who have a strong interest in philosophy are encouraged to apply. Remedial work may be required for those students judged to have deficiencies in their preparation.
Admission to the Ph.D. program does not require the completion of any graduate work beyond the bachelor’s degree.
Applicants seeking admission to the graduate programs in philosophy should follow the instructions outlined in the "Graduate Admission" section of this catalog. Applicants should also contact the departmental graduate admissions officer for application materials.
Ph.D. Program: Master of Arts
Students must complete the 20-hour Group A core consisting of the pro-seminar (PHIL 601), one course each in logic and analysis (PHIL 603), history of ancient philosophy (PHIL 611), history of modern philosophy (PHIL 612), and either history of moral philosophy (PHIL 621) or history of political philosophy (PHIL 622). The one-hour seminar designed to prepare students to teach philosophy (PHIL 650) is also required. This core must be supplemented by an additional seven four-hour seminars or courses in philosophy.
Students must satisfy requirements for the M.A. under Plan II by taking a two-part M.A. examination consisting of:
(1) The M.A. essay, which is submitted early in the second semester of the student’s second year in the program, and
(2) The M.A. research skills test, written early in the second semester of the student’s second year in the program.
Ph.D. Program: Doctor of Philosophy
Students must fulfill all of the following requirements:
(1) the M.A. core course requirement (20 hours) plus PHIL 650;
(2) an additional 44 hours in courses or seminars in philosophy, including the 32-hour Group B core;
(3) the preliminary examination and approval of the dissertation topic; and
(4) the dissertation and the oral examination over the dissertation.
The 32-hour Group B core requirement consists of eight four-hour seminars or courses in philosophy from at least three of the following areas, with no more than four courses being counted from each area:
(1) moral and social philosophy broadly conceived (if more than one course is counted from this area, at least one course must be in contemporary moral theory);
(2) metaphysics, philosophy of the mind, and epistemology;
(3) logic and philosophy of language;
(4) philosophy of the natural and social sciences; and
(5) philosophy of religion, aesthetics, etc.
There is no language requirement unless the student’s dissertation supervisor and the department’s director of graduate studies decide that it would be appropriate in light of the student’s dissertation topic for the student to have a reading competency in a foreign language. The precise way in which the student will meet this requirement will be determined by the student's dissertation supervisor in consultation with the student and with the approval of the director of graduate studies. Prior to completing the language requirement, the student should submit a written plan for completing the requirement. The form may be secured from the graduate secretary and must be signed by the student's research supervisor and the director of graduate studies.
Students must take a preliminary examination after having completed approximately 60 semester hours of approved graduate work. The preliminary examination typically consists of an essay that the student writes and defends orally and which is designed to show that the student has the ability to do doctoral research in philosophy. The student's doctoral committee determines the exact nature of this examination. Students are admitted to degree candidacy upon successfully defending a dissertation prospectus, normally in conjunction with the preliminary examination.
To complete the requirements for the Ph.D. degree, students must complete a dissertation and pass an oral examination over the dissertation.
Early in their program, students must present a plan of study for the remainder of tenure within the program and arrange for an advisor to guide research throughout the program.
The plan of study must be designed to insure that the student finishes the program a broadly trained philosopher, competent to initiate, conduct, and interpret traditional and applied research. Within this framework, the provisions within a doctoral plan of study are flexible. Programs can be designed to prepare students in any one of the following areas:
(a) academic careers in philosophy departments as moral and social philosophers (broadly conceived);
(b) academic careers in philosophy departments in the subspecializations of applied philosophy, e.g., in philosophy of medicine, philosophy of law, philosophy of business, or environmental philosophy;
(c) interdisciplinary academic careers; or
(d) nonacademic careers in law and government, business, health care, or social service. The individual plan of study is worked out in collaboration with the advisor, subject to approval of the graduate coordinator.
Questions about requirements for the Ph.D. degree can be addressed to the Department of Philosophy office.
Special M.A. Program: Master of Arts
This is a terminal M.A. program meant for students who want to do advanced work in applied philosophy as preparation for a career either in teaching or in a nonacademic career in law, government, business, health care, or social service. It is not meant to prepare students for the doctorate.
Students form an M.A. committee of at least two members prior to enrollment in the first semester of the program. The specific course of study required of each student, including the details of the core requirement and the choice of core supplement, must be approved both by the student’s M.A. committee and the department’s Graduate Studies Committee.
Students must complete a minimum of 44 credit hours including a core requirement of six four-hour courses or seminars in philosophy (24 hours) and a core supplement (12 hours) consisting of either
(a) the internship option or
(b) three additional four-hour courses or seminars in philosophy.
The internship option is completed by doing work in applied philosophy in some form other than taking courses in philosophy for 12 credit hours during the equivalent of one semester. An internship report is required to complete the internship option.
To complete the M.A., students submit an essay, write an examination, or complete a project, and may be required to take an oral examination, as appropriate to the student’s course of study. The exact nature of the examination is determined by the student’s M.A. committee together with the director of graduate studies and the Graduate Studies Committee.