M.A. in Philosophy

Our degree program includes both a thesis option (which includes an extended written treatment of a topic in the candidate’s area of specialization) and an exam option (which involves additional courses and a qualifying exam in an area of specialization). Both tracks require a minimum of 33 credit hours. Students may opt for either track, though students who do not pass the thesis proposal defense must satisfy the exam requirements to complete their MA.

For the degree of Master of Arts, students must meet the following departmental requirements:

Thesis Option

  • Completion of at least 27 semester hours of graduate credit in courses offered by the department of philosophy;
  • Pass a qualifying or prospectus examination in the area of the student’s thesis;
  • A written thesis for 6 semester hours of credit;
  • An oral examination covering the material of the student’s thesis and a general competency in the subject areas relevant to the thesis.

EXAM Option

  • Completion of 33 semester hours of graduate credit in courses offered by the department of philosophy, excluding readings and research courses;
  • Completion of an examination in one sub-field or area of competency in contemporary philosophy chosen by the student in consultation with the faculty.

For Both Options

  • Completion of PHIL 3000 or PHIL 6000 (or its equivalent or satisfied as an undergraduate);
  • Completion of PHIL 3210 and PHIL 3230 (or their equivalents in the student’s undergraduate program);
  • Completion of at least 42 semester hours of graduate and undergraduate credit in philosophy.

Students must also satisfy the requirements of the College of Graduate Studies as specified in the graduate student handbook.

  • PLO 1: Historical Engagement: Students will explain and analyze a variety of figures, concepts, and traditions in the history of philosophy.
  • PLO 2: Analysis and Expression: Students will analyze and evaluate problems in accordance with disciplinary norms of clarity, interpretation, and argumentation; students will be able to present and explain both their own and others reasoning in written and oral formats.
  • PLO 3: Critical Engagement: Students will explain and evaluate positions in relation to historical and intellectual context and assumptions.
  • PLO 4: Specialization: Students will make an original contribution to a recognized area of contemporary philosophical research.
  • PLO 5: Formal Symbolic Systems: Students will recognize and apply relevant techniques of formal logic.
  • PLO 6: Professional Development: Students will develop and teach a syllabus for at least one Gen Ed course offered by the department.