Doctoral Program Requirements

Graduate Student Handbook

The Graduate Student Handbook and Program Requirements apply to all graduate students who are newly admitted to the program.

For those graduate students who were admitted to the program prior to the Fall 2013 semester, the previous rules remain in effect.

PhD Requirements

The equivalent of 24 courses beyond the BA (including seminar, tutorial, and dissertation credit) is required for the PhD. Students who have done previous graduate work elsewhere may have some of those credits transferred for the degree here. (Transfer credit is determined on an individual basis by the Director of Graduate Studies.)

The specific program of graduate study is determined in part by the individual student who, in cooperation with an assigned faculty advisor, plans course work and research, including the selection of special requirements and methods of evaluation appropriate to the student's interests. The initial task of the advisor is to determine how the student will meet departmental requirements and whether the student is ready to select a field of specialization.

Once central and peripheral areas of interest are determined, the student begins work through courses, seminars and tutorials. Courses outside the department are often appropriate additions to work in philosophy. The advisor evaluates the progress of the student at the end of every second semester and presents the evaluation to the Director of Graduate Studies and the department's Progress and Evaluation Committee. After two years in the program, students are assessed by means of Qualifying Papers that are evaluated by the faculty as a whole.

During the first three years of the program, the student is expected to satisfy the department's minimum breadth requirements, the equivalent of seven courses. These include logic (1), history of philosophy (3), contemporary value theory and metaphysics/epistemology (3).

The dissertation is advised by a committee of three faculty members. Before writing the dissertation, students are required to pass a “topical examination” on the proposed subject. Any requirement for reading knowledge of foreign languages is set by the student’s committee. This requirement varies and depends on the student's research area.