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M.A. Requirements

The course requirements for the M.A. are summarized below. Please contact one of the Graduate Advisors for specific questions. For information about Ph.D. degree requirements, click here.



Area Requirements     15 hours Area Requirements     15 hours
Electives                           9 hours Electives                           9 hours
Thesis                                6 hours Thesis                                0 hours
Internship                        0 hours Internship                        6 hours
Final Exam Final Exam
Total Hours                    30 hours Total Hours                    36 hours


Category A: Logic. PHIL 641, its equivalent, or a higher level logic course

Category B: History of Philosophy. Students are required to take TWO courses from the History of Philosophy. Courses that fulfill this requirement are:

PHIL 611, Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 614, Medieval
PHIL 616, Modern Philosophy
PHIL 620, Contemporary Philosophy (through 19th century)
PHIL 623, American Philosophy
PHIL 661, Seminar in History of Philosophy (through 19th century)
PHIL 682, Philosophical Authors (when author is figure before 20th Century)

Contemporary Traditions

ONE course from either Category C or D; ONE course from either Category E or F.

Category C: Analytic Philosophy: Metaphysics and Epistemology. This area encompasses work within the analytic and related traditions on metaphysics, epistemology, and similar topics. This should be read broadly to include topics like philosophy of science, language, or mind as well as others.

Category D: Analytic Philosophy: Value Theory. This area includes courses whose principal focus is work in ethics (theoretical or applied), social and political philosophy and aesthetics that is done within the analytic and related philosophical traditions.

Category E: Continental Philosophy. Courses in this area focus principally on 20th Century European thought and may include such themes as phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, deconstruction, post-structuralism, or critical theory.

Category F: New Perspectives on the Canon or non-European Philosophy. Courses in this area may focus on critical perspectives on traditional approaches to philosophy or examine philosophical traditions and authors that have traditionally not been represented in Analytic or Continental thought. Themes for these courses may include critical race theory, post-colonialism, black existentialism, Feminist Thought, and Latin American philosophy.


Area Requirements                15 hrs
Electives                                    9 hrs
Thesis/Research                      6 hrs

Total                                          30 hrs


May be selected from…

  • Any of the area requirement courses not used to meet an area requirement;
  • With approval of the student’s Advisory Committee: graduate courses outside the department (not to exceed six hours for thesis option students and nine hours for non-thesis option students);
  • Other graduate courses in philosophy;
  • With approval of the student’s Advisory Committee: up to nine hours of 300 or 400 level undergraduate courses in philosophy.


Students pursuing the thesis option normally will complete six hours of PHIL 691: Research.


  • Students who choose the non-thesis option in the M.A. program must complete an internship consisting of at least 90 hours of verifiable internship experience. For this experience the student will receive up to six hours of credit in PHIL 684.
  • Minimal requirements for completion of an internship are (1) a written report of at least 20 pages addressing philosophical issues encountered: and (2) an oral defense of this report before an M.A. committee.
  • Faculty advisors may impose additional requirements: to be specified at the beginning of the internship. Please note: Students must receive authorization from their advisors before beginning an internship.


There is no departmental language requirement for the MA. Each student forms a committee, which determines what language requirement, if any, is appropriate for the thesis or internship project the student wishes to undertake.


A final examination is required for both the thesis and non-thesis options. This exam must be scheduled in advance with the Office of Graduate Studies and cannot be taken until a thesis proposal or an internship project proposal is on file in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Review the Graduate Student Handbook for additional policies governing the graduate programs.