Philosophy Program

Master of Arts (Philosophy)

In the Master of Arts (Philosophy) [MAPh] program students develop knowledge in both history of philosophy and systematic philosophy, and bring that knowledge into critical dialogue with modern and contemporary philosophical thought.

The School of Athens – Raphael, 1509-10

Depending upon their personal goals, students pursue one of two options. Recommended for those with an interest in advanced graduate studies, the thesis option allows students to explore a focused area of academic research on a particular topic of interest through elective coursework and a written thesis. An oral defense of that thesis provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate oral communication skills. Students who enroll in the exam option integrate their knowledge in both history and systematic philosophy with a chosen area of contemporary inquiry. Students in this option demonstrate mastery of the material through a written comprehensive exam and oral presentations in the Philosophy Colloquium, which provides them with an opportunity to examine focused topics of interest in a collaborative learning environment.

The MAPh degree is a two-year program which requires a total of 48 units for each option distributed as indicated in the MAPh Thesis Option Degree Requirements and MAPH Exam Option Degree Requirements. Students must also complete all of the assessment portfolio requirements as described in the DSPT Student Handbook pdf. The maximum time permitted for the completion of the program is four years computed from the date of initial registration. Students are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

For admissions procedures for the M.A. (Philosophy) degree program, click here.

Goals and Outcomes

Thesis Option

In addition to the stated institutional goals, students in the MA (Philosophy), thesis option develop:

  1. A comprehensive knowledge of the history of the Western philosophical tradition;
  2. A detailed understanding of systematic philosophy;
  3. Skills for academic research;
  4. A focused knowledge in one specific topic of philosophical inquiry;
  5. Skills for advanced academic writing and publication.

Students demonstrate competence in these goals by:

  1. producing a thesis proposal which articulates and effectively communicates clear goals and outcomes for the proposed thesis;
  2. producing a well-written thesis that meets specified criteria, e.g. philosophical knowledge, writing skills, etc.;
  3. using the MA Colloquium and oral defense to demonstrate their skills for collaborative learning. Students will use their thesis proposal and thesis to demonstrate an ability
    • to listen attentively to input from peers and faculty on questions or points of disagreement, and
    • to formulate responses which incorporate issues raised.

 

Exam Option

In addition to the stated institutional goals, students in the MA (Philosophy), exam option develop:

  1. A comprehensive knowledge of the history of the Western philosophical tradition;
  2. A detailed understanding of systematic philosophy;
  3. Skills for academic research;
  4. An ability to integrate historical and systematic knowledge in a chosen area of interest;
  5. Skills for effective communication of philosophical ideas.

Students demonstrate competence in these goals by:

  1. producing three research papers by the conclusion of their program which meet specified criteria. N.B. One is the MA Colloquium Research Paper;
  2. using the MA Colloquium to produce a capstone research paper which synthesizes material from the program, and to demonstrate skills for effective communication and collaborative learning.

Continue on to the MAPh Thesis Option Degree Requirements or MAPH Exam Option Degree Requirements. Students currently enrolled in the MAPh must consult the DSPT Student Handbook pdf for program details.