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Program Overview

The doctoral program, designed to be completed in five years, includes five components: core courses, a background competence requirement, Dissertation Research Seminars, a dissertation prospectus and a dissertation. The core course requirements include two proseminars that emphasize supervised writing and research, courses in the history of philosophy, two courses in contemporary philosophy (one in moral or political philosophy, the other in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, or philosophy of science), and minimal literacy in logic. The background competence requirement requires one of the following (to be decided in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies):

  1. Competence in a second language other than English;
  2. Completion of a course in advanced logic (250-level or above); or
  3. A skills requirement involving work in a related discipline (Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Mathematics, etc.) or a complementary philosophical area.

To receive the PhD, students must pass an oral examination qualifying them for the dissertation, and then write a dissertation and orally defend it at the doctoral examination (final defense).

For more complete information about our program requirements, please see the Department of Philosophy's Graduate Program Handbook, 2023-24