MA in Philosophy

Tufts MA in Philosophy is consistently the highest-ranked of its kind in the United States. It has an established record of placing its students in strong PhD programs in philosophy. Our program is ideal for students whose undergraduate preparation might not qualify them for a competitive doctoral program. We also have a record of placing our students in competitive law and JD/PhD programs. Students typically complete the program in two years, but some students elect to stay a third year.

Each year at least six seminars are offered, typically on faculty research interests, which include social ontology, philosophy of biology, metaethics, ordinary language philosophy, and special topics in the history of philosophy.

Program Requirements and Policies

  • The MA in Philosophy consists of twelve upper-level philosophy courses (courses numbered 100 or above). 
  • The department does not accept transfer courses 

Course Requirements

The twelve (12) courses must include:

  • Phil 103: Logic
    Students with proven strength in logic may be able to be exempt from the logic requirement.
  • Phil 297: Graduate Writing Seminar
    This course is designed to help students produce a highly polished paper as a capstone of their work in the program. This paper may serve as a writing sample for PhD applicants.

Coursework must satisfy a breadth requirement. All upper-level philosophy courses, except the graduate writing seminar, fall into at least one of three distribution areas. See Course Distribution list for allocation. Two courses are required in each of these three (3) areas:

  1. Normative philosophy
  2. History of philosophy
  3. Metaphysics and epistemology

Coursework must also satisfy a core courses requirement. One designated core course is required from each of the three distribution areas above. Core courses that will be offered on a regular basis (either annually or bi-annually) include the following:

  1. Within normative philosophy: Ethical Theory, Political Philosophy
  2. Within history of philosophy: Ancient Philosophy, History of Modern Philosophy
  3. Within metaphysics and epistemology: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind

In addition to the above courses, others may be offered in a given semester that will count as "core" in one of the three distribution areas. Those courses will be designated as such prior to that semester.

Core courses for Spring 2021 include:

  1. Metaphysics & Epistemology: Metaphysics, Phenomenology and Existentialism
  2. Normative Philosophy: Contemporary Political Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy
  3. History of Philosophy: 20th Century Analytic Philosophy, Empiricism

These courses satisfy the "core" component of our distribution requirement for the MA degree.

In deciding which courses to take, students should be aware that some are offered regularly and some are not.