Graduate Program

Program Requirements

[NOTE: Each course is typically assigned 3 credits, or "SHUs" (Semester-hour units.) Please check SIS for course information, or learn more about SHUs.]


The M.A. in Philosophy requires completing twelve courses. Coursework must satisfy a breadth requirement. Two courses, one of which must be a designated core course, are required from each of three (3) distribution areas.


The coursework consists of twelve (12) upper-level philosophy courses (courses numbered 100 or above). We do not accept transfer courses.

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 Ph.D. applicants.

Coursework must satisfy a breadth requirement. Two courses are required in each of these three (3) areas:
  1. Normative philosophy
  2. History of philosophy
  3. Metaphysics and epistemology

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.

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.