Graduate programs

The master of arts (M.A.) program may be pursued to enhance one's knowledge and appreciation of philosophy, to complement one's work in another field, or to prepare for or make up one's mind about pursuing the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.). The Ph.D. program is designed especially, though not exclusively, for those wishing to prepare for a career as professional philosophers.

Admission guidelines

Prospective students should indicate to which program they are seeking admission: the M.A. or Ph.D.

Although the M.A. is not a prerequisite for the Ph.D. program, students who do not have a substantial background in philosophy are advised to apply first for admission to the M.A. program. A student who performs well in the M.A. program may later be admitted to the Ph.D. program, and credits earned toward the M.A. may be applied to the Ph.D.

Master of arts requirements

Students are expected to have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 from an accredited college or 3.0 from an unaccredited college, in upper division (approximately the last 60 credits) undergraduate courses. Any applicant whose GPA falls below this standard may be asked to submit scores from a recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Otherwise, the university does not require GRE scores.

It is desirable to have taken courses on logic, value theory, and the history of philosophy, though applicants without any (or minimal) undergraduate philosophy courses are not discouraged from applying. Students applying for admission to the M.A. program whose preparation is deemed insufficient may be asked to take courses as a non-degree student before being considered for admission. Some credits earned under non-degree status can be applied to the M.A. once the student is admitted.

Doctor of philosophy, Ph.D. requirements

An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.

Application procedures

Applicants for admission to either the M.A. or Ph.D. program must submit an online application with the Office of Graduate Admissions.

To be assured of consideration, students should apply before May 1 for admission to the fall semester, and October 1 for admission to the winter semester.

Students may apply after these deadlines but there may be insufficient time to process such applications. Students who wish to be considered for graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) or fellowships are encouraged to submit all application materials by January 15, although we will continue to consider students for aid after that date as resources permit.

In addition to meeting the university requirements, applicants must also submit the following as part of their online applications:

For the M.A.

  • Personal statement
  • Writing sample (preferably on a philosophical topic)
  • Three letters of recommendation (preferably from instructors who are in a position to assess the applicant's capacity for graduate work in philosophy)

For the Ph.D.

  • Personal statement
  • Writing sample (which must be on a philosophical topic)
  • Three letters of recommendation (which must be from instructors who are in a position to assess the applicant's capacity for graduate work in philosophy)

Financial aid  

We currently provide financial support to over 80 percent of our Ph.D. students in the form of university fellowships, graduate teaching assistantships, and adjunct teaching work. If you are applying to the Ph.D. program and wish to be considered for such support, please indicate this in your cover letter. For more information about opportunities for financial aid, please see the Philosophy Graduate Student Handbook (PDF) and the Graduate School funding site.

Contact

Questions concerning admission to our graduate programs, the application process, and the status of applications should be directed to the director of graduate studies, assessment, and admissions at Philosophy_DGS@wayne.edu.