Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY


Degree Requirements

Master of Arts (MA) Program

All M.A. students are required to take 30 credit-hours (10 courses) in philosophy, including one course in each of the major areas of the history of philosophy: Ancient Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy; Modern Philosophy, and Contemporary Philosophy. Students must consult with their academic advisors and obtain the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in selecting the courses that will satisfy these requirements. Each semester the Director of Graduate Studies will identify those courses satisfying each of these requirements.  Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 in course work.


All M.A. students must submit two papers dealing with two different historical periods (ancient, medieval, modern, or contemporary) and two different thematic areas (metaphysics, epistemology, or ethics, including social and political philosophy). These papers must contain a minimum of 5000 words and must not exceed 7500 words.  The papers are to be prepared for blind reviewing, and each paper will be read by a board of two readers chosen by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students must receive a grade of at least Pass from both readers on each paper. Each reader will prepare a statement regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the paper and, if necessary, of what needs to be done to improve the paper so that it is of passing quality.  If one reader assigns a grade of Pass (or higher) and the other assigns a grade of Fail, a third reader will be assigned, and the student must receive a grade of Pass (or higher) from the third reader. Students receiving an overall grade below Pass on one or both papers will receive the readers’ statements regarding their papers.  Students receiving an overall grade below Pass on one or both papers may resubmit a revision of that paper only once for reevaluation.  One paper must be submitted no later than the midpoint of the third semester, and the second paper must be submitted no later than the midpoint of the fourth semester.

All M.A. students must demonstrate, either in course work or by departmental exam, a reading knowledge of one language other than English, normally French or German, though substitutions (e.g., Greek or Latin) may be approved in light of a student's research needs. The courses satisfying the language requirement are FREN 5090 (French) or GERM 5002 (German), or above.
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Early Admissions Option to the MA Program: 

The accelerated MA program in philosophy allows academically strong philosophy majors presently enrolled in Fordham College Rose Hill and Fordham College Lincoln Center to attain both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in philosophy in five years.  Courses on the graduate level begin before completing the BA, enriching the undergraduate departmental experience and serving to distinguish graduation transcripts. The accelerated program offers financial aid to a certain extent, since by double-counting three graduate courses, the MA total tuition bill is less than it would have been otherwise.

Admission to the Program:

The program will be available to philosophy majors who have a cumulative 3.2 overall grade point average or above and at least a 3.5 in philosophy after five semesters of work in the College.  Students who qualify will receive a description of the program and an invitation to apply from the Chair or Associate Chair of the department after grades for the Fall Semester (Junior Year) have been posted and before registration for Fall Semester (Senior Year) begins. 

In the Spring Semester of junior year students interested in the accelerated program will be required to formally indicate the desire to matriculate by filling out an application to the graduate program and submitting it to the Graduate School Admissions Office, along with two letters of recommendation.   The application fee and the GRE requirement are waived.  (Students admitted to the accelerated program must take the GRE if and when they apply for the doctoral program.)

Applicants will be interviewed by the Chair or Director of Graduate Studies.  The application will be reviewed by the department's Admissions Committee, which will make a recommendation to the Chair for or against admission to the M.A program, and the department's recommendation will be forwarded to the Graduate School for final action.
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Degree Requirements:

Students admitted into the program will take three 5000-level graduate courses in their Senior Year.  The graduate courses count towards both the completion of the BA degree and MA degree.  Students will participate in the normal BA graduation ceremonies in May following their Senior Year.  Students will take an additional seven graduate courses at the 5000-level or above in order to complete the required 30 credit-hours (10 courses) for the M.A. degree. 

The ten courses taken for the degree must include one course in each of the major areas of the history of philosophy: Ancient Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy; Modern Philosophy, and Contemporary Philosophy. Students must consult with their academic advisors and obtain the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in selecting the courses that will satisfy these requirements. Each semester the Director of Graduate Studies will identify those courses satisfying each of these requirements.  Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 in course work.

All M.A. students must submit two papers dealing with two different historical periods (ancient, medieval, modern, or contemporary) and two different thematic areas (metaphysics, epistemology, or ethics, including social and political philosophy). These papers must contain a minimum of 5000 words and must not exceed 7500 words.  The papers are to be prepared for blind reviewing, and each paper will be read by a board of two readers chosen by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students must receive a grade of at least Pass from both readers on each paper. Each reader will prepare a statement regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the paper and, if necessary, of what needs to be done to improve the paper so that it is of passable quality. If one reader assigns a grade of Pass (or higher) and the other assigns a grade of Fail, a third reader will be assigned, and the student must receive a grade of Pass (or higher) from the third reader. Students receiving an overall grade below Pass on one or both papers will receive the readers’ statements regarding their papers.  Students receiving an overall grade below Pass on one or both papers may resubmit a revision of that paper only once for reevaluation.  One paper must be submitted no later than the midpoint of the fall semester of the fifth year, and the second paper must be submitted by the midpoint of the following spring semester.

All M.A. students must demonstrate, either in course work or by departmental exam, a reading knowledge of one language other than English, normally French or German, though substitutions (e.g., Greek or Latin) may be approved inlight of a student's research needs. The courses satisfying the language requirement are FREN 5090 (French) or GERM 5002 (German), or above.
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Master of Arts in Philosophical Resources (MAPR) Program

Course Requirements: Students must complete 36 hours of course work (12 courses), including at least four author courses (Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas); two historical survey courses (Classical Modern and Nineteenth Century); two seminars in contemporary philosophy (elective); two ethics courses (Natural Law Ethics and Modern Ethical Theories);  and a two-semester integration seminar.  A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in coursework must be maintained. Only six credits of 2.0 (C) will be credited toward the degree. Twelve credits of C eliminate a student from the program. 

Comprehensive Exam: There is an oral comprehensive examination before a board of examiners consisting of three faculty members. 

Language Requirement: A reading knowledge of one language other than English is required, normally either French or German, though substitutions (e.g., Greek or Latin) may be approved in light of a student’s research needs.  This can be demonstrated either in course work or by departmental exam. The courses satisfying the language requirement are FREN 5090 (French) or GERM 5090 (German), or above.
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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program

All Ph.D. students are required to take 48 hours of course work (16 courses) or, if entering with an M.A. in philosophy, 30 hours of course work (10 courses).  These courses must include nine courses in the four major areas of the history of philosophy:
  •  Ancient Philosophy: two courses.
  •  Medieval Philosophy: two courses.
  •  Modern Philosophy: two courses.
  •  Contemporary Philosophy: three courses, one in “analytic” philosophy, one in “continental” philosophy, and one in an area of contemporary philosophy other than analytic or continental philosophy, e.g., American philosophy or contemporary Thomism or feminist philosophy.
Students must consult with their academic advisors and obtain the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in selecting the courses that will satisfy these requirements. Students are encouraged to diversify the figures and trends studied in fulfillment of the requirements. Each semester the Director of Graduate Studies will identify those courses satisfying each of these requirements.  Students entering with an M.A. will have their graduate transcripts evaluated by the Director of Graduate Studies in order to determine which of these course requirements have already been satisfied at the graduate level.  No more than three 5000-level courses may be taken toward the satisfaction of the 48-credit requirement for the Ph.D. Students entering with an M.A. must take all their courses at the 6000-level or above.  Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.5 in course work.

In addition, all students must take the course Proseminar: Philosophical Research and Writing in their first semester (effective with the class entering in the fall of 2010), and all students interested in teaching in the department or required to teach by the terms of their financial aid awards must take the course Seminar: Philosophical Education in their fourth semester (second semester for students entering with an M.A.).  While these courses carry credit, the credits earned therein do not count toward the satisfaction of the 48-hour requirement.  These courses are typically taken as a fourth course.
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All Ph.D. students must submit two qualifying papers of publishable quality dealing with two different historical periods (ancient, medieval, modern, or contemporary) and two different thematic areas (metaphysics, epistemology, or ethics, including social and political philosophy). A paper will be deemed publishable when a reader judges that it is worthy of submission to a professional journal. The qualifying papers must contain a minimum of 5000 words and must not exceed 7500 words.  The papers are to be prepared for blind reviewing, and each paper will be read by a board of two readers chosen by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students must receive a grade of at least High Pass from both readers on each paper. A paper will be graded High Pass when it is of publishable quality as defined above.  Each reader will prepare a statement regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the paper and, if necessary, of what needs to be done to improve the paper so that it is of publishable quality. If one reader assigns a grade of High Pass (or higher) and the other assigns a grade lower than High Pass, a third reader will be assigned, and the student must receive a grade of High Pass (or higher) from the third reader. Students receiving an overall grade below High Pass on one or both papers will receive the readers’ statements regarding their papers.  Students receiving an overall grade below High Pass on one or both papers may resubmit a revision of that paper only once for reevaluation.  Students receiving a grade below High Pass on any resubmitted paper will not be allowed to continue in the program. If both papers have earned a grade of at least Pass, the student will receive a terminal M.A. degree. This requirement must be completed before the beginning of the fifth semester (third semester for students entering with an M.A. in philosophy).  It is strongly recommended that one paper be submitted no later than the midpoint of the fall semester of the third semester (first semester for students entering with an M.A.), and the second paper be submitted by the midpoint of the fourth semester (second semester for students entering with an M.A.).
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All Ph.D. students must develop a reading list tied to the student’s dissertation research area. The reading list is to be developed in consultation with the student’s chosen mentor and approved by a qualifying committee comprising the student’s mentor and two examiners appointed by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the mentor.  The reading list must be both substantial and manageable, and should include, in addition to the primary and secondary works most essential to the dissertation research area, the most relevant works from one historical area (i.e., ancient, medieval, or modern) and two contemporary areas (i.e., analytic, continental, or some tradition in contemporary philosophy other than analytic or continental philosophy, e.g., American philosophy, contemporary Thomism, or feminist philosophy).  Students must gain approval of the list from the qualifying committee by the end of their fifth semester (third semester for students who enter with an M.A. in philosophy).

All Ph.D. students must pass an oral examination based on the reading list.   Students must sit for their qualifying exam by the end of the seventh semester(fifth semester for students entering with an M.A. in philosophy).   The oral examwill be administered by the committee that approved the reading list. After the exam each member of the committee will write a report detailing the reasons for the grade he or she assigns.These reports must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies within three days of the examination.  Students must earn a grade of at least High Pass on the exam by earning a grade of High Pass or higher from at least two of the examiners. No student receiving a grade of Fail from any examiner can achieve an overall grade of High Pass for an exam. Students may retake this examination no more than once, and a retake must be completed by the end of the eighth semester (sixth semester for students entering with an M.A. in philosophy). Students not earning a grade of High Pass on the retake will not be allowed to continue in the program and will receive a terminal M.A.
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All Ph.D. students must demonstrate, either in course work or by departmental exam, a reading knowledge of two languages other than English, normally French and German, though substitutions (e.g., Greek or Latin) may be approved in light of a student's research needs. The courses satisfying the language requirement are FREN 5090 (French) or GERM 5002 (German), or above.

All Ph.D. students must demonstrate, either in course work or by departmental exam, an understanding of the elements of symbolic logic. The course satisfying the logic requirement is PHIL 5100.

All Ph.D. students must obtain approval of a dissertation proposal.  Topics for dissertations are approved upon the student's successful defense of a proposal before a panel of four faculty members. The dissertation proposal will normally be defended by the end of the eighth semester (sixth semester for students entering with an M.A. in philosophy).

All Ph.D. students must complete a dissertation (normally of no more than 350 pages).

All Ph.D. students must publicly defend the dissertation before a panel of five faculty members, which includes the mentor and two readers and two examiners. (By agreement with the medieval studies program, a special qualifying examination must be taken by doctoral students enrolled in that program.)
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For descriptions of recent courses please visit Fordham's Online Course Catalog or review on program website.



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