Degree Requirements for the M.A. 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 should consult with their academic advisors and must 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 thematic areas (including at least one paper in metaphysics, epistemology, or ethics). 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 (click here to see the kinds of questions readers have in mind when evaluating papers). 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 by the end of the third semester, and the second paper must be submitted by the end of the fourth semester. All M.A. students must demonstrate, either in course work or by departmental exam, a reading knowledge of one languages 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.