M.A. in Philosophy - Courses and Degree Requirements

All master's students in philosophy take 27 credit hours of coursework (nine courses), including one course in each of the major historical areas of philosophy:

  • Ancient philosophy
  • Medieval philosophy 
  • Modern philosophy
  • Contemporary philosophy (analytic, continental, American, contemporary Thomism, feminist, environmental, etc.)

To remain in the program, master’s students must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA (based on a 4.0 scale).

  • All master’s students must complete a three-credit special project, or they may select the six-credit thesis option. Possibilities for this project include, but are not limited to:

    • Writing a research paper of 7,500 to 8,000 words;
    • Writing a paper applying philosophical ideas or concepts to another discipline or to a student's outside interest, professional work, or volunteer service;
    • Writing a paper incorporating a series of interviews with philosophical commentary;
    • A video or other media-based project with significant philosophical content; the project must be at least thirty minutes in length; or
    • A project exemplifying or related to the digital humanities.
    • Two qualifying papers earning grades of at least Pass for only Direct Ph.D. students earning a master’s in cursu.

    Students must secure the approval of two faculty members to proceed with a special project. These faculty members will evaluate the special project on a Pass/Fail basis, and the student must receive a grade of Pass from both faculty evaluators. If one evaluator assigns a grade of Pass and the other assigns a grade of Fail, a third faculty member will evaluate the project, and the student must receive a grade of Pass from the third evaluator in order to complete the requirement successfully. Special Projects must be submitted no later than December 15 for the fall semester and April 15 for the spring semester.

  • Master’s students electing the thesis option will take 24 credit hours (8 courses) satisfying the Master’s distribution requirement and complete a six-credit thesis containing a minimum of 15,000 words and not exceeding 20,000 words.

    Students selecting the thesis option must by the end of their penultimate semester have identified and secured a thesis director who will guide the student through the thesis. The student must also have prepared a two- to three-page thesis proposal for approval by the director and a second reader appointed by the Director of Graduate Studies. The director and reader will consider the student’s previous work in determining the acceptability of the thesis proposal. The completed thesis will be read and evaluated by the mentor and the same reader on a scale of High Pass/Pass/Fail. The student must receive a grade of at least Pass from both readers. If one reader assigns a grade of Fail, the thesis will be read by a third faculty member, and the student must receive a grade of at least Pass from the third reader in order to complete the requirement successfully. Theses must be submitted no later than December 10 for the fall semester and April 10 for the spring semester.

    Students successfully completing the thesis-option master’s program will be in a position to apply to Ph.D. programs. Master’s students wishing to pursue the Ph.D. at Fordham must apply separately to the Ph.D. program. Their applications will be evaluated with all the other applications received for the Ph.D. program.

  • There is no language requirement.

  • For detailed descriptions of the program’s requirements and expectations, see the Philosophy Graduate Student Handbook.