Accelerated Master's Program in Philosophy
The accelerated master's program in philosophy allows academically strong philosophy majors presently enrolled in Fordham College Rose Hill or 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 B.A., enriching the undergraduate departmental experience and serving to distinguish graduation transcripts. The early admission program offers financial aid to a certain extent, since by double-counting three graduate courses, the M.A. total tuition bill is less than it would have been otherwise.
The program is 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 early admission program will be required to formally indicate their desire to matriculate by filling out an application to the graduate program and submitting it to the graduate school admissions office. Certain special conditions apply to these applicants:
- Two letters of recommendation are required.
- The application fee is waived.
- The GRE requirement is waived. (Students admitted to the early admission 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.
Students admitted into the program take three 5000-level graduate courses in their senior year. The graduate courses count towards the completion of both the B.A. degree and the M.A. degree. Students will participate in the normal B.A. graduation ceremonies in May following their senior year. Students then take six graduate courses at the 5000-level or above in the fifth year in order to complete the required 27 credit hours (9 courses) for the MA degree. All other requirements for the normal M.A. in philosophy, including required course distribution, GPA, and M.A. Special Project or M.A. Thesis apply.
The 9 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
- Contemporary Philosophy
Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 in course work.
All MA 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.
- For only Direct Ph.D. students earning an M.A. in cursu: Two qualifying papers earning grades of at least Pass.
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.
M.A. students electing the thesis option will take 24 credit hours (8 courses) satisfying the M.A. 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 with Distinction/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.
Students successfully completing the thesis-option MA program will be in a position to apply to Ph.D. programs. M.A. 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.