- Metaphysics and Epistemology
- History of Philosophy
- Value Theory
After selecting an area, students must satisfy distribution requirements. Distribution requirements in the four areas of Philosophy are defined below.
Metaphysics and Epistemology + Logic
Students in this are area must satisfy a disjunctive requirement regarding the categories of Metaphysics and Epistemology and of Logic:
- Metaphysics and Epistemology: Three graduate courses. These three should be in different subareas of metaphysics and epistemology, as defined above. At least one of the three courses must be on the list of automatically approved courses. P590s will not count toward the Metaphysics and epistemology distribution requirement.
Logic: One graduate logic course. You must demonstrate a thorough understanding of first-order logic. Successful completion of P505 will be taken as demonstrating such understanding.
- Metaphysics and Epistemology: Two graduate courses. The two should be in different subareas of metaphysics and epistemology. At least one of the two courses must be on the list of automatically approved courses. P590s will not count toward the metaphysics and epistemology distribution requirement.
Logic: Two graduate logic courses. You must demonstrate a thorough understanding of first-order logic. Successful completion of P505 will be taken as demonstrating such understanding.
History of Philosophy (three units)
A unit in history can consist of any of the following:
- a graduate course
- a written paper on a topic in one of the four historical periods: ancient, medieval, modern, and recent
- a written examination on a topic in one of the four periods
- or a written examination covering a broad range within the history of philosophy.
At least one unit must be in ancient or medieval history and one in post-medieval history. The third “wild card” unit in history may be in any of the four historical periods. It could also be a course such as history of ethics, history of aesthetics, history of logic, etc., provided that the course is approved by the history committee.
In addition to the automatically approved courses listed below, P710 can count for any of the periods, depending on its content. Students must seek approval for P710 from the history area committee, and the area committee will decide whether the course counts, based on course content and the student’s competence in the philosophy of the relevant period. Other courses may count, depending on committee approval.
Value theory (two units)
Two graduate level courses, with at least one in ethics. At least one course should be either P540, P541, or P740. The second course should come from the list of automatically approved courses below. Students may petition to substitute for one or possibly both of the courses a course not on the list of automatically approved courses, but there is no presumption that any other courses will count. The decision whether any other courses will count will be made on the basis of what other courses the student has taken, the opportunities the student has had for taking automatically approved courses, and the student’s area of concentration.
Two courses with the same number can count toward the distribution requirement provided their course content is sufficiently different; you must petition for the second course to count. Distribution requirements should normally be satisfied by the end of your second year, but in all cases should be satisfied by the end of the third year of graduate study.
Interdisciplinary track distribution requirements
An interdisciplinary track is considered to be 18 credit hours in a department or program outside of Philosophy that is of importance to your area of specialty. It is typically in the area of the student’s minor.
Graduate students pursuing an interdisciplinary track may request an ad hoc exemption of one or two of the above units of the department’s standard distribution requirements. The written request should be made to the director of graduate studies before the end of the second year. A good case must be made for the usefulness of the outside work being proposed, either for the student’s dissertation or for other career objectives. The specific courses being taken, as well as the distribution units to be dropped, must be described in the application.
If the request is to drop two units from one area or to drop one unit from Logic under option (1) of the disjunctive requirement, the director of graduate studies will seek the approval of the area committee before granting the request.
If the student on an interdisciplinary track is given a one unit exemption in any area, then the expectation is that the remaining unit (or units) that count toward the distribution requirements in that area will be courses on the list of automatically approved courses.
Note concerning cross-listed courses: If more than three credits of the 18 interdisciplinary track credits are from cross-listed Philosophy courses, the above exemption will not be granted; if one to three credits are from such courses, then the exemption cannot be granted for more than one unit of the distribution requirements.
Use your Graduate Academic Bulletin
Students pursuing a graduate degree in Philosophy should use the University Graduate School Academic Bulletin.
Official requirements for our degrees can be found by clicking on the Bulletin below:
2020-21: Philosophy University Graduate School Academic Bulletin