DePaul University’s Graduate Program in Philosophy offers students the opportunity to study the history of philosophy from a broad, though not exclusively, European perspective and to work with some of the leading scholars in contemporary Continental thought, German Idealism, social and political theory, the history of philosophy, and ethics. Our highly innovative M.A. and Ph.D. programs are designed for students who are interested in reading the history of philosophy extending from early Greek thought, through Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and Kant, to more contemporary thinkers such as Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Irigaray and Derrida. While focusing on 19th and 20th century Continental Philosophy and the historical sources of these movements, we also provide our students with the necessary background to become conversant with other philosophical traditions and styles. Both the content of our offerings and the style in which we pursue our studies differ from those of most other schools in the English-speaking world.
We emphasize focused research seminars rather than broad survey, research papers rather than exams, guided research with students rather than comprehensive examinations. We prefer close-reading of texts to distant talk, careful and disciplined research to pedagogical rites of initiation. Students are strongly encouraged to refer to texts in the original language, in addition to translations, and are expected to acquire reading abilities in the foreign languages relevant to their research - at least one at the M.A. level and at least two at the Ph.D. level.
The department offers courses, seminars, mini-courses, directed research and colloquia to stimulate the student’s investigation of various philosophies and philosophical problems. It also stresses faculty counseling so that the program of each student can be tailored to his or her particular needs. Our program includes a regular Graduate Student Seminar, a student-organized forum in which students present papers and discuss their work. In addition, the department hosts a national conference for graduate students each Spring. Graduate students also elect a representative each year to represent the graduate students to the faculty.
The Department’s graduate programs seek
1.) to prepare those for teaching and research who have the scholarly competence to pursue academic work culminating in the master’s or doctor’s degree; and
2.) to offer to the capable adult whose philosophical goals are non-vocational the opportunity to study philosophy for personal enrichment. In keeping with the interests of its faculty and the need for focus on the graduate level, the department concentrates on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Continental Philosophy and the historical sources of these movements.
Master of Arts
The department offers two programs: an MA/Ph.D. and a terminal MA degree. The first is intended for those desiring to complete the doctoral degree. Even students taking a terminal master’s degree can profit from the experience of writing a thesis, however, and upon the approval of the graduate committee this option is open to them. Click here for more.
Students are accepted into the MA/Ph.D. program, and are expected to complete their Masters on the way to their doctoral degree. Students entering with a Masters degree may be given credit for their previous studies and this possibility will be discussed at the time offers of admission are made. it is also possible to apply for a terminal MA degree in Philosophy, although there is no funding for this course of study and there is no chance of entering into the Ph.D. program after completion of the MA. The terminal MA degree should be considered only by those not interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy, but for whom their MA studies would serve as a complement to other pursuits.
The department offers courses, seminars, independent studies and dissertation direction culminating in the award of a Ph.D. in philosophy. While the program touches diverse areas of philosophy, its chief orientation is toward Continental Philosophy, with many members of the department concentrating on issues in ethics and values studies within the tradition or in relation to the broader philosophical tradition.
Most graduate courses are taught in a series of streams organized each year under generic titles, such as German Idealism; Ethics; Society and Politics; or Contemporary French Philosophy. These are all research courses, with no distinction being made between M.A. and Ph.D. course levels. The expectation is that M.A. students will pursue the three courses of a stream through the year, unless they can offer convincing reasons for a shift from one stream to another; Ph.D. students, after completion of the M.A., are free to move in and out of streams as their research and interests dictate. Click here for more.