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Graduate Program

Philosophy Graduate Program
Philosophy Graduate Program

DePaul University's Department of Philosophy is home to one of the country's elite graduate programs in the area of continental philosophy. Our doctoral program is small and highly competitive, only admitting five to six students per year, and we are committed to funding all of those students fully, equally, and through their entire graduate career up to graduation. In our seminars, students have the opportunity to work with leading scholars in the fields of French twentieth century thought, German Idealism, social and political theory, the history of philosophy, Latin American philosophy, and feminism, among others. The program's distribution requirements ensure that all students take a broad range of courses in the history of European philosophy, extending from early and classical Greek thought, through the middle ages, all the way to modern figures such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Freud, as well as courses focused on late- or post-modern and contemporary figures such as, but not limited to, Bergson, Heidegger, Benjamin, Adorno, Henry, Deleuze, Foucault, Derrida, Irigaray, Badiou, and Kristeva.

Every year, the department offers both one-quarter and multi-quarter seminars and a program of regular Friday colloquia, as well as hosting frequent international conferences and even occasional week-long mini-seminars from visiting scholars. All of this works together to provide our students with the foundation for doing advanced research in their areas of interest, as well as to exposing them to philosophical problems, figures, and methodologies beyond that area of interest. We also stress close faculty counseling so that the program of each student can be tailored to his or her particular interests and strengths. Finally, in their third through their sixth years, after enrolling in a teaching practicum that thoroughly prepares them to enter the classroom, our students have the opportunity to design and teach an exceptionally wide range of undergraduate courses. 

We believe our students graduate from our doctoral program well-prepared to enter the profession of academic philosophy, as researchers and educators of the highest caliber.

NOTE: The DePaul Graduate Program in Philosophy does not require and does not consider Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores for admission to the graduate program in philosophy. 

Degree Requirements

If you have a BA or an MA degree in philosophy, or from a closely related discipline, you are eligible to apply for our graduate program and earn a PhD in Philosophy.

Philosophy MA & MA/PhD

Certificate Options

Graduate certificates are available in Bioethics, Business Ethics, and Women's & Gender Studies

Head (detail) by Irving Petlin  

Courses in the graduate program touch upon diverse areas of philosophy, with a primary orientation toward Continental Philosophy.

Did you know that DePaul's Philosophy Department sends one doctoral student per year to the prestigious École Normale Supérieure in Paris and that it hosts one ENS student every year here in Chicago? If you are a current or prospective graduate student in Philosophy and are interested in the exchange, please contact our Paris Graduate Exchange liaison, Michael Naas (

Our department is committed to the general goal of making philosophy an ever more inclusive discipline. Indeed, we believe that philosophical inquiry, in order to be carried out at the very highest level, demands a broad spectrum of different perspectives and a healthy community in which the expression of opinions and insights from every point on that spectrum is not only welcomed, but encouraged. In short, philosophy itself demands that we move toward greater inclusiveness with respect to previously under-represented groups in our ranks.

As a doctoral program in this discipline, we understand that we can play an important role in cultivating diversity in our discipline in general and thereby changing it for the better. And our goal year in and year out is to recruit a diverse graduate student class and to support and nurture those students as they progress through our program, complete their degrees, and enter the profession.

In order to realize this goal:

  • We encourage a full range of applicants with diverse backgrounds and we look carefully at applications with a generous eye toward academic potential.
  • We regularly collect data about the demographic make-up of our entire applicant pool, of those to whom we offered admission, and of those who accepted our offer and came to DePaul to study.
  • We are committed to supporting every student we admit with a complete funding offer (full stipend, tuition remission, travel monies, a health care supplement, and access to language classes). None of the students in our graduate program goes without support and all of our students receive the same level of support. This egalitarian policy, we believe, promotes a strong bond and a climate of mutual support among our students.
  • We also provide every doctoral student with a faculty mentor from his or her entry into our program. And we encourage the mentor to meet with the student every quarter; With this policy, it is our hope that challenges or obstacles that arise while students are becoming acclimated to graduate study in philosophy, especially students from under-represented groups, can be addressed quickly and effectively.
  • The curriculum of graduate courses that we offer naturally reflects our faculty strengths in the history of philosophy and in contemporary Continental Philosophy, but it also includes various internal and external critiques of and alternatives to that tradition.
  • Finally, we strive continuously to do better on all these fronts, to listen to suggestions or criticisms, and to engage in ongoing critical self-examination as a community. We try to maintain an environment of inclusiveness and respect, as well as remaining vigilant for both overt and subtler forms of discrimination and marginalization in our practices.