DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > Philosophy > Graduate Program > Philosophy (MA and MA/PhD)

Philosophy (MA/PhD)

The graduate program in Philosophy offers you 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,
  • History of philosophy and ethics.
The program provides you with the necessary background to become conversant with these and other philosophical traditions and styles. We also stress faculty counseling so that your program can be tailored to meet your particular needs.

The department offers two distinct master's degrees:

  • A master's degree that is used as a step to attaining a PhD. These students apply directly into the MA/PhD program.
  • A terminal master's degree that is intended only for students who do not plan on pursuing a doctorate. There is no funding available for the Terminal MA Program.

Real-World Experience

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 rather than comprehensive examinations. We prefer close reading of texts to distant talk, and careful and disciplined research to pedagogical rites of initiation.

You 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 your research.

Program Highlights

The department offers courses, seminars, mini-courses, directed research and colloquia to stimulate your investigation of various philosophies and philosophical problems. The MA 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.

Program Structure

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 MA and PhD course levels.

The expectation is that MA 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; PhD students, after completion of the MA, are free to move in and out of streams as their research and interests dictate.

Program Length

The Philosophy MA requires 48 quarter hours of graduate philosophy courses numbered 400 and over for degree completion. 

Program Participants

The program is designed for:

  • Students pursuing a masters degree in preparation for teaching and research.
  • Adults seeking to study philosophy for personal enrichment.

Certificate Options

The Philosophy MA program may also be expanded to include a graduate certificate. The combined programs require either the completion of additional coursework or careful elective selection to fulfill all requirements. A certificate is available in:

  • Women's and Gender Studies

If you're interested in a certificate, a separate application process is required. Contact the program office for additional information.