College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Philosophy > Graduate Program > Philosophy (MA/PhD & PhD)

Philosophy (MA/PhD)


Philosophy (MA/PhD & PhD)

Deepen your research and cultivate your teaching

In the Philosophy PhD program, you’ll gain a foundational understanding of the discipline, grounded in continental European thought, through rigorous coursework and seminars. Through directed research, colloquia and the dissertation, you’ll also develop the expertise necessary to begin your academic career. In addition to your studies within the department, you’ll spend the spring of your second year abroad, engaged in immersive language study.

Students enter the program one of two ways:

  • With a BA in Philosophy, students complete MA coursework and matriculate through to the PhD
  • With an MA in Philosophy from another college or university, students begin PhD coursework

Work closely with leading scholars in

  • Contemporary continental thought
  • German idealism
  • Social and political theory
  • History of philosophy and ethics
  • Feminist philosophy
  • Psychoanalytic thought
  • Latin American philosophy

The department is committed to your success not only as a scholar but as a teacher. Our teaching practicum, taken over the second and third years of study, guides you in your transition from teaching assistant to teaching fellow to the academic job market, making you a strong candidate for tenure-track positions and postdocs.

There is a limitation of four years between admission to the doctoral program and admission to doctoral candidacy. The time between admission to candidacy and dissertation defense should be between eight months and two years.

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Chicago: a city of broad shoulders and broad minds

In addition to its world-renowned museums, libraries, political think tanks and historic neighborhoods, Chicago is home to a vibrant community of scholars. As part of an independent study, attend a lecture or seminar at one of our many neighboring universities. Present your work at local conferences and in our departmental student-organized Frings Colloquium, and take part in events organized around Chicago by groups such as the Ancient Greek and Philosophy Workshop, or by the Chicago-Area Consortium in German Philosophy.

PhD Completion

Upon completion of the required quarter hours, given your track, you must also complete four core courses at the 600-level or higher for admission into PhD candidacy. You’ll need to demonstrate competence in two languages, usually French, German, Spanish, Latin or Greek. PhDs are awarded upon successful defense of your dissertation.

Application Deadline

Applications for Fall 2020 are due January 4, 2019.

Admission Requirements

Submit an online application, official transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and writing sample. A proof of English proficiency test is required for international students.

Admission Requirements

Required Courses

If you enter the program with a BA, you’ll take 28 courses (112 credit hours), usually over the course of four years. If you enter after completing an MA in philosophy elsewhere, you’ll take 19 courses (76 credit hours), usually over three years.

Degree Requirements


of employed 2016 LAS graduates were in a job related to their degree

DePaul’s philosophy faculty are thought leaders

Study at DePaul alongside faculty with specialized interests, and you’ll learn about ancient Greek philosophers, anarchy in the modern age, feminist critiques of the tradition, and Latin American political thought. You’ll study the concept of phenomenology, critical theory, genealogy, psychoanalytic interpretation and deconstruction. Our faculty are also experts in niche areas, such as the ethics of corporations and how philosophy and music are entwined.

“I joined the Philosophy program at DePaul because of the top-rated faculty in continental philosophy, the commitment to foreign-language acquisition and the opportunities to study abroad. Through weekly reading groups, I was able to improve my German significantly, which was of great help when I spent a semester abroad at the University of Freiburg in Germany. Later in my time at DePaul I applied for and received a Fulbright research fellowship to go back to Germany. The faculty in the philosophy department at DePaul were incredibly supportive and helpful during the process, no doubt because several of them had done research abroad on Fulbright fellowships as well.”

Ian (PhD ’16)
Philosophy faculty member, St. John’s College, Santa Fe, NM

Ian, Philosophy PhD, 2016  

Alumni Network

Graduates of the Philosophy PhD program have gone on to positions at institutions such as Emory University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Memphis, Duquesne University, Whitman College, Luther College, Colby College and University of California, Berkeley.
View Philosophy alumni placements and appointments.

Contact Information

For more information about applying, contact The Office of Graduate Admission at (773) 325-7315 or

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