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

Philosophy (MA/PhD)

Philosophy (MA and PhD)
Philosophy (MA and 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.

Whether you enter the program with a BA or an MA, we fund your entire doctoral program and ask you to complete it in six years or fewer. This means six years of complete tuition remission, a $22,000 stipend, a $3,000 supplement (to pay for extra expenses, such as health care), and travel funding to present your work at academic conferences.

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 2024 are due January 6, 2024.

Admission Requirements

Submit an online application, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and writing sample. A proof of English proficiency test is required for international students. GRE scores are not required and will not be considered.

Admission Requirements

Required Courses

Each student, whether entering with a BA or an MA, is required to take 28 courses (112 credit hours) over the course of four years.

Degree Requirements


of Philosophy graduates were employed, continuing their education or pursuing other goals within six months of graduation.

Learn from published scholars

At DePaul, you’ll learn directly from esteemed philosophers like Sean Kirkland, PhD, associate professor and director of graduate studies for philosophy. Kirkland has had numerous books, book chapters, articles, papers, and essays published. His most recent piece of work is a collection that came out with Northwestern University Press titled A Companion to Ancient Philosophy which is a collection of essays on a broad range of themes and figures spanning the entire period extending from the Pre-Socratics to Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic thinkers.

“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

Take the next step

We’ll send you information about the degree, admission requirements and upcoming info sessions. Let’s get started.

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