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

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 112 quarter hours of graduate level course work (28 courses) is required for the PhD. This includes 104 quarter hours of course work (26 courses), 4 quarter hours of PHL 697 (Graduate Teaching Practicum), and 4 quarter hours of PHL 699 (Dissertation Research).

Of the 112 quarter hours (28 courses) required for the PhD, 32 quarter hours (8 courses) must be taken in accordance with the following distribution requirements:

  • Four History of Western Philosophy Courses
  • Two in Ancient or Medieval: 8 quarter hours
  • Two in Modern or Nineteenth Century: 8 quarter hours
  • Two Contemporary European Philosophy Courses: 8 quarter hours
  • Two Normative Philosophy Courses: 8 quarter hours

Course Distribution List

History of Western Philosophy - Ancient or Medieval

Course Title Quarter Hours
PHL 400
SPECIAL TOPICS IN TRADITIONAL PHILOSOPHERS
PHL 410
PLATO I
PHL 411
PLATO II
PHL 415
ARISTOTLE I
PHL 416
ARISTOTLE II
PHL 420
AUGUSTINE
PHL 425
AQUINAS
PHL 500
SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY

History of Western Philosophy - Modern or Nineteenth Century

Course Title Quarter Hours
PHL 400
SPECIAL TOPICS IN TRADITIONAL PHILOSOPHERS
PHL 434
HOBBES
PHL 435
DESCARTES
PHL 437
LOCKE
PHL 438
LEIBNIZ
PHL 440
SPINOZA
PHL 441
ROUSSEAU
PHL 445
HUME
PHL 500
SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
PHL 510
KANT I
PHL 511
KANT II
PHL 512
KANT III
PHL 515
HEGEL I
PHL 516
HEGEL II
PHL 517
HOLDERLIN
PHL 518
SCHELLING
PHL 520
MARX I
PHL 521
MARX II
PHL 525
NIETZSCHE

Contemporary European Philosophy

Course Title Quarter Hours
PHL 470
PHILOSOPHY OF WITTGENSTEIN
PHL 535
HUSSERL I
PHL 536
HUSSERL II
PHL 550
HEIDEGGER I
PHL 551
HEIDEGGER II
PHL 552
HEIDEGGER III
PHL 557
TOPICS IN CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY
PHL 559
FOUCAULT
PHL 560
THE PHILOSOPHY OF GABRIEL MARCEL
PHL 561
LYOTARD
PHL 565
MERLEAU-PONTY I
PHL 566
MERLEAU-PONTY II
PHL 570
SARTRE I
PHL 571
SARTRE II
PHL 577
DERRIDA I
PHL 578
DERRIDA II
PHL 585
RICOEUR
PHL 586
METAPHOR AND POETIC LANGUAGE
PHL 587
READING LEVINAS I
PHL 588
READING LEVINAS II
PHL 589
PHILOSOPHY, LITERATURE, COMMUNITY
PHL 590
TRENDS IN CONTEMPORARY FRENCH PHILOSOPHY

Normative Philosophy

Course Title Quarter Hours
PHL 443
MEDICAL LEGAL ETHICS
PHL 522
SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
PHL 527
PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS, AND ECONOMICS
PHL 591
CRITICAL RACE THEORY
PHL 601
SEMINAR ON AESTHETICS
PHL 629
SEMINAR ON CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS
PHL 640
PROBLEMS IN ETHICS
PHL 641
SEMINAR ON THE CONTINENTAL TRADITION IN ETHICS
PHL 651
TOPICS IN BUSINESS ETHICS
PHL 656
SEMINAR ON SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT
PHL 657
TOPICS IN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT
PHL 660
SEMINAR IN FEMINIST ETHICS
PHL 661
TOPICS IN FEMINIST THEORY

Additional Requirements

Annual Reviews

The Graduate Affairs Committee conducts annual formal reviews of each student’s progress toward the doctoral degree. The purpose of the review session is to discuss the student’s experience in the program thus far, address any questions or concerns that they might have, and assess how well they are meeting the expectations relevant to their year in the program. 

As part of the review process, students are required to submit a self-evaluation of their progress in the program, teaching evaluations (when serving as a Teaching Fellow) and, until all their course work is completed (typically, through their fourth year in the program), students are also required to submit two file papers for review. These papers are read by a second member of the faculty who assesses whether the papers meet relevant standards of graduate level work and thus indicate appropriate progress in the program for each student.

Students deemed not to be making satisfactory progress may be placed on probation or, where the circumstances in the judgment of the Graduate Affairs Committee warrant, the student may be required to leave the doctoral program.

Foreign Languages Requirement

The Philosophy Department places a very high priority on working with texts in original languages, rather than translations. For doctoral students, competence in two languages of research is thus required. Typically, these are Greek, Latin, French, or German. Competence in other languages may be used to fulfill the language requirements if it is deemed appropriate to the research undertaken by the student. In the latter case, prior to beginning preparation to pass a language requirement (by either of the two paths outlined below), the student must submit a short paragraph to the Director of Graduate Studies, to be reviewed by the Graduate Affairs Committee, outlining why the language in question will be important to the student’s future research.

Each student must complete the requirement for one language before scheduling a Dissertation Proposal Defense, and they must complete the requirement for a second language before scheduling a Dissertation Defense.

There are two ways in which students can complete the Foreign Languages requirement:

  1. Student may pass a departmentally administered Language Competency Exam, which are offered just before the start of every quarter. This usually involves asking the student to translate a selection from a philosophical text in the original language.
  2. Students may, alternatively, complete a certain number of classes in the Modern Languages Department, maintaining a B+ average each quarter. For ancient languages, students must take through the first year. For modern languages, students must take through year two.

Dissertation

Students must form a dissertation committee and submit and defend a dissertation proposal before that committee. Each student must then submit a dissertation and successfully defend it before their dissertation committee. 

The dissertation is a thesis, approximately 200-275 pages (60,000-85,500 words) in length, including scholarly apparatus. The precise topic, structure, and length of the dissertation is to be determined in consultation with the dissertation Director and the other members of the dissertation committee. 

Optional Certificates

Graduate Certificate in Bioethics

The Graduate Certificate in Bioethics is an option for doctoral candidates in Philosophy who want (a) to cultivate their ability to engage in critical analysis of bioethical issues, and (b) to train to teach bioethics, biomedical ethics, or medical ethics to a variety of different kinds of students.

The Certificate requirements are as follows:

Course Requirements:

A minimum of 16 quarter hours including:

Course Title Quarter Hours
PHL 529THE PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF BIOETHICS4
Select three other approved elective courses within the DePaul Philosophy Department’s graduate offerings. The elective can be selected from the following courses:12
PHL 416
ARISTOTLE II
PHL 425
AQUINAS
PHL 511
KANT II
PHL 520
MARX I
or PHL 521
MARX II
PHL 641
SEMINAR ON THE CONTINENTAL TRADITION IN ETHICS
PHL 656
SEMINAR ON SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT
PHL 660
SEMINAR IN FEMINIST ETHICS
PHL 661
TOPICS IN FEMINIST THEORY
Training/Teaching Requirements
  1. Students must participate in the Biomedical Ethics Training Program or serve as a Teaching Assistant for PHL 229 BIOMEDICAL ETHICS with a tenured or tenure-line faculty member. 
  2. Upon completion of the training program or assistantship, students must teach at least two sections of Biomedical Ethics (PHL 229). 

Applicants apply for the Certificate by sending a letter of intent to the Director of Graduate Studies. Applicants agree to make the above required courses part of their program of study for the Ph.D and must maintain a B average in all Certificate courses.

Graduate Certificate in Business Ethics

The Graduate Certificate in Business Ethics is an option for doctoral students in Philosophy who want to gain a competency in business ethics, qualifying them to teach undergraduate and MBA courses in that subject. This Certificate does not require a dissertation in applied ethics. Rather it is designed to give students, regardless of their area of specialization, a strong background in business ethics so that they will be competent and competitive in the academic market, as well as comfortable teaching business ethics both at DePaul and in their academic careers.  

A minimum of 16 quarter hours including:

Course Title Quarter Hours
PHL 527PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS, AND ECONOMICS4
or PHL 640 PROBLEMS IN ETHICS
MGT 500LEADING EFFECTIVE AND ETHICAL ORGANIZATIONS (or another graduate level course in Commerce approved by the Certificate Chair)4
PHL 641SEMINAR ON THE CONTINENTAL TRADITION IN ETHICS4
Select one other approved elective course within the DePaul Philosophy Department’s graduate offerings. The elective can be selected from the following courses:4
PHL 437
LOCKE
PHL 441
ROUSSEAU
PHL 520
MARX I
or PHL 521
MARX II
PHL 559
FOUCAULT
PHL 651
TOPICS IN BUSINESS ETHICS
PHL 656
SEMINAR ON SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT

Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies

The Women’s and Gender Studies Graduate Certificate Program at DePaul University is offered by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and it is available to students in the doctoral program in the Department of Philosophy. 

The Program’s requirements are:

  • WGS 400 FEMINIST THEORIES 
  • Three additional graduate-level elective courses approved by Women’s and Gender Studies. The student should petition for approval for courses from the WGS Director of Graduate Studies.

It is highly recommended that students take the foundational course, WGS 400, prior to the other three required WGS electives. The elective courses may be taken from the Women’s and Gender Studies offerings and/or from courses in other departments and programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences that have been approved by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

Other Requirements
  • Students will be required to teach two Business Ethics courses (this could be in the Department of Philosophy, the Religious Studies Department or in a Management Department at DePaul or in other area universities.) Given that many PhD students in Philosophy are required to teach, this is not always an additional teaching requirement. 
  • Attend and participate in at least one professional conference or complete an internship in applied ethics. In terms of Conferences, students will have to present a paper at the annual meeting of the Society for Business Ethics or the annual Vincentian Conference on Business Ethics. (Expenses will be covered by the Institute for Business and Professional Ethics.) A publishable paper would be the optimal goal. In terms of internships, such opportunities will have to be directly related to Business Ethics, Sustainability or Societal Justice. This will be approved by the Certificate Chair in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Applicants can apply by sending a letter of intent to the Certificate Chair and the Director of Graduate Studies. Applicants must have at least a B average and will agree to make the above required courses as part of their program of study for the PhD.​​​

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