Graduate Degree Information

Graduate Degrees Offered

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Philosophy

Admissions Information and Deadlines

Our deadline for PhD applications is January 7, while terminal MA degrees are due by May 1. Need-based aid is available through the Financial Aid Office. To get their form, please visit their website at http://financialaid.uconn.edu or phone (860) 486-2819. While we accept new students for both the Spring and Fall semesters, we typically have no financial aid available for those who begin in the Spring, since we generally award aid packages for the entire academic year in the preceding Spring. Please see the letter to applicants for more information.

An application must include:

  1. three letters of recommendation, preferably from your Philosophy professors (forms not required)
  2. transcripts (Applicants must have a minimum 3.00 grade point average)
  3. a statement of your academic goals and interests
  4. a 10-15 page sample of your philosophical writing

PLEASE NOTE: ALL APPLICATION MATERIALS MUST BE SENT DIRECTLY TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL. See the Graduate School website at http://grad.uconn.edu/admissions/ for more information.

Graduate Stipend and Benefit Information

Many graduate students are offered opportunities to work as either a teaching assistant (TA) or research assistant (RA) during their studies. UConn offers benefits to those employed as GAs or RAs such as tuition waivers, healthcare, and pay during the academic year. More information can be found on the Graduate School's website.

Graduate Pay (only available to those serving as TAs or RAs)

Graduate payroll is subject to raises based on union agreements with the university. To find more information about details of payroll, contact the philosophy program assistant or review information available on the UConn payroll website (lists of pay level amounts available under "Stipend Listings" header).

If you are enrolled in the PhD and entered the program with a Bachelor’s degree, then…

What you need in total: 69 credits of courses, pass Master's Exam, pass Proposal, pass General Exam, pass Dissertation Prospectus, pass Dissertation and Oral Defense.

Coursework: 69 Credits

  • 54 credits (18 courses) in Philosophy coursework, including PHIL 5301 and PHIL 5307
    • 30 credits (10 courses) are required for the MA (students enrolled in the PhD earn an MA on the way to the PhD)
    • 24 additional credits beyond the MA (8 courses) are required for the PhD
    • Tip: aim to complete 54 credits by the end of the third year
  • 15 credits of GRAD 6950
    • To be eligible for a Graduate Assistantship students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits per semester. Graduate Assistants should therefore enroll in GRAD 6950-006 or higher once they have completed all other coursework. Most students will earn more than the 15 credit minimum.
  • For any and all requests to count non-PHIL courses toward any of the above, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Master's Exam:

  • The Master's Exam is identical to 2 PAPERS ON ANY TOPIC IN PHILOSOPHY.
  • The primary function of the ‘Masters Exam’ is to determine whether students in our PhD program have completed work that merits an MA in Philosophy.
  • Tip: consider choosing high quality papers you have written for seminars that could be submitted for the General Exam.
  • Typically due in April of the second year.

Proposal:

  • The primary function is to determine whether students in our PhD program can motivate and explain an idea or problem that could be fruitfully explored with further research. Proposals should:
    • Motivate and explain an idea or problem that it would be fruitful to develop with further research.
    • Demonstrate that the author is capable of conducting research.
    • Make some suggestions about how the author would go about exploring the idea or problem.
  • Typically due in April of the second year.

General Exam:

  • The General Exam is identical to 3 PAPERS. TOPICS ARE IN SPECIFIC AREAS:
    • 1 PAPER IN METAPHYSICS & EPISTEMOLOGY (BROADLY CONSTRUED);
    • 1 PAPER IN ETHICS/SOCIAL/POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY (BROADLY CONSTRUED);
    • 1 PAPER IN HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY (BROADLY CONSTRUED).
  • Tip: 2 of these papers can be papers you submitted for the Masters Exam.
  • Typically due in April of the third year.

Dissertation Prospectus:

  • SNYOPSIS OF YOUR DISSERTATION THAT MOTIVATES A PROBLEM, INCLUDES A CHAPTER OUTLINE AND SUMMARY.
  • Typically due in April of the third year.

Dissertation and Oral Defense:

  • The dissertation has both a written and oral component. The Dissertation is usually submitted at the end of Year 5.

Paperwork:

If you are enrolled in the PhD and entered the program with a Master’s degree, then…

What you need in total: 39 credits of courses, pass Master's Exam, pass Proposal, pass General Exam, pass Dissertation Prospectus, pass Dissertation and Oral Defense.

Coursework: 39 Credits

  • 24 credits (8 courses) in Philosophy coursework, including PHIL 5301 and PHIL 5307
  • 15 credits of GRAD 6950
    • To be eligible for a Graduate Assistantship students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits per semester. Graduate Assistants should therefore enroll in GRAD 6950-006 or higher once they have completed all other coursework. Most students will earn more than the 15 credit minimum.
  • The minimum requirements for earning a PhD for those who hold an MA is 39 credits, though students may exceed this minimum.
  • For any and all requests to count non-PHIL courses toward any of the above, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Master's Exam:

  • The Master's Exam is identical to 2 PAPERS ON ANY TOPIC IN PHILOSOPHY.
  • The primary function of the ‘Masters Exam’ is to determine whether students in our PhD program have completed work that merits an MA in Philosophy.
  • Tip: consider choosing high quality papers you have written for seminars that could be submitted for the General Exam.
  • Typically due in April of the second year (but can be done sooner).
  • While passing the Master's Exam is required for the PhD Program, students who already have a Master's degree should not submit the Report on the MA Exam for Plan B Master's unless they want to earn a UConn Master's degree (note: doing so also requires completing a total of 69 credits of coursework).

Proposal:

  • The primary function is to determine whether students in our PhD program can motivate and explain an idea or problem that could be fruitfully explored with further research. Proposals should:
    • Motivate and explain an idea or problem that it would be fruitful to develop with further research.
    • Demonstrate that the author is capable of conducting research.
    • Make some suggestions about how the author would go about exploring the idea or problem.
  • Typically due in April of the second year (but can be done sooner).

General Exam:

  • The General Exam is identical to 3 PAPERS. TOPICS ARE IN SPECIFIC AREAS:
    • 1 PAPER IN METAPHYSICS & EPISTEMOLOGY (BROADLY CONSTRUED);
    • 1 PAPER IN ETHICS/SOCIAL/POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY (BROADLY CONSTRUED);
    • 1 PAPER IN HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY (BROADLY CONSTRUED).
  • Tip: 2 of these papers can be papers you submitted for the Masters Exam.
  • Typically due in April of the third year (but can be done sooner).

Dissertation Prospectus:

  • SNYOPSIS OF YOUR DISSERTATION THAT MOTIVATES A PROBLEM, INCLUDES A CHAPTER OUTLINE AND SUMMARY.
  • Typically due in April of the third year (but can be done sooner).

Dissertation and Oral Defense:

  • The dissertation has both a written and oral component.
  • The Dissertation is usually submitted at the end of Year 5 (but can be done sooner).

Paperwork:

If you are enrolled only in the Master’s Degree (not the PhD), then…

What you need in total: 30 credits of courses, pass Master's Exam

Coursework: 30 Credits

  • 30 credits (10 courses) in Philosophy coursework, including PHIL 5301 and PHIL 5307
  • Tip: plan to complete these 30 credits by the end of the second year.
  • For any and all requests to count non-PHIL courses toward any of the above, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Master's Exam:

  • The Master's Exam is identical to 2 PAPERS ON ANY TOPIC IN PHILOSOPHY.
  • The primary function of the ‘Masters Exam’ is to determine whether students in our PhD program have completed work that merits an MA in Philosophy.
  • Tip: consider choosing high quality papers you have written for seminars that could be submitted for the General Exam.
  • Typically due in April of the second year.

Paperwork