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 fellowship applications is January 15, otherwise the deadline for fall applications is February 1. Applications for admission without aid are accepted until June 1, and there is always a chance that some money might be available. Need-based aid is available through the Financial Aid Office. To get their form, please visit their website at 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




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).



Timelines for Graduate Degrees

The following are draft timelines for meeting the formal requirements for completing the Ph.D. or M.A. in philosophy at UConn.  For more information, and for detailed guidelines on how to maximize your graduate experience in the department, please consult the Graduate Catalog.

All Graduate School forms can be found at


Terminal Master of Arts (M.A.) in Philosophy

Year 1

  • Complete 12 to 18 credits of graduate course work (including PHIL 5301 and PHIL 5307, if available and not testing out).
  • Submit a Plan of Study for a Master's Degree to the Graduate School (no later than the beginning of the student’s final semester before degree completion). Students follow the Plan B (non-thesis) Plan of Study.

Year 2


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Philosophy

The Ph.D. credit requirements are also available in diagram format.

Year 1

  • Complete 18 credits of graduate course work (including PHIL 5301 and PHIL 5307).
    • Graduate course work offered toward the degree must be in philosophy except with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • Ensure you are enrolled in both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs through the Student Administration System
  • Submit a Plan of Study to the Graduate School after 18 credits (can be done summer between years 1 and 2, or beginning of year 2). Students earning an M.A. on the way to a Ph.D. only submit the Ph.D. Plan of Study (NOT the M.A. Plan of Study).

Year 2

  • Complete an additional 18 credits of graduate course work. 36 credits of course work should be completed by the end of year 2.
  • Submit the Plan of Study for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy to the Graduate School after completion of 18 units of course work.
    • The plan should list all course work to be offered for the degree, plus at least 15 units of GRAD 6950 (Dissertation Research)
    • A new Plan of Study must be submitted for any changes
  • Submit Master's Exam to the DGS in mid-April:
    • Two papers from any area of philosophy
    • Research proposal
    • Graduate transcript (unofficial)
    • Names of two faculty who agreed to support the research proposal
  • Submit Report on the Final Examination for the Master's Degree  to the Graduate School for awarding of the M.A. The major advisor must note in the comments section of the M.A. Final Examination form that the student be awarded the M.A. on the way to completing their Ph.D. and based on the approved Ph.D. Plan of Study.
    • 30 credits of graduate-level coursework is required for an M.A.
    • Students follow the Plan B (non-thesis) Plan of Study.

Year 3

  • Continue course work (24 credits needed after M.A. degree award).
  • Take PHIL 5300 – Independent Study (for work on the Dissertation Prospectus)
  • Begin the dissertation process
    • Submit the Dissertation Proposal
    • Have advisor send the Department Head your prospectus with acknowledgment of committee approval. The prospectus will then be submitted to two readers within the department.
  • General Exam (mid-April):  three papers submitted to the DGS from one of each of the following areas:
    • History of Philosophy
    • Metaphysics, Epistemology, Language, Formal Semantics, Mind, Science, Logic
    • Ethics, Social, and Political Philosophy
  • Submit the Report on the General Examination to the Graduate School no later than 30 days after passing the General Exam.
  • Apply for a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (upon passing general examination and approval of dissertation prospectus)

Year 4

  • Continue necessary course work (24 credits needed after M.A. degree award). Enroll in GRAD 6950 each semester (15 total credits of GRAD 6950 in addition to course work needed for Ph.D.).
  • Work on dissertation (purpose of GRAD 6950).
  • Apply for one-time Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (if not done previous year).

Years 5 / 6