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M.A. In Philosophy Requirements

Prerequisites

We do not insist that M.A. students have been undergraduate philosophy majors. However, the following four undergraduate courses are prerequisites for the graduate program. UTK course numbers are given in parentheses.

  • Elementary Formal Logic (135) or a more advanced course in formal logic
  • Ethical Theory (340) or an approvedadvanced course in ethics
  • History of Ancient Western Philosophy (320)
  • History of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Philosophy (324). 

While earning a Master's degree in philosophy from our department, there are two options available:

  • to write a master's thesis towards the end or just after completing all required course work
  • to write a comprehensive examination towards the end or just after completing all required course work

For  the thesis option:

  • 24 hours of courses (a typical graduate course is 3 hours) plus at least 6 hours of thesis work (Philosophy 500). Permission may be granted to include a limited number of courses outside of philosophy.
  • Of the non-thesis hours,  at least 2/3 must be in courses numbered 500 or higher

For the non-thesis option:

  • 30 hours of courses, of which at least 2/3 must be in courses numbered 500 or higher
  • A culminating academic experience, normally presentation of a paper at a professional meeting or a departmental colloquium. (This may precede passage of the exam.)

...and there's a bit more...

Whether you write the thesis or the examination, there are specific course requirements to ensure that our graduates have studied widely in the discipline. We call these our "distribution requirements." Each of these four courses must be numbered 400 or higher:

  • The Proseminar
  • Two courses in ancient/medieval philosophy (e.g., Aristotle, Plato) or modern philosophy (e.g., Kant, Husserl-Sartre)
  • One course in contemporary ELMS (epistemology, philosophy of language, metaphysics, or philosophy of science, e.g., Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Science)
  • One course in value theory (e.g., Theories of Justice, Consequentialism)

More detailed information on this program can be found in the Graduate Handbook.


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