Skip to content

Our Graduate Program

Our Department offers both the M.A. and the Ph.D. degrees. For more detailed information on the M.A. and Ph.D. programs, please examine our Graduate Student Handbook.

Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy

(esp. virtue ethics, the Kantian tradition (including Rawls), and applied ethics)

Metaphysics and Epistemology

(esp. free will, action theory, ethics of belief, virtue epistemology, metaphysics of science, philosophy of religion)

History of Philosophy

(esp. Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic Philosophy, Kant, Nietzsche, Rawls)

These are our graduate program's main strengths. We have a largely young and dynamic faculty, and their interests (and what you might prompt them to take an interest in!) will of course extend further. Please be assured that they will be pleased if you choose to contact them directly. (For more information about our faculty, their current areas of expertise and interest, where they studied, what gets them excited and so forth, see Our Faculty.)

With the UT College of Law, we also offer a dual degree M.A./J.D. option.  To learn more about this option, please consult with the Director of Graduate Studies in Philosophy or the Dean of the College of Law.

Program Highlights

Interact with the philosophers you read in class: We bring them to you! At least one graduate offering each year includes distinguished visiting speakers from outside the university.

A faculty and advanced graduate student research seminar in which the participants take up issues — moral, metaphysical, political, epistemological, and so on — related to the broad theme of freedom. Meetings (three or four times per semester) are devoted to discussing works in progress. The seminar also typically invites at least one outside visitor per semester.

Since 2012 the department has hosted a regular conference focused on issues in action theory, ethical theory, or political philosophy. Click here for more information about the TVA Conference.

Further Highlights

  • We make every effort to provide meaningful financial support for the professional travel of our graduate students so that they can present their work at conferences. Our graduate students present their work at prestigious and competitive conferences across North America and beyond.
  • Our teaching assistants receive a tuition waiver and competitive stipend. And we actively work to help secure supplemental stipends for eligible/qualifying students. While teaching assistantships are 9 month appointments, stipends are paid out over a 12 month schedule and tuition waivers cover the summer term. Health insurance is included.
  • The Department offers a summer dissertation fellowship to provide additional financial support for promising students in the final stages of dissertation writing.
  • There are opportunities for graduate student teaching during the summer.
  • Faculty are open to co-authoring papers with graduate students and many faculty have done that in recent years.
For more information

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.