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Master of Arts (MA), Course-Based

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 02/08/2007 - 1:47pm


The MA Course-Based Program has two principal objectives. The first is to make advanced study in philosophy accessible to students whose occupational or family commitment may preclude full-time registration in a graduate program. The second is to provide an alternative program for Master's work in philosophy that will constitute a comparable preparation for doctoral work. There is no thesis component in this program; but it requires a written and oral examination.

Course-based MA students are usually not eligible for financial support from the Department.

Admission Requirements

The MA course-based degree may be taken on a full or part-time basis. Students applying for admission to the course-based program should have at least an undergraduate baccalaureate degree in philosophy. Degrees in other disciplines may be accepted in exceptional cases.

Students admitted to the MA Course-Based Program will follow a course of study approved by his or her Philosophy Department faculty supervisor and Graduate Director. Each program will be planned individually, taking into consideration the student's educational background as well as his or her scholarly and professional objectives. Within eight months of first registration, a permanent supervisor must be selected by mutual agreement.A student's supervisor will be responsible for giving academic advice and guidance, for aiding with the administrative aspects of the student's program and eventually giving assistance in the student's determination of examination areas.

Course Requirements

The program includes a minimum of 10 half-course equivalents (10 one-term courses) of graduate level work. Of these 10, one full-course equivalent must be taken in the history of philosophy and one full-course equivalent must be taken in 20th century or contemporary philosophy.  In addition to the 10 half-course equivalents required, students may be required to remedy background deficiencies in a certain area or areas of philosophy by taking undergraduate level courses. Coursework up to a maximum of one full-course equivalent may be used for such purposes while registered in the MA Course-Based Program.

Advanced credit may be given for up to a maximum of three half-course equivalents.

A student must complete at least one half-course equivalent in each annual registration period. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative B average (3.00 GPA) and may not have more than two B- grades on their total course record.

Final Master's Examination

A final Master's examination of overall competence is required after completion of all coursework and consists of a written and an oral component.

Two written examinations (limited to three hours each) or two take-home examinations (both to be completed within one week) are required. These written examinations will test the competence of the student in two fields or areas of philosophy, one of which must be in the history of philosophy or 20th century/contemporary philosophy. The second area may be selected by the student.

An oral examination is required within two weeks following the written examinations. The oral examination tests the student's general knowledge of the areas originally selected for examination.

Areas in which the examinations will be written must be declared to the Philosophy Graduate Committee at least six months before the examination.

Graduation Requirements

Students will be deemed eligible to graduate with a Master's (Course-Based) degree in philosophy upon receipt of the following by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies:

  1. a clearance letter from the Graduate Director of Philosophy indicating that all program requirements have been met;
  2. evidence of satisfactory completion of the minimum number of courses at the required level and with a minimum overall GPA of 3.00;
  3. a letter from the supervisor summarizing the student's overall program performance;
  4. successful completion of the final examination.

Length of Program

Students must complete at least half of the required coursework in the first three years after registration. Maximum time permitted for completion of the program is six years from first registration.

Transferability between MA Programs

Students entering an MA program in either the thesis or course-based route may be permitted by the Department to transfer from one route to the other provided that there is evidence of satisfactory progress in the current program and the transfer is made within two years of first registration


Jen Smith
Graduate Program Administrator
SS 1248

Ann Levey
Graduate Program Director
SS 1248A

> Begin application procedure

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