Requirements and Policies


While the department offers the degree of Master’s of Arts in Philosophy, the department does not admit students who do not intend at the outset to pursue the PhD. in Philosophy. There is no separate Master’s Degree Program.

The requirements for the degree of Master of Arts are set in part by the Graduate School, and in part by the Department of Philosophy. The department requires the satisfactory completion of at least 34 credit hours of course and seminar work. At least 21 credits must be earned in philosophy seminars (courses numbered between 800 and 989). The remaining credits may be earned either by taking additional philosophy courses or by petitioning to transfer credits for previous graduate-level work from another graduate program (with a maximum of 6 credits). In short, the requirements for the MA in Philosophy are:

  • take and pass with a grade of B or better 10 philosophy seminars at the 800-900 level, OR nine philosophy seminars at the 800-900 level and one course at the 500 level (as described below);
  • satisfactorily complete the Teaching Philosophy course;
  • satisfactorily complete at least one philosophy reading seminar (701), OR at least one additional philosophy seminar at the 800-900 level with a grade of B or better;
  • satisfy the logic requirement described below;
  • do these things while satisfying the distribution requirements described below.

Note that no more than one course at the 400-600 level can count toward the credit hour requirements for the MA.

First year graduate students may not register for philosophy 599, 699, or 990-998.


The PhD. in philosophy is awarded in recognition of a successfully completed program of advanced studies in philosophy, culminating in a doctoral dissertation that represents a contribution to philosophy.

There are a number of requirements for the PhD., some set by the Graduate School and some set by the Department of Philosophy. For the Graduate School requirements see the current Graduate School Academic Policies and procedures. You are advised to pay special attention to the Graduate School’s minimum credit and continuous enrollment requirements for the PhD. The department’s requirements, as well as the general organization of the program are set out here.

The requirements for the PhD in Philosophy:

  • all the requirements for the MA listed above;
  • satisfactorily complete one additional philosophy reading seminar (701), OR at least one additional philosophy seminar at the 800-900 level with a grade of a B or better.
  • additional coursework to achieve at least 51 credit hours;
  • satisfy the preliminary exam requirement described below;
  • satisfy the prospectus requirement described below;
  • satisfy the minor field requirement described below;
  • satisfy the thesis and oral defense requirements described below.

Note that no more than one course at the 400-600 level can count toward the 51 credit hour requirements for the PhD.

Typically, students will take 10 seminars at the 800-900 level, the Teaching Philosophy course, two 701 seminars, and the remainder of the credits are earned by taking thesis prep courses (PHIL 990).

The PhD. program falls into two major stages. The first prepares a student for a step called “Admission to Candidacy for the PhD.” For this step, a student must satisfy the first six conditions listed above (see below for more information about this step). Upon admission to candidacy, the student begins the final stage of the PhD. program, the writing of the doctoral dissertation (or thesis). The degree is awarded only upon a successful final oral examination and acceptance of the dissertation.

Studies during the first stage of the program are devoted to acquiring the philosophical skill and learning needed to do philosophy well, and, in particular, to write a successful doctoral dissertation. The main component of the program work at this stage is the graduate seminars numbered 800-989. You will plan your program of study – of seminars, courses, and other work – with the advice of your major professor, and in consultation with such other graduate faculty as your major professor judges appropriate. The program of study that you work out will be designed for completion, normally, by the end of the sixth or seventh semester of full-time graduate studies. It will be the responsibility of the major professor to oversee the progress of your work. This work will include seminars in the area in which you believe you will write your PhD.


The philosophy department requires that you meet the following six requirements for Admission to Candidacy: the seminar requirement, the history of philosophy requirement, the logic requirement, the minor field requirement, the first year proseminar requirement, the Teaching Philosophy course requirement, and the preliminary examination requirement. These six requirements are described below.


As indicated above, the department requires students to take a certain number of “philosophy seminars”. These are to be understood as graduate seminars taught by faculty in the Philosophy department here at UW-Madison.

Typically, students will satisfy the department’s seminar requirement by taking 10 philosophy seminars at the 800-900 level and at least one philosophy reading seminar (701). However, the requirement can be met in other ways. For example, in lieu of the 10 philosophy seminars at the 800-900 level, a student may take 9 philosophy seminars at the 800-900 level, one 500-level course, and at least one philosophy reading seminar (701). Alternatively, students may petition to transfer courses to satisfy part of the requirement. For example, students may take 8 philosophy seminars at the 800-900 level and transfer two additional philosophy graduate seminars taken at another institution, and take at least one philosophy reading seminar (701). These are both ways of satisfying the requirement.

In addition, students are permitted to petition to replace one of the philosophy seminars with another seminar at UW directly related to the student’s research interests in philosophy. Students wishing to take more than one seminar outside of our program are advised to pursue Minor Option A described below.

Students in ethics, aesthetics, and social and political philosophy are required to take at least one philosophy seminar in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, or philosophy of science. Students not in ethics, aesthetics, or social and political philosophy are required to take at least one philosophy seminar in those areas.

All students are expected to take the first year proseminar in their first semester in the program.

All students are required to take two philosophy seminars in history of philosophy. Students in history of philosophy are required to take at least two philosophy seminars in contemporary philosophy.

Students should consult with their major professors when selecting their courses. They should consult their major professor and the Graduate Program Coordinator or Assistant to the Chair when considering a petition.


Two of the eleven required seminars must be Advanced History of Philosophy courses.

You are free to take your two history seminars in any period on any major figure or figures.

Students who intend to write a dissertation in the history of philosophy are required to take at least one seminar in the metaphysics, etc., group of subjects, and at least one seminar in the ethics, etc., group.


    The logic requirement for graduate students can be fulfilled by any of the following: (a) Passing a proficiency exam administered by our Logic Committee; (b) Passing an advanced UW logic course such as 511 or 512; or (c) Passing a course at another institution that includes or surpasses the content of 511 or 512. The Logic Committee will review documentation related to the relevant course’s content and determine whether the student thereby satisfies the logic requirement.

    In order to make satisfactory academic progress, a student must attempt to complete the logic requirement by the end of his or her first year. If the student does not fulfill the requirement, then another attempt must be made in the third semester. If the student fails to satisfy the requirement again, another attempt must be made in the fourth semester. If the student fails to pass the requirement by the end of his or her fourth semester, then this will constitute failure to make satisfactory academic progress. Subject to instructor’s willingness, a student may attempt to pass the requirement more than once in a semester.

    This requirement must be completed in order to register as a dissertator. All Graduate School students must utilize the Graduate Student Portal in MyUW to add, change, or discontinue any doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate.  To apply to add a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate please log in to MyUW, click on Graduate Student Portal, and then click on Add/Change Programs.  The doctoral minor/certificate coordinator will review your application for admittance to the doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate.  Students may complete Minor Option A (External), Minor Option B (Distributed) or Minor Option C (Graduate/Professional Certificate).Minor Option A (External): With the approval of your major professor you apply to a single department other than the philosophy department for acceptance as a minor candidate. If the application is approved, that department will then set the requirements (generally, 9 credit hours of upper-level undergraduate or graduate course work) and pass on the satisfactory completion of them.Minor Option B (Distributed, as opposed to External): The credit requirement is 9 credits. The student’s major advisor will be responsible for approving the program, monitoring it, and reporting upon it as required by the Graduate School. It requires (a) approval of one’s minor proposal by the major professor, (b) completion of the courses approved by the major professor as the content of one’s minor, and (c) completion of the administrative paperwork involved in satisfying (a-b). This last condition is met by, at the beginning of the process, turning in a Minor Proposal on the Department Minor Proposal Form, and at the end of the process, by the completion of the courses on that form, and its being signed by the major professor and the department chair. A minor composed only of Philosophy courses is possible; completion of such a minor requires that a student takes at least three courses, numbered 500 or above, including two graduate seminars, all of which fall outside his/her major area of specialization. Exceptions may be made, upon petition, for approved minor areas in which seminar offerings are few.Minor Option C (Graduate/Professional Certificate): Requires successful completion of a Graduate/Professional certificate in a program outside of philosophy.

    All entering graduate students will participate in a proseminar in their first term in residence. The proseminar will focus on developing analytical and writing skills, and will cover major works in the history of analytic philosophy.


    All graduate students must take the Teaching Philosophy course during their first year of teaching.


    The preliminary examination is designed to enable the faculty to ascertain that the student has developed the necessary skills for conducting sustained research and the abilities required to write a dissertation. The preliminary exam will consist of one substantial, well-written paper to be submitted within a student’s third year in the program and no later than the end of a student’s 6th term. (Students may not undertake the preliminary exam prior to the third year except by petition.) While working on this paper, the student will enroll in a 3-credit independent study course with a faculty member who agrees to supervise the student’s prelim work. The paper will be due two weeks prior to the last day of classes for the term in which the paper is being submitted. Once completed, the student’s paper will be reviewed by a three-person committee, which includes the advisor. The other two members of the committee will be selected when the paper is submitted by the department chair. The outcome of this review is either a pass or a fail or a revise and resubmit, to be determined by a majority of the committee. The grade for the independent study is independent of the grade for the prelim, and vice versa – e.g., the student can pass (fail) the independent study, while the prelim paper fails (passes). There can be no incompletes for the independent study. If the prelim paper fails, then the student will have one additional semester to submit a passing prelim paper, with an optional additional independent study. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program. If the paper receives a “revise and resubmit” from a fall submission, then the student has until the first day of the spring semester to hand in a revised paper. If the paper receives a “revise and resubmit” from a spring submission, then the student has until August 1 of that year to hand in a revised paper. The revised paper will then be graded as pass or fail and the paper will be graded by its committee no later than 10 days after it is submitted (unless that day falls on a weekend and then it will be graded by the Monday following that 10-day period).

    Students who are planning on taking their preliminary examination should begin working on their paper during the semester before they write the preliminary examination paper. During the semester before they write the preliminary examination paper, they should discuss the general outlines of the project with the faculty member who will supervise the prelim. By the beginning of the semester during which they will write the preliminary examination paper they should have a topic for the paper (even if they do not yet have a well-formulated paper) and a reading list.

    Students writing their preliminary examinations should meet frequently with their advisors, generally every two weeks. They should have a rough draft by the end of the seventh week of the semester, and a second draft, that is reasonably polished by the end of the 11th week. Final versions are due two weeks before the end of classes that semester. Students writing their preliminary examination papers may consult with other faculty members apart from their advisor, but the expectation is that they will work mainly if not exclusively with their advisor.

    The preliminary examination paper will be assessed by a committee of three faculty members appointed by the Chair at the time that the paper is submitted. One of the three committee members will be the student’s advisor.

    Criteria: Preliminary examination papers should be more original and ambitious than is a seminar paper. Although an excellent paper could be shorter than 6,000 words, most prelim papers should be at least that long. There should, however, be no padding. The paper should have a definite thesis, which the paper explains and defends; and it should explain what significance this thesis has. The paper should show a deeper grasp of the relevant literature than does a typical seminar paper, but the paper should not be a literature review. The committee reading the paper will ask themselves, “Would a generous referee at an appropriate journal judge that this essay is at least worth further consideration for publication, subject to revision?” To pass the preliminary examination, the answer to this question should be “yes.”


    A student must be making satisfactory progress. See below for criteria for satisfactory progress.


There is no foreign language requirement as such for the PhD. However, study in certain areas of philosophy cannot be adequately performed without extensive knowledge of one or more foreign languages. For this reason, a student’s major professor may require that the student acquire reading knowledge of any foreign language necessary for work in the student’s area of specialization.


After a semester of work in our program, students with previous graduate work from another graduate program may, with the support of their major professor, petition the department to count some or all of their previous work toward meeting various departmental requirements (such as the seminar requirement). No more than 2 courses from a previous program can be applied toward the seminar requirement.


In order to receive a PhD. in philosophy, you must write a dissertation.

By the end of the semester following that in which you complete your preliminary examination, the Chair will appoint a thesis advising committee, of at least (and typically, exactly) three members, one member of which will be your thesis advisor. In appointing your advisor and the committee, the Chair will consult your preferences, which will be respected, unless specific graduate faculty members are unable or unwilling to serve, or in case the graduate faculty members you suggest are not experts in the area of your dissertation. The committee must have at least two members who are current graduate faculty the philosophy department with a nonzero % appointment in philosophy. (If the candidate, advisor and chair agree that it is suitable for there to be two members who do not meet this condition, then the committee will need to have four members). The role of the committee will be to advise you throughout the preparation of your dissertation and to judge whether the thesis is ready to be defended. Your thesis advisor has the primary responsibility for directing and supervising your thesis.

Although you will probably work with a single committee throughout the research and writing of your dissertation, the constitution of your committee may change. Faculty may become unavailable, or your interests and the focus of your dissertation may evolve, so that you want to work with other faculty. Requests to change your thesis advising committee should be made to the Chair, who will consult with your committee. Changes of advisor or committee must be made with the consent of a majority of your committee; changes should be avoided when students are nearing the completion of their dissertations. Any changes in the thesis advising committee that are requested during the semester of the dissertation defense, or the semester before, must be approved by the department.

After a student is admitted to candidacy (that is, after all requirements, including preliminary exams are completed) the student will take a prospectus exam in his or her intended dissertation area. Students must successfully pass this exam (a) within one year after passing their preliminary examination or (b) by the end of their fourth year in the program, whichever is later. The exam will be oral and will be administered by your thesis advising committee. This exam has two purposes: to determine that the dissertation topic is viable and to ensure that you have sufficient command of the field to pursue the topic effectively. The exam will be based on a written submission (the prospectus) but will not be limited to it. The prospectus should represent a clear statement of what you intend to do in your dissertation. It is not a dissertation chapter, but rather a substantive description of the problem you will be addressing and of your approach to that problem, along with a justification of the importance of your thesis. Such justification should demonstrate familiarity with the literature in the field, sufficient to indicate that your proposed work represents an original contribution. The prospectus is intended to demonstrate that you are ready to write a dissertation in a particular field of philosophy, and thus should provide evidence of both the breadth of

your familiarity with that field and the depth of your knowledge of the specific topic. As a result of the exam, you will be told (a) to go ahead, or (b) to go ahead after doing something (such as reading more extensively in the relevant literature, or taking certain courses), or (c) to drop the project and take up something else altogether. It will be up to the committee to decide when the requirements stipulated in (b) are satisfied, and to decide whether you should take the exam again. A second prospectus exam will be required for those students told (c). After two exams, the examining committee may (d) fail the candidate.


A dissertation should be a more ambitious project than a seminar or preliminary exam paper. It should represent an original contribution to philosophical research and scholarship and demonstrate the candidate’s expertise in the field. The dissertation should show mastery of the relevant literature—a considerably deeper and more comprehensive grasp than does a typical seminar or preliminary paper—but the dissertation should not be just a literature review. The dissertation should have a definite thesis (or set of related theses), which the dissertation explains and defends; and it should explain what significance this thesis has (or theses have). For the dissertation to pass, a majority of the committee members must agree that the dissertation satisfies the above criteria, and that it contains material that is publishable in a reputable venue, perhaps after substantial revision. All students should be in consultation with their dissertation advisors on issues of appropriate length, topic and quality.

Detailed information concerning the formal requirements for the preparation of the thesis and abstract should be obtained from the Graduate School office. The candidate must pass an oral examination defending the completed thesis. Readers must be given the dissertation at least three weeks before the final day on which a request for a warrant for a defense can be made. Requests for warrants must typically be made in late November for fall defenses or late April for spring defenses. Therefore, the candidate is required to distribute copies of the dissertation to readers on a date in early November for fall defenses or early April for spring defenses. The oral examination will be held only when all the members of your thesis advising committee conclude that it is possible that the dissertation could be successfully defended. The examining committee will consist of at least five faculty members, four from the philosophy department and at least one from another department. For the purposes of this committee, all of the following can count as ‘from the philosophy department: 1. Affiliates of the philosophy department; 2. Emeriti of the UW-Madison philosophy department; 3. Non-emeriti who have been graduate faculty but left the department and who overlapped with the candidate’s time at UW-Madison. (Note: Neither 2 (beyond the first year after retirement) nor 3 count towards the graduate school requirement of ‘three current UW-Madison graduate faculty,’ required for the oral examining committee.) The committee is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation made by the department chair after conferring with the student’s thesis advisor. At least three members of the examining committee will be designated as readers; these will be all the individuals on the candidate’s thesis advising committee. All examining committee members must receive an abstract of the dissertation at least one week before the exam. See the Departmental Graduate Secretary for the necessary paperwork.

Oral examinations will not be held during the summer unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you wish to defend in the summer, you must have the support of your major professor, and petition the Department Chair for an exception.


Each seminar meets with a concurrently offered reading seminar, PHILOS 701 Reading Seminar. Students attend all the seminar meetings and do the readings, but have a substantially lighter workload, determined by the professor before the beginning of the semester. Students may take as many PHILOS 701 Reading Seminars as they like; however, only two PHILOS 701 Reading Seminars can count toward the seminar requirement for the Ph.D.



To ensure all students a fair opportunity for admission to graduate seminars, instructors are asked not to admit any students to these before the scheduled student advising week, though priorities and conditions for admission other than merely “first come, first served” may be established by instructors.


You may not register for independent reading or research until after the first year of graduate study, and then only with the approval of the major professor, who will first consult with the instructor concerned.

Seminar SHEETS

In addition to submitting a formal grade on a graduate student’s academic performance in a given course or seminar, an instructor submits a document to the departmental office that is known informally as “Green Sheet”. These reports contain information about books and articles read, kinds of papers written and, most importantly, the instructor’s general assessment of the performance of the student. Upon request, a student will be given a copy of the green sheet. A student’s major professor will prepare a green sheet each semester on the student’s progress on the dissertation.


Students should discuss their performance in seminars with instructors and their overall performance in the program with their advisors. The department does not provide any unified evaluation of student’s performance apart from providing Green Sheets and enforcing minimum standards of satisfactory progress and ranking advanced students in the event that there are openings for employment as T.A.s. or for other positions, scholarships, etc.


Students who have four or more grades of “Incomplete” may not register for further work until these Incompletes have been removed. It is the policy of the philosophy department not to give Incompletes, except when illness or events beyond the student’s control prevent the completion of course work.

Final graduate student grades for fall classes must be submitted at least seven days in advance of the spring semester; final graduate student grades for spring classes must be submitted by August 1. Faculty who do wish to allow incompletes in their classes may do so, provided that they submit grades by the previously mentioned deadlines. Faculty must make their policy on incompletes (including submission deadlines if allowing incompletes) clear to students at the beginning of the term.


In addition to the Graduate School requirements for minimum credit and minimal GPA, the philosophy department has criteria for satisfactory progress. A student who is normally enrolled and in residence in the PhD. program is making satisfactory progress unless that student:

  • has at the end of any academic year a cumulative GPA below 3.5 in philosophy graduate seminars (those numbered 800 and above) or is in the opinion of the major professor and the department Chair not taking a sufficient course load in philosophy to indicate serious pursuit of a PhD. in philosophy, or
  • has not attempted to complete the logic requirement by the end of the first year in residence and continued to attempt to complete the logic requirement in each subsequent semester until completing this requirement, or
  • has not completed the logic requirement by the end of the second year in residence, or
  • has at the end of any academic year two or more incompletes that have been on the student’s record for one semester or more, or
  • has not satisfied the history of philosophy requirement by the end of the third year of residence, or
  • has not become a dissertator by the end of the fourth year of residence, or
  • has not passed the examination on the dissertation prospectus by (a) the end of the fourth year in residence or (b) within one year after passing the prelim, whichever is later. Moreover, failure to submit a passing prelim by the end of the seventh semester will result in dismissal from the program.


Students who are failing to make satisfactory progress will not be eligible for financial support and will not be nominated for any fellowships.

If a student who is not making satisfactory progress (a) has at any one time three or more incompletes that have been on the student’s record for one semester or more, or (b) has not passed the dissertation prospectus examination by the end of the ninth semester of residency, or (c) has at any time a cumulative GPA of less than 3.3 in philosophy graduate seminars (those numbered 800 and above), then the student will be placed on probation; and if after two semesters there is still a deficiency, the student will be removed from the program.

No student while on probation is eligible for appointment as a TA, PA, or RA nor will that student be recommended by the department for a fellowship.


A leave of absence may be granted for various reasons such as illness, pregnancy, childbirth and early months of childcare, and financial difficulties. An application for a leave of absence should be submitted to the Chair in writing. Students who are absent from the program for more than two years will not be guaranteed readmission and will have to compete with others applying for admission. Only students who are making satisfactory progress can expect to be granted leaves of absence for more than one semester.


Teaching Assistantships (TAs) constitute the major portion of the department’s financial support of graduate students.

Philosophy TAs lead three or four discussion sections of around 20 students each that are part of our large lecture courses. They assist in Introduction to Philosophy, Elementary Logic, Introductory Ethics, Contemporary Moral Issues, History of Ancient Philosophy, History of Modern Philosophy, and others. The number of TAs in any given semester is determined by enrollments and our budget.

Some graduate students may also be employed as Project Assistants or Research Assistants by individual faculty.

A graduate student who is receiving funding in a given term from the Philosophy Department must take at least one philosophy course in that term.



Departmental and external fellowships and scholarships are available. Some require an application and some involve nominations from advisors or the department (via the Lectureships and Fellowships Committee).


Graduate students appointed to assist professors in courses by grading examinations, quizzes and papers, but who do not formally instruct students or lead classroom discussions, are called “readers”. Readers are paid on an hourly basis, with a maximum number of hours being allotted for a given course, depending on the type and number of assignments and the number of students in the course. Appointments are made only for one semester at a time. Each semester toward the end of registration the department publicly posts or otherwise provides graduate students in residence with a list of courses for which readers might be required. Graduate students who wish to be sure that they are among those considered for these readership appointments should submit applications to the Assistant to the Chair (not to the instructor of the course) by the announced due date. Applications are available from the departmental office.


The selection of a major professor to serve as a general advisor is of considerable importance. The initial assignment of an advisor is provisional only, and is made for the purpose of providing guidance while getting acquainted with various members of the faculty. You should try to determine as soon as possible the research area in which you are likely to do your doctoral dissertation and the faculty member who is most likely to supervise this work. After the initial assignment of a major professor, all student-advisor arrangements are by mutual agreement. Anyone whose major professor is on leave or scheduled to go on leave should make suitable arrangements to obtain another one. Every graduate student must have a major professor, and the office must be notified of all changes of major professors.


Obligations: It is the responsibility of the advisor, at least once a year, upon the advisee’s request, to confer with the advisee concerning issues of the following general sort, as seem appropriate to the advisee’s situation. Students are advised to seek such a meeting.

  • Read and interpret green sheets
  • Discuss academic progress
  • Recommend courses to take
  • Set up a dissertation proposal exam when the advisee is ready
  • Check that the advisee’s job dossier is complete and accurate

Other Roles: Although the following items are not obligations, some major professors also help their advisees by:

  • Reading advance drafts of prelim papers.
  • Passing on information about recent research
  • Introducing students to other researchers in their field
  • Recommending conferences and assisting students in preparing papers for publications
  • Meeting with advisees periodically to discuss work in the field
  • Providing general advice and guidance on teaching


The Chair serves as the Director of Graduate Studies, assisted by the Assistant to the Chair. Though not preempting the role of advisors, they can sometimes provide further assistance and direction.


The Julius R. Weinberg Memorial Library is located in Room 5184 White Hall. It contains the bequests of the late Professors Weinberg and McCallum and is available only to graduate students and faculty in the Philosophy Department. The departmental library also contains reference works and philosophical periodicals.


As a result of a gracious gift to the University of Wisconsin Foundation by Anna C. Oliver, in honor of her late husband Professor W. Donald Oliver, the philosophy department makes a substantial annual award to a graduate major in Philosophy who, in the opinion of the department, has written the best essay submitted to the faculty. The department has agreed to help the award recipient prepare the essay for possible publication in an appropriate scholarly journal. The prize award is named for W. Donald Oliver, who received his PhD. from the University of Wisconsin in the late 1930s under the supervision of E.B. McGilvary. Professor Oliver spent most of his academic career as a Professor at the University of Missouri. He was the author of Theory of Order published by Antioch Press.


The Dennis Henry Common Room, directly across the hall from the departmental office, serves as a lounge and a place for informal discussion.


The department sponsors a Graduate Philosophy Club, which meets at regular intervals for discussion of philosophical topics as well as occasionally for social functions. All graduate students are urged to participate in the activities of this club. The officers of the club are elected by the graduate students.


Each year the department sponsors a series of lectures by members of its own faculty as well as by visiting philosophers. This series is organized by a student-faculty committee, consisting of at least one faculty member (elected by the faculty) and up to three graduate students (selected by a vote of graduate students or appointed by the President of the Graduate Philosophy Club). Lectures and discussion are scheduled on most Friday afternoons during the semester.


This committee has been established for the purpose of discussing and preparing recommendations for departmental action on any and all matters relating to the graduate program in philosophy. Its three faculty members are elected by the faculty and its three student members are elected by graduate students, one of them being a teaching assistant elected only by teaching assistants. The Chair is elected by the six committee members.


Lecturers, as well as teaching assistants are provided with office space. Graduate students who hold no appointments and Fellows may be assigned offices if available. The department provides mail boxes for all graduate students.


A student who thinks an exception to departmental rules ought to be made can appeal by (1) submitting a letter to the Chair giving reasons why an exception should be made; or (2) having the major professor submit a letter to the Chair giving reasons why an exception should be made. The case shall then be presented to the Departmental Appeals Committee, which has the power to decide it, though decisions of the Appeals Committee will sometimes be ratified by votes at the Departmental Committee. The decision of that committee can be appealed to the entire departmental faculty.


Upcoming lecturer positions will be publicly announced by a memorandum distributed to graduate students. It will include a brief description of the application procedure.


There exists a joint program in Law and Philosophy for a student who wishes to earn both a PhD. in Philosophy and a J.D. The aim of the program is to facilitate earning both degrees and to reduce the time required. One must apply for admission separately to both the philosophy department and the Law School, and should mention at the time the aim of enrolling in the philosophy/law program. It is entirely up to the student how the work between law and philosophy will be divided. The Law School strongly prefers a student in the first year law program to take law courses full time.

Law school work will satisfy the minor requirement for the PhD., but will otherwise not diminish the requirements that must be met for taking the preliminary examination. The Law School allows a student pursuing a doctoral program to count up to 15 credits of work taken in that program towards the law degree. Students will not be guaranteed financial support from the philosophy department during any period in which they are pursuing a law degree full time.