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Foreign:$ 17.8 k / Year(s) Deadline: Dec 15, 2024
351–400 place StudyQA ranking:3627 Duration:2 years

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The department offers graduate programs in philosophy leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. With the School of Law, the department also offers a joint program in law and philosophy leading to the J.D. in law and the M.A. in philosophy.  Our faculty is dynamic, professionally active, and committed to excellence in scholarship and teaching.  Excellent facilities, strong library holdings, and a faculty dedicated to both teaching and research assure students of a challenging and professional graduate preparation.

The philosophy department at the University of Kansas comprises of 13 faculty members and about 35 graduate students. The department has traditionally fostered teaching and research that reflects a number of different philosophical orientations and fields of philosophy. Courses are taught on a broad range of topics. Master's theses and dissertations have had a similarly wide range of themes. The department's chief strengths are in history of philosophy (ancient, modern, 19th century), ethics, social-political philosophy, and analytic philosophy, including philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics. The department is in Wescoe Hall, the main humanities building.

The department offers thesis and non-thesis M.A. options. Both require:

  1. 30 credit hours of graduate work in philosophy with a grade of B- or higher, with a GPA of at least 3.0 over all courses in philosophy. At least 15 of these hours must be in courses numbered 800 or above and, for the thesis option, may include up to 6 hours of PHIL 899 Master’s Thesis. Students must complete two courses at the 500 level or above (or the equivalent) in each of these areas: history of philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology (broadly construed), and value theory. Courses taken during the undergraduate career may be counted toward these area requirements, but such work does not count toward the overall 30-hour graduate credit requirement unless the student took this course work for graduate credit and it has department approval.
  2. PHIL 800 Tutorial must be taken in the first year of study
  3. A final examination:
    1. For the thesis option, the student must submit an acceptable thesis and pass a 2-part oral or written examination including 1 part covering the material of the M.A. program generally and a second part devoted to a defense of the thesis.
    2. For the non-thesis option, the student must pass an oral examination covering the material of the M.A. program. The non-thesis option final exam can be satisfied by Ph.D. students who successfully complete PHIL 901 Ph.D. Tutorial with a grade of B or higher.
  • Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a grade-point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) from KU, regionally accredited institution, or foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor's degree requirements. The bachelor's degree is not acceptable if it contains credit awarded for work experience that was not directly supervised by faculty members of an accredited university or not evaluated in units that identify the academic content.
  • Proof of a bachelor's degree (plus any post-bachelor's coursework/degrees) is required, as well as proof of English proficiency for international applicants and domestic non-native English speakers. Individual programs will have additional admissions requirements

Applicants are expected to have taken the following seven courses or their equivalents as preparation for graduate work:

  • symbolic logic
  • history of ancient philosophy
  • history of modern philosophy
  • history of 20th-century analytic philosophy (roughly from Frege to Quine)
  • history of 19th/20th-century Continental philosophy
  • value theory
  • metaphysics/epistemology (broadly construed to include philosophy of language and philosophy of mind).
  • Students may be admitted without some of these courses, but they are expected to make up the deficiencies early in their graduate careers and outside of the minimum hours required for degree.

While it is not guaranteed, the department does its best to provide funding in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) appointments to all incoming graduate students.  GTA appointments are awarded for the academic year and come with:

  • a competitive academic year (9 month) salary
  • a 100% tuition waiver for all courses at KU
  • payment of up to 3 hours of student fees
  • optional University-subsidized group health insurance 

The appointments are guaranteed based on performance for up to 3 years for M.A. students, and 6 years for students who receive both an M.A. and a Ph.D. at The University of Kansas.  GTAs in the department receive thorough training in language instruction, close mentoring, and the opportunity to teach French at a variety of levels, providing them with a strong base of teaching experience upon entering the job market. Additional information about teaching for the department is available on the Graduate Funding page of our departmental website.

Post-comprehensive students completing their dissertations are also eligible to apply for 1 of the the departmental Max Kade Dissertation Fellowships.

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