2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Philosophy, PhD

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Director of Graduate Studies,
541 Hall of Languages,


Kenneth Baynes, Frederick C. Beiser, Benjamin Bradley, Janice Dowell, Kevan Edwards, Kim Frost, André Gallois, Samuel Gorovitz, Mark Heller, Kris McDaniel, Christopher Noble, Hille Paakkunainen, Kara Richardson, Michael Rieppel, Nathaniel Sharadin, , David Sobel, Laurence Thomas, Robert Van Gulick

The graduate program in philosophy offers study in the core areas of Anglo-American philosophy. It also offers work on the thought of some of the major figures of the history of philosophy, e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Leibniz, Spinoza, Descartes, and Kant. The department believes that each student’s education should include some study of the history of philosophy whether or not the student’s interests are primarily historical. The program is designed to prepare students both to teach philosophy and to contribute to the advance of philosophical inquiry.

There are generally 28 full-time philosophy graduate students in residence at Syracuse. Most full-time students in the Ph.D. program are awarded financial assistance in the form of a teaching assistantship, a fellowship, or a tuition scholarship.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Write with a good degree of clarity, precision, and organization

2. Have a broad understanding of, and ability to explain clearly, an important philosophical problem and its history

3. Demonstrate familiarity with a large amount of philosophical literature relevant to their topic of study

4. Have a good ability to critically evaluate philosophical theories and arguments

Ph.D. in Philosophy

A total of 63 credits of graduate work are required for the Ph.D. in Philosophy. Of these, 18 credits must be devoted to a doctoral dissertation which is a book-length work of scholarly research and 45 credits (15 3-credit courses) must be devoted to coursework, as specified below. For students entering with prior graduate work, no more than six credits of coursework may be transferred at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies.

  1. Required proseminars: The following three writing-intensive proseminars must be taken in the first three semesters. There will be a minimum grade requirement of B; students may retake a course at most once; incompletes will be awarded only in the event of a genuine emergency. One proseminar may be waived at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies based on prior graduate work.

Each proseminar will focus on at least two major philosophical problems and will require students to read at least three major philosophers. Each proseminar will require several (5-6) short papers, and one longer paper which is revised by the student at least once following peer- and faculty-review.

Additional Information

A full description of the Ph.D. requirements can be found on the departmental web site

Programs in Philosophy and Law

The Philosophy Department joins with the College of Law in offering an opportunity to pursue the J.D./M.A. Philosophy or the J.D./Ph.D. Philosophy degrees at the same time. See the departmental web site at http://philosophy.syr.edu/GradStudiesinfo.htm for a more detailed description of these programs.

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