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A&S—Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy offers the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy.

It is possible for students in the Department of Philosophy to plan a combined program with the Department of History and Philosophy of Science by fulfilling specific requirements in each of the departments. The Departments of Classics, Philosophy, and History and Philosophy of Science jointly offer a graduate program leading to the MA and PhD degrees with an area of concentration in classics, philosophy, and ancient science.

Contact Information

Department Chair: Robert Batterman
Main Office: 1001 Cathedral of Learning
412-624-5774
Fax: 412-624-5377
E-mail: krivet@pitt.edu
http://www.philosophy.pitt.edu/

Additional information concerning the department’s graduate program may be obtained from the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Philosophy, Graduate Administrator, 1001 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Phone: 412-624-5774. Fax: 412-624-5377. E-mail: krivet@pitt.edu.

Admissions

Applicants for admission must submit transcripts of all college-level work, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a writing sample, and scores on the verbal, quantitative, and writing assessment-analytical sections of the Graduate Record Examination. International applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit either the TOEFL administered by the Educational Testing Service or the IELTS administered by the University of Cambridge, Local Examination Syndicate. The required minimum TOEFL score is 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading, and writing). The required minimum IELTS score 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections). Applications will be accepted for fall term admission until January 10. The department admits students only for the fall term.

Financial Assistance

Many students in the PhD program are supported by fellowships or teaching assistantships/fellowships. The rates are set annually by the University. The department does not offer financial support to non-continuing MA students.

Requirements for the MA

The University requirement for the degree is eight courses (24 credits), of which at least four courses must be at the graduate level. The department also offers a special MA program to enable graduate students who have already earned an MA in philosophy at Duquesne University and continue in Duquesne’s PhD program to acquire an additional MA degree in philosophy from the department. See http://www.philosophy.pitt.edu/sited/default/files/gradhandbook2013.pdf. All departmental requirements for the MA degree are detailed below.

Departmental requirements are fully spelled out in the Handbook of Rules and Policies for Graduate Study in Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh (PDF). In summary, these requirements include:

(i) proficiency in French, German, Greek, or Latin, shown by passing a departmental translation examination (waived for secondary MA students)

(ii) proficiency in basic logic, normally shown by passing (with a grade of at least B) PHIL 1500

(iii) proficiency in metaphysics and epistemology, and either ethics or philosophy of science shown by passing (with a grade of at least B+) graduate seminars in each of these areas

(iv) proficiency in the history of philosophy, shown by doing two units, where a unit is a graduate seminar or departmental examination covering a historical topic

Requirements for the PhD

The University requirement for the PhD is 72 credits. The department requires that 36 of these credits must be obtained by taking 12 seminars (including directed studies) offered by the philosophy department (or an approved seminar offered by another department) passed with a grade of at least B, and the remainder are typically satisfied by dissertation research.

Departmental requirements are fully spelled out in the Handbook of Rules and Policies for Graduate Study in Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh (PDF). In summary, these requirements include:

(i) proficiency in French, German, Greek, or Latin, shown by passing a departmental translation examination

(ii) proficiency in basic and advanced logic, normally shown by passing (with a grade of at least B) PHIL 2500

(iii) proficiency in ethics, metaphysics and epistemology, and philosophy of science

(iv) proficiency in the history of philosophy, shown by doing three units, where a unit is a graduate seminar or departmental examination covering a historical topic

When these requirements are completed, which should be by the end of the third year of full-time graduate study, the student’s performance will be subject to comprehensive evaluation by the full faculty of the department. If the evaluation is favorable, the student presents a prospectus for a dissertation. If the prospectus is acceptable to the proposed dissertation committee, the student is admitted to PhD candidacy. Students must then write and submit a dissertation that the committee considers acceptable for examination, and must pass a final oral examination on the dissertation and their research.

Teaching Internship

In order to qualify for the PhD, each graduate student must, under the supervision of the faculty, teach or lead discussion sections for at least two different courses. Teaching assistants and teaching fellows satisfy this requirement in the course of fulfilling their teaching duties. Special arrangements are made to enable other graduate students to satisfy this requirement.

 
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