The Graduate Center's program in Philosophy is designed to provide graduate students with a sound general training in the history of philosophy and in the main areas of current philosophical inquiry.

Many students join our M.A. program with backgrounds in other disciplines, such as the visual and performing arts, who seek strong foundations in art theory and aesthetics. We offer courses in aesthetics, the philosophy of art, and related theoretical approaches in the psychology, history, and politics of art.

The M.A. Program in Philosophy is offered as a terminal degree for students who wish to prepare themselves for admission to Ph.D. programs in philosophy; who wish to pursue interdisciplinary studies; who seek certification to teach philosophy at the community college or secondary school level; and for students who wish to pursue philosophy beyond the undergraduate level for their own personal satisfaction.

On successful completion of the program, students are expected to:

  1. have breadth of knowledge of philosophy and its history.
  2. have depth of knowledge in some areas of philosophy.
  3. have the ability to present and defend a philosophical position in oral argument.
  4. have the ability to write at the level of professional philosophy.
  5. have the ability to conduct sustained research on philosophical topics.
  6. be prepared for admission to Ph.D. programs.
  7. be prepared for the pursuit of interdisciplinary studies.
  8. be certified to teach philosophy at community college or secondary school level.
  9. have the opportunity to pursue philosophy beyond the undergraduate level for their own satisfaction.

The student must follow a program of study approved by an adviser, including a minimum of nine graduate courses.

Students are required to take one course from each of groups A, B, C, D, and E (see course groupings in the Distribution Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy), including the MA Proseminar and the MA Capstone course. Up to two courses may be taken in a related program. These courses must contribute to a coherent program and must be approved by the Executive Officer. These distribution requirements may be modified for students pursuing an interdisciplinary program of study in philosophy and an allied discipline.

No more than 12 credits may be transferred from other programs. No transfer credits will be approved until the student completes four courses with at least a B+ average. The Executive Officer will determine how many credits the student may transfer.

There is no language requirement.

For information on admission requirements, see the Admissions and Aid section.