Graduate Program

The department’s graduate program profile emerges from its distinctive approach to the study of philosophy, including an interest in the history of philosophy as an indispensable background to the main areas of contemporary concern in the discipline. More specifically, the department’s characteristic and compelling strength lies in its attitude towards the two current traditions in philosophy—the so-called analytic and continental traditions. While analytically trained, the majority of the faculty has research or teaching interests in some major 19th and 20th century European figures, including, among others, Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, and Foucault.

Among the faculty’s main contemporary interests are those topics commonly pursued in any high-ranking research and teaching program, including for example research and teaching interests in philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, logic, epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, moral philosophy, and aesthetics. The faculty’s research and teaching in these areas is informed by leading historical figures, including especially Kant, Aristotle, Hume, Wittgenstein and—again, uniquely for such a small department—leading figures from the Middle Ages and late antiquity (including medieval Islamic figures).

Graduate students are therefore able to take advantage of a wide range of courses in the history of philosophy, including ancient, early modern, Kant, 19th-century, and the history of 20th-century philosophy (analytic, continental, and combined).

Both the Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs encourage interaction with other fields.

Relationship of the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs

Students in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs will be in the same classes and work on the same course distribution requirements. Enrollment in the M.A. program confers no advantage for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Applications and Admissions

Application materials are available online. Further information regarding the program may be requested from the Department of Philosophy at (831) 459-4578, fax: (831) 459-2650 or visit the department website.