MA Requirements

 

Note that the department does not admit students for a terminal MA degree. However, there are special circumstances under which a student can pursue the MA in Philosophy,  described in §8.2 and §8.3 of the Graduate Student Handbook. Students pursuing the MA under those circumstances are supervised by the Director of Graduate Studies and must satisfy the following requirements:

A. The student must satisfy the Area Requirement in the field of metaphysics and/or epistemology, and in addition one of the other Area Requirements (i.e. either ethics or the philosophy of science), as described in §3.3 of the Graduate Student Handbook.

B. The student must do at least two units of history (where a “unit” is defined in §3.5 of the Graduate Student Handbook), such that one is in ancient philosophy and the other in modern/nineteenth century philosophy.

C. The student must either pass the Basic Logic Exam or PHIL 1500 (or a more advanced logic course), as described in §3.1 of the Graduate Student Handbook.

D. The student must satisfy the Language Requirement described in §3.2 of the Graduate Student Handbook.

There is also a Course-Number Requirement, parallel to that described in §3.6 of the Graduate Student Handbook. The student must pass (with a grade of B or better) at least 8 courses (24 credits) offered by the Department, of which at least 4 courses (12) credits must be 2000-level or 3000-level. When these requirements have been met, the student will be comprehensively evaluated by the Department and, if the evaluation is favorable, the Department will recommend the conferral of the MA degree.

The minimum requirement of residence for the MA degree is two terms of full residence work (or the equivalent of 24 credits) beyond the baccalaureate degree. Regulations concerning credits by transfer are spelled out in the A&S Graduate Programs Bulletin; see also §1.7 of the Graduate Student Handbook.

All requirements for the MA degree should be completed within a period of four calendar years from the student’s initial registration for graduate study. Students must register for at least one credit in the term of graduation and be registered for a minimum of three credits in the 12-month period preceding the graduation month. Note that the MA degree is only conferred upon students with an overall QPA of 3.0 or higher.

Secondary MA Programs

A secondary MA in philosophy is available to a student enrolled in a PhD program in another department at the University. The student must satisfy requirements (A)-(C) and the Course-Number Requirement described in §8.1 of the Graduate Student Handbook. Note that none of the courses used to fulfill these requirements can be among those used for residence requirements for the student’s “home” degree. When these requirements have been met, the student will be comprehensively evaluated by the Department and, if the evaluation is favorable, the Department will recommend conferral of the MA degree. The Department waives its Language Requirement and defers responsibility for residency and other University requirements to the student’s “home” department.

Students enrolled in the regular PhD program in the Department may pursue a secondary MA degree in other departments at the University. If the secondary MA would contribute significantly to the student’s philosophical training, or form an integral part of their projected dissertation project, the student may submit a written request to the Graduate Committee that his or her pursuit of the secondary MA be officially endorsed by the Department. The Graduate Committee, with the approval of the Chair, may endorse the student’s secondary MA in which case an additional year of financial support by the Department will be granted, and the timing of requirements will be appropriately adjusted.

Duquesne MA Program

The Department 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 and to gain further teaching experience. The Duquesne MA program lasts approximately one calendar year; the student’s studies at the University of Pittsburgh are meant to complement, rather than overlap, graduate studies at Duquesne, and course selection will be guided by this consideration.

Students admitted to this program will normally be given a half-time teaching assignment which presently includes half-tuition; note that a minimum of 8 courses (24 credits) is required for the MA degree. Selection of applicants will be made by a special committee appointed by the Chair. The number of students admitted at any given time will depend on the Department’s resources.

Students in the Duquesne MA Program are supervised by the Director of Graduate Studies and must satisfy the following requirements:

A. The student must do at least two units of history (where a “unit” is defined in §3.5 of the Graduate Student Handbook), such that one is in ancient philosophy and the other in modern philosophy.

B. The student must satisfy the Logic Requirement for the MA degree as described in §3.1 of the Graduate Student Handbook.

There is also a Course-Number Requirement, parallel to that described in §3.6 of the Graduate Student Handbook. The student must pass (with a grade of B or better) at least 8 courses (24 credits) offered by the Department, of which at least 4 courses (12 credits) must be 2000-level or 3000-level. Courses taken to satisfy (A) or (B) may be used to satisfy the Course-Number Requirement. When these requirements have been met, the student will be comprehensively evaluated by the Department and, if the evaluation is favorable, the Department will recommend the conferral of the MA degree.