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Philosophy, Ph.D.

Saint Louis University's Doctor of Philosophy program is designed to prepare students to enter the field of philosophy as teachers and scholars prepared to engage at the highest levels of philosophical discourse.

Curriculum Overview

Courses in SLU's philosophy graduate program examine historical as well as contemporary issues, such as problems in metaphysics, epistemology, social and political ethics, and philosophy of religion, among others.

Graduate Student Handbook

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Special resources available to the program include the international philosophical journal Res Philosophica; the Vatican Film Library, one of the finest repositories of its kind in the Western hemisphere; and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

There are regular opportunities to work with eminent visiting scholars, numerous colloquia and conferences, a wide variety of reading groups as well as opportunities to participate in exchange programs.

Admission Requirements

There are no necessary requirements for acceptance into the graduate program in philosophy. However, a philosophy major is strongly recommended. In general, at least six philosophy courses are expected, including logic and history of philosophy.

Application Requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Professional goal statement (including areas of research interest)
  • A sample of your philosophical writing (c. 10-15 page paper).

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Assistantship Application Deadline

Students who want to be considered for a philosophy assistantship must submit their application by Dec. 15.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by a committee of philosophy department faculty members. Consistent with the Council of Graduate Schools “April 15” resolution, no student will be required to make a final decision to accept or reject an offer of funding prior to April 15.

Scholarships, Assistantships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for a graduate assistantship, apply by the program admission deadlines listed. Fellowships and assistantships provide a stipend and may include health insurance and a tuition scholarship for the duration of the award. 

For more information, visit http://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to make a scholarly contribution to the field of philosophy.
  2. Graduates will be able to teach philosophy effectively (meeting expectations on all dimensions of the “Checklist for Review of Graduate Student Teachers”).
History of Philosophy
Ancient Philosophy6
Medieval Philosophy6
Modern Philosophy6
Topics Courses
The 15 credits in the topics area must also be distributed over three of the following four areas:15
Epistemology
Metaphysics
Ethics
Social and Political Philosophy.
Advanced Symbolic Logic
PHIL 6220Advanced Logic *3
Electives
Select 9 credits of Electives9
PHIL 6990Dissertation Research (taken over multiple semesters)12
Total Credits57

Professors will specify in which of these four topic areas their courses fall. No course may concurrently fulfill both a history and a topics requirement.

Nine credits of these topics courses must be relevant to an Area of Competence (AOC).

*

This course, which examines the metatheory of propositional and predicate logic, must be passed with a grade of "B" or higher, and ordinarily is to be taken during the first year of graduate studies. Students who have taken a similar course prior to entering the program may have this requirement waived by the chair of the department, in consultation with the chairs of the department’s graduate admissions committee and graduate logic committee. Alternatively, students may take an exam covering the material of the Advanced Symbolic Logic course. The course requirement would then be waived if the student achieved a grade of "B" or higher on the exam. Students who have this requirement waived will then choose an additional course as an elective.

Non-Course Requirements

  • The dissertation prospectus, to be completed by the end of the sixth semester of study.
  • A two-hour oral examination on the dissertation prospectus covering:during which any aspect of the written prospectus may be discussed and questioned.
  • Proficiency in a foreign language, if required for research.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
PHIL 6400 Ancient Philosophy (See Program Notes) 3
PHIL 6220 Advanced Logic (See Program Notes) 3
PHIL 5300 Problems in Ethical Theories (See Program Notes) 3
 Credits9
Spring
PHIL 6450 Medieval Philosophy (Aquinas) 3
PHIL 6340 Advanced Epistemology 3
PHIL 6300 Advanced Ethics 3
 Credits9
Year Two
Fall
PHIL 6500 Modern Philosophy 3
PHIL 6260 Problems in Philosophy of Religion 3
PHIL 6000 Seminar in Major Philosopher in Ethics 3
 Credits9
Spring
PHIL 6200 Philosophy of Science 3
PHIL 6340 Advanced Epistemology 3
PHIL 6360 Seminar in Political Philosophy 3
 Credits9
Year Three
Fall
PHIL 6450 Medieval Philosophy (Ockham) 3
PHIL 5100 Problems in Epistemology 3
PHIL 5980 Graduate Reading Course (Ethics) 3
 Credits9
Spring
PHIL 6990 Dissertation Research (See Program Notes) 1
 Credits1
Year Four
Fall
PHIL 6990 Dissertation Research 2
 Credits2
Spring
PHIL 6990 Dissertation Research (See Program Notes) 3
 Credits3
Year Five
Fall
PHIL 6990 Dissertation Research 3
 Credits3
Spring
PHIL 6990 Dissertation Research 3
 Credits3
 Total Credits57

Program Notes

By the end of the sixth semester of study, the student should have taken 45 credits of coursework.

By the end of the 10th semester of study, the student must have completed 12 credits in PHIL 6990 Dissertation Research.

For more information about our program, please contact:

Kent Staley, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Department of Philosophy
kent.staley@slu.edu
314-977-3151