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Graduate Programs

Saint Louis University’s graduate programs in philosophy provides an intellectual environment in which students pursue advanced studies in a wide range of philosophical topics and methods — systematic, analytic and historical.

The department places equal emphasis on work in contemporary philosophy and on the value of history of philosophy. Both the master’s program and the doctoral program are designed to offer a diverse and well-rounded course of study.  We have an extremely strong track record of placing our doctoral students in tenure-track teaching positions. 

Also, a recent study showed our Ph.D. program to be among the top 15 for percentage of students of color, and also among the top 15 to be recommended to others by current or recent Ph.D. students.

The Philosophical Gourmet Report  ranks SLU’s as one of the top 50 best graduate programs in the country. We are noted for our strengths in a number of areas, including medieval philosophy, philosophy of religion, action theory, epistemology and social political philosophy.  For more information about our areas of research strength, see our research page.  

Doctoral students at SLU take a course in logic and in each of the main periods of the history of philosophy. They participate in seminars devoted to topics in traditional areas of philosophy, including metaphysics and epistemology; value theory; social/political theory; and philosophy of religion, language and science.  After completing coursework, doctoral students develop their own dissertation project under the direction of a department faculty member. For a detailed description of the graduate program requirements, see the Graduate Student Handbook

The department offers a variety of resources to graduate students, including a world-renowned faculty, numerous colloquia and conferences, and a wide variety reading groups.

Financial Aid

Doctoral students at SLU are eligible for assistantships for a total of five years. Each assistantship provides a competitive salary, as well as medical benefits and tuition remission.  Typically, first-year graduate students serve as teaching assistants in a large lecture course, facilitating discussion sections and grading papers. More advanced doctoral students may—depending on the needs of both the student and the department—serve as teaching assistants, as sole instructors of their own sections of introductory courses, or as research assistants for faculty members. 

Master's students are not eligible for graduate assistantships, but may apply for tuition remission.

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University Grants and Fellowships

Various grants and fellowships are available to graduate students through the Office of Graduate Education. For more information on University-wide fellowships, as well as information about how and when to apply, visit the Office of Graduate Education. 

Philosophy Graduate Student Association

The Philosophy Graduate Student Association (PGSA) is dedicated to furthering the interests of the graduate students in the philosophy department.

The PGSA organizes meetings for professional development dedicated both to securing employment and to a broad array of issues in the academic world. Each year, the graduate students select a topic and organize a graduate student conference around it. The PGSA also facilitates relations with the larger community of graduate students at SLU by selecting a representative to attend the meetings of the Graduate Student Association.