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University of Pittsburgh    
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Mar 08, 2021
 
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Philosophy, MA


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M.A. in Philosophy

The department has no regular terminal M.A. program.   Except in extraordinary circumstances, students working towards an M.A. in Philosophy are Ph.D. students in other departments at the University who are seeking a “secondary M.A.”.  All M.A. students 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 this Handbook.  These requirements may (but need not) be satisfied by taking the core courses for Ph.D. students (described in section 3.4 of this Handbook).  But M.A. students may not the M&E Core Seminar in the Fall term: courses in the Core Sequence are open to M.A. students only in the spring term.

B.      The student must do at least two units of history (where a “unit” is defined in §3.5 of this 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 this Handbook.

There is also a Course-Number Requirement, parallel to that described in §3.6 of the Handbook: i.e., the student must pass (with a grade of B or better) at least 10 courses (30 credits) offered by the Department, of which at least 6 courses (18 credits) must be 2000-level or 3000-level, and no more than four may be at the 1000-level.  (Neither Directed nor Independent studies may count.)   None of the courses used to fulfill these requirements can be among those used to fulfill requirements for another degree.   All requirements for the M.A. degree should be completed within a period of four calendar years from the student’s initial registration for graduate study.

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 M.A. degree.  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 M.A. degree is only conferred upon students with an overall QPA of 3.0 or higher.

Secondary M.A. Programs in other departments

            A secondary M.A. in philosophy is available to a student enrolled in a Ph.D. 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 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 M.A. 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 Ph.D. program in the Department may pursue a secondary M.A. degree in other departments at the University.  If the secondary M.A. 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 M.A. be officially endorsed by the Department.  The Graduate Committee, with the approval of the Chair, may endorse the student’s secondary M.A. in which case an additional year of financial support by the Department will be granted, and the timing of requirements will be appropriately adjusted.

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