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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Oct 22, 2021
 
2020-2021 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.  Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program may apply for an M.A. when they have satisfied the requirements for comprehensive evaluation described in §4.1 of this handbook and been comprehensively evaluated.  Except in extraordinary circumstances, students working towards an M.A. in Philosophy who are not enrolled in the Philosophy Ph.D. program are Ph.D. students in other departments at the University who are seeking a “secondary M.A.”.  Students pursuing a secondary M.A. 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 §3.4 of this Handbook).  But M.A. students may not take the M&E Core Seminar or Ethics 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 2499 (or a more advanced logic course), as described in §3.1 of this Handbook.

D.    The student must pass (with a grade of B or better) at least 10 courses (30 credits) offered by the Department at the 2000 level or above.  Neither Directed nor Independent Studies may count.  Courses that are offered by other departments and cross-listed with Philosophy do not automatically count.  Students, may, however, petition the Graduate Committee to use them to satisfy this requirement.

None of the courses used to fulfill these requirements can be among those used to fulfill requirements for another degree, including residency requirements for the student’s “home” degree.  When requirements (A) through (D) have been met, the student must submit to the Graduate Committee a dossier of three papers written for courses taken in our program, together with any available comments from instructors on these papers.  This portfolio will be comprehensively evaluated by the Department and, if the evaluation is favorable, the Department will recommend the conferral of the secondary 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.  All requirements for the secondary M.A. degree should be completed within a period of four calendar years from the student’s initial registration for graduate study.  

To apply to the secondary M.A. program, students must submit the following to the Director of Graduate Studies: a writing sample, copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and a letter of recommendation from the Director of Graduate Studies in the student’s home department indicating that the home department supports the student’s application to the secondary M.A. Program.  The University allows a maximum of six credits taken prior to admission to a secondary M.A. Program to count toward the requirements for the secondary M.A.

Secondary M.A. Programs in other departments

Students enrolled in the regular Ph.D. program in the Department may pursue a secondary M.A. degree in other departments at the University.  The University allows a maximum of six credits taken prior to admission to a secondary M.A. Program to count toward the requirements for the secondary M.A.  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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