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Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy

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Ph.D. Degree Requirements

A student preparing for a doctorate in philosophy must meet general requirements and, before officially enrolling in PHIL 999 Dissertation, must satisfy these special requirements:

  1. Overall Hours Requirement: Complete at least 48 credit hours of graduate work in regular philosophy courses numbered 500 or above with grades in each course of at least B– and an overall grade-point average of at least B in all graduate philosophy courses. At least 24 of these hours must be at the 800 level or above (including PHIL 800 Tutorial and PHIL 901 Ph.D. Tutorial). Beyond the 48 hours and PHIL 999 Dissertation, additional hours may be required.
  2. Complete PHIL 800 Tutorial with a grade of B– or higher in the first year of enrollment.
  3. Formal Philosophy Requirement: Complete PHIL 610 Symbolic Logic or PHIL 666 Rational Choice Theory with a grade of B– or higher.
  4. Ph.D. Distribution Requirement:

Metaphysics and Epistemology (2 courses)

  • PHIL 620 Philosophy of Natural Science
  • PHIL 622 Philosophy of Social Science
  • PHIL 628 Philosophy of Logic
  • PHIL 630 Philosophy of Mathematics
  • PHIL 638 Philosophy of Language
  • PHIL 648 Theory of Knowledge
  • PHIL 650 Metaphysics
  • PHIL 654 Philosophy of Mind
  • PHIL 850 Topics in Recent Philosophy: _____ (Prerequisite: 500/600-level course as specified or permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 860 Topics in Philosophy of Science: _____ (Prerequisite: PHIL 620 or PHIL 622 or PHIL 648 or PHIL 650 or permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 862 Topics in Logic: _____ (Prerequisite: PHIL 610 or PHIL 628 or PHIL 630 or permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 868 Topics in Philosophy of Language: _____ (Prerequisite: PHIL 638 or permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 870 Topics in Metaphysics: _____ (Prerequisite: PHIL 650 or permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 872 Topics in Theory of Knowledge: _____ (Prerequisite: PHIL 648 or permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 877 Topics in Philosophy of Mind: _____ (Prerequisite: PHIL 654 or permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 888 Topics in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences: _____ (Prerequisite: PHIL 622 or permission of instructor)

Value Theory (2 courses)

Ancient Philosophy (1 course)

Modern Philosophy (1 course)

Nineteenth- and 20th-Century Philosophy (1 course)

5. PHIL 901 Ph.D. Tutorial: Students may not enroll in PHIL 901 before the third semester and normally should enroll in PHIL 901 no later than the sixth semester.

6. Satisfy the department requirement in research skills and responsible scholarship:

  • PHIL 800
  • PHIL 901
  • Demonstrated competence in an approved foreign language OR completion of a faculty-approved course in a discipline related to the student's research interests. 

7. Pass the comprehensive oral examination for Ph.D. candidacy. This examination must be taken after all of the above requirements have been completed, or in the semester in which the requirements will be completed.

After the oral comprehensive examination has been passed, the student must write a dissertation of substantial merit showing the planning, conduct, and result of original research and must pass a final oral examination and defense of the dissertation.

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Time Limits and Other Restrictions

Information on time limits may be found under Doctor of Philosophy, Program Time Constraints in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog. The rule for transferring credit toward the M.A. appears under General Regulations in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

The department’s requirement of 48 credit hours of acceptable graduate work for the Ph.D. can be reduced by petition depending on the amount and quality of equivalent graduate work completed at another institution. However, at least 24 hours of acceptable graduate work must be taken in the Department of Philosophy at KU.

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