Graduate Studies in Philosophy

Our department has thriving MA and PhD programs, with 19 and 26 students enrolled, respectively, as of September 2016. Our faculty have significant and recognized research strengths in continental philosophy, philosophy of science and philosophy of mind, ethics, social and political philosophy and the history of philosophy; we also offer graduate instruction in many other areas.

Our graduate student community is lively and supportive. Students regularly organize Graduate Student Colloquia and there is an active Philosophy Graduate Students' Association (, President: Joshua Grant-Young).

If you have questions about our graduate programs please contact:

  • Professor Andrew Wayne, Graduate Coordinator (re admission requirements and program requirements)
  • Graduate Secretary Janet Thackray (re admission processing, registration)
  • Administrative Assistant  Pam Armitage

New: an MA graduate, Jordan Bartol, reflects on the academic job market in the Philosophy of Science in Practice Newsletter.

Special entrance scholarships

Social and Political Philosophy  New PhD students in social and political philosophy whose dissertations touch on ethical issues related to globalization are eligible to receive additional funding ($2,000–$4,000) from the Canada Research Chair in Ethics and Global Social Change. For additional information please contact Professor Monique Deveaux.

Women in Philosophy  The Philosophy Department offers an Entrance Scholarship for Women in Philosophy. Valued at $1,000, this scholarship will be awarded annually to a woman student entering the Graduate Program in Philosophy, either at the master's or the doctoral level. This scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic and scholarly merit.

Funding Information for International Students

International students should note that they pay significantly higher tuition fees than Canadian residents, which means that the standard funding package offered by the Department of Philosophy will usually be insufficient to cover the cost of living. Should they be admitted to one of our programs, international students are therefore advised to seek other sources of funding to offset some of these expenses. For more information, please see the Office of Graduate Studies' page, Funding Opportunities for International Students.

Collaborative International Development Studies (IDS) Specialization

The Philosophy MA or PhD can be combined with an IDS collaborative specialization. This offers an interdisciplinary framework for the study of international development that combines training in a selected academic discipline with exposure to a broad range of social science perspectives. In addition to Philosophy program course requirements, students take:

  • For the MA:  “IDS Seminar” (IDEV 6100) and one course from each core area: Sociology/Anthropology, Geography, Economics and Political Science.
  • For the PhD:  “Theories and Debates in Development” (IDEV 6800) and “Development Research and Practice” (IDEV 6850).

Please visit the IDS website for more information.

MA Program

The MA can be pursued as preparation for a PhD, but need not be.  Graduates from our MA program have entered high-quality PhD programs as well as pursuing other options; see our MA outcomes page. Our MA program has two streams, a one-year coursework-based program (new for Fall 2017) and a two-year program involving an orally-defended thesis. For the one-year program we typically offer three semesters of funding (Fall, Winter and Summer) and for the two-year program we typically offer four semesters of funding (two Falls and Winters); and there are additional funding opportunities. Further details—including recommended timelines—are in our program regulations (linked below) but here are the main requirements of each.

Requirements for One-year MA Requirements for Two-year MA
Take the (two-semester) MA Seminar Take the (two-semester) MA Seminar
Take at least 5 Philosophy graduate courses Take at least 3 Philosophy graduate courses
Take the Major Research Project course, producing an essay of about 8,000 words Write a thesis of about 25,000 words and successfully defend it at an Oral Examination


Doing the program:

PhD Program

The department hosts one of the largest PhD programs in philosophy in Canada and has a good placement record.  The department can typically guarantee at least $90,000 funding for four years for any incoming PhD student; there are additional funding opportunities.


Doing the program: