Graduate Advising

Where to Find Help

Meet with your graduate advisor to build the philosophy MA that supports your needs and interests.

Graduate Advisors

Étienne Brown

Carlos Sanchez

What's Your Plan?

We offer three plans for the M.A. in Philosophy. All three plans require 30 units of coursework* and the Comprehensive Examination:

Coursework (30 units)

Core Courses (12 units)

PHIL 290
PHIL 291
PHIL 292
PHIL 293 or PHIL 157

Elective Courses (12 units)

Selected from 100- and 200-level courses within the Department**

Plan Options

Plan A - Thesis

Appropriate for students who wish to pursue a formal written project under close faculty supervision; may be useful preparation for writing a dissertation at a Ph.D.-granting institution.

  • PHIL 298 (directed reading in support of the thesis; 3 units)
  • PHIL 299 (thesis and oral defense; 3 units)***

Plan B, Option 1 - Applied Philosophy Project

The applied philosophy project connects philosophy in a systematic manner to professional life in Silicon Valley, or to the wider world, allowing students to reflect, in a sustained and rigorous way, on ethical, social, epistemological, or metaphysical aspects of a human endeavor.

  • PHIL 200-level course (on advisement; 3 units)
  • PHIL 298 (directed reading in support of applied philosophy project; 3 units)***

Plan B, Option 2 - Reading Intensive

Appropriate for students who wish to focus on writing one or more publishable scholarly papers in philosophy, whether in preparation for application to a Ph.D. program or for personal enrichment.

  • PHIL 200-level course (on advisement; 3 units)
  • PHIL 298 (directed reading; 3 units)***

Who should you work with?

Consult our list of areas of interest and expertise [pdf] to find the faculty member(s) best suited to guide your reading, research, or applied project.

Comprehensive Examination

You will take a comprehensive examination after you have completed most of your coursework. The exam is administered the third Friday of each semester.

* On approval, when relevance to the candidate’s degree can be demonstrated, up to 6 of the 30 units may be from prior post-baccalaureate coursework, or from coursework taken outside the Department during the MA program to provide a basis for work in an area of applied philosophy.

** One or more of 290, 291, 292, and 293 may be repeated as electives when the course content is different.

*** Fulfills University graduate requirement for “culminating experience.”