M.A. Course of Study

Coursework credits

M.A. students take a minimum of 30 graduate course credit hours (10 courses). These must include at least a minimum of one in ancient philosophy, one in medieval philosophy, one in modern philosophy, and one in contemporary philosophy (note: not all graduate courses offered by the department fall into one of these categories). M.A. students normally complete their coursework in two years, taking 9 credits (3 courses) each semester during their first two years and 6 credits (2 courses) each semester during their second year. Part-time M.A. students may follow an extended or alternative schedule.

Transfer credits/Advanced standing

Transfer credits are not accepted and advanced standing is not awarded for the M.A. program. Please note that this Philosophy graduate transfer credit policy is more limited than the general Graduate School policy.

Extra-departmental courses

When relevant to a student’s research and with the approval of the Chair, three credits (1 course) taken through another department or at another university may be applied toward the coursework credits requirement.

Language requirement

M.A. students must demonstrate research competence in one foreign language (normally ancient Greek, Latin, French, or German). Tuition assistance is usually available for semester language courses at Duquesne and intensive summer language study abroad.

Thesis option

M.A. students are not required to write a Master’s Thesis. Those who choose to do so must secure the agreement of a faculty director and register for PHIL 700 Research Thesis during their final two semesters of the program. These 6 Research Thesis credits do count toward the coursework credit requirement detailed above.

Satisfactory Progress

The Chair and Director of Graduate Studies periodically review progress toward degree. Students deemed not to be making satisfactory progress may be placed on probation or asked to leave the program. University policy requires all work leading to a M.A. degree to be completed no more than six years after matriculation.

Degree conferral

M.A. candidates must make a formal application for the degree at the office of the Registrar prior to the date specified in that year’s University Calendar and should be present at graduation. Students must make complete settlement of their financial accounts with the university before any degree will be conferred.

Exchange programs

Students who wish to pursue an exchange program, such as the one set up with Heidelberg University, must discuss this possibility with the chair.