Grad Schools:  

  Humanities >> Philosophy


Grad School / Program:

  • Philosophy

  • Contact:
  • 503 South Kedzie Hall
    Department of Philosophy
    Michigan State University (MSU)
    East Lansing, MI 48824
    United States
    Phone: 517-355-4490



  • Degrees Granted:
  • Masters, Doctorate

  • Programs offered:
  • On-campus
  • Sponsored Links


  • Description:
  • The Department offers work leading to the M.A. and the Ph.D. degrees. The master's program emphasizes a broad range of philosophical areas, while the doctoral program prepares students for specialized work leading to the dissertation. The Department supports work in most of the traditional areas of Western philosophy. Choosing a concentration or specialization at the doctoral level is possible in most areas and is planned by each student with a guidance committee composed of four faculty members. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged, and currently there are faculty and graduate students working in such diverse areas as feminism and cognitive science. The Department is also affiliated with two interdisciplinary graduate specializations: Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior and Cognitive Science.

    A distinctive strength of the Department is in the area of Philosophy and Ethics of Health Care. In conjunction with the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences (based in the University's medical colleges), the Department offers students the opportunity to do concentrated doctoral work on the ethical, epistemological, and policy aspects of health care. Philosophy faculty with research and teaching interests in medical issues collaborate with philosophers and physicians in the Center in providing annual seminars and practicum courses. At the master's level, the Department also participates in the Program in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society in the College of Human Medicine, as well as the College of Arts and Letters and College of Social Science. This program awards an MA degree and provides a foundation for doctoral work in several different specific disciplines.

    Several faculty in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State are working in an area in which traditional debates over justice, freedom, and political obligation are increasingly joined in contemporary philosophy by concerns with inequality, power, identity, and the rationalization of institutions and practices. In recent years individual faculty have published books and articles on themes in feminism, African American thought, democratic theory, the politics of knowledge, and the history of liberalism. Several dissertations have been written in these areas, and ongoing discussion groups have formed around themes concerning gender, race and ecology.

  • Admission Information:
  • Requirements for Admission to the Department of Philosophy
    The M.A. program requires a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent, a grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) for the last two years of undergraduate study, and at least 15 semester credits in philosophy. The course requirement may be waived in the case of students with strong backgrounds in other disciplines. Students with limited or uneven backgrounds may be admitted on a provisional basis.

    The PhD program requires a B.A with a major in Philosophy or its equivalent. Credit and distribution requirements are being revised accordingly.

    Students for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate English speaking and writing competence through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Students whose English is judged not to be sufficient for successful work in philosophy in English will be required to study in the University's English Language Center until they have demonstrated sufficient mastery. To qualify to hold a teaching assistantship, anyone whose native language is not English has to pass the MSU SPEAK test.

  • Financial Aids:
  • Assistantships
    Each year the Department sets aside a number of Graduate Assistantships for entering students. In the current academic year, graduate assistants received a total financial package of at least $21,523 for a level 1, ½-time assistantship. This package includes a waiver of up to nine credit hours tuition each term, health insurance coverage, and for out-of-state students, waiver of out-of-state tuition. College Fellowships and Affirmative Action Assistantships as well as Departmental Fellowships are available also. Students recruited with assistantships may expect a minimum of five years of support so long as they make satisfactory progress in their studies.

    Fellowships
    The department seeks fellowships for incoming students from The University Distinguished Fellowship and the University Enrichment Fellowship. More information on these fellowships is to be found here.

    The Graduate School website has links to further information about Fellowships/Funding/Financial Aid.

    Mellon Fellowship
    The MSU Graduate School encourages all applicants to consider applying for the Mellon Fellowship, information about which is available at: The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowships in Humanistic Studies.

  • Grad Program Website:
  • http://www.philosophy.msu.edu/

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