Skip to Navigation
    University of Virginia
  Nov 25, 2017
Graduate Record 2011-2012 [ARCHIVED RECORD]


Return to Programs Return to: Programs

Degree Requirements

Programs of Study

The Department of Philosophy offers programs leading to the degree of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy, and cooperates with the School of Law in a program leading to the dual degrees of J.D. and M.A. in Philosophy. An essential part of the graduate program is the development of appropriate professional skills in teaching and research; students are required to undertake the work necessary for the development of such skills.

Master of Arts

In addition to meeting the GSAS requirements, candidates must:

  1.  pass 24 credits of courses at the 5000-, 7000-, or 8000-levels; 
  2.  write two “qualifying papers”. These papers must be approved by a committee of faculty members.


Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the GSAS requirements, candidates must:

  1. pass 42 credits of courses at the 5000-, 7000-, or 8000-levels. Students who enter the Ph.D. program with an M.A. in Philosophy from another institution may count up to 24 credits of graduate courses taken at the other institution toward this requirement;
  2. complete the “two papers” requirement (See M.A. requirements above).  Students entering the program with an M.A. from another university need submit only one paper; the paper must be submitted by the beginning of their third semester;
  3. qualify in four areas: metaphysics and epistemology, ethics, history of philosophy, and logic. For each of the first three areas, candidates qualify in that area by achieving an average grade of at least B+ in three courses in that area. Candidates qualify in logic either by examination or by satisfactory course work in two courses approved by the department, one in formal logic, the other in philosophical logic;
  4. propose and have approved, by the faculty, a dissertation proposal.  Dissertation proposals must be submitted not later than October 1 if degree is to be conferred in May; not later than December 1 if degree is to be conferred in August; and not later than April 1 if degree is to be conferred in December.
  5. successfully defend the dissertation in an oral examination.


J.D.-M.A. Program

This department, in cooperation with the School of Law, offers a dual degree leading to the degrees of J.D. and M.A. in Philosophy. In order to enter the program a student is required to secure admission separately to the School of Law and to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences through normal admissions procedures; and to subsequently secure admission to the dual degree by application to the program committee.

The program normally takes 3-4 years to complete, and ordinarily consists of the complete first-year program at the School of Law, followed by three years of courses from the curricula of the two schools and, where appropriate, from other graduate offerings at the University. The student must meet all the requirements set by the respective departments to be awarded each degree. This involves, in the School of Law, a minimum of 86 credits, as well as completion of the school’s curricula; and, in the Department of Philosophy, 24 credits and completion of the “two papers” requirement. With the approval of the members of the program committee, a student may count up to 12 credits earned at the graduate level in the Department of Philosophy or other graduate offerings in the University, toward the 86 credits required for the J.D. degree; and up to six credits earned in the School of Law toward the 24 credits required for the M.A. degree.

Further regulations concerning change of status, financial aid, tuition and fees, extracurricular activities, and grading standards may be obtained on application to the Department of Philosophy.

Course Descriptions

Return to Programs Return to: Programs