(Major Code: 15091) (SIMS Code: 115301)
The Department of Philosophy offers a program of graduate studies leading to the Master of Arts degree. The purpose of the M.A. program in philosophy is to provide students with rigorous advanced training in philosophical reasoning on philosophical topics. The Department offers two tracks for earning the M.A.: a thesis option and a non-thesis option. The thesis option often better serves students who wish to go on to pursue Ph.D. work in philosophy or other areas of advanced study.
Nota bene: Anyone applying to do graduate work in philosophy with the hope of eventually teaching philosophy needs to be aware that there are currently many more candidates for positions in teaching philosophy than there are positions available.
At the beginning of every fall semester, all new graduate students are expected to attend an orientation designed to familiarize students with the program and to help them to get to know the faculty and other students in the program.
All courses taken to satisfy the master’s degree requirements must be taken for a letter grade when this option is available. Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in graduate courses taken in the degree program. To be advanced to candidacy for 796 (non-thesis) option, students must have a 3.0 or higher gpa; to be advanced to candidacy for 799 (thesis) option, students must have a 3.5 or higher gpa. Grades of C or better for graduate courses are accepted for graduate credit. A grade point average below 3.0 at any time during a graduate student’s studies is considered unsatisfactory and will result in the student’s being placed on academic probation for the following semester. Students who are still achieving a grade point average below 3.0 at the end of the probationary period are subject to immediate dismissal from the program.
To be eligible to enroll in PHIL 796 or PHIL 799A , a student must be advanced to candidacy. The non-thesis option (796) entails working with a mentor during the semester to prepare for a comprehensive exam overseen by an officially appointed committee. For the thesis option (799), the student will arrange for a committee of no less than three tenured/tenure track SDSU faculty members (two of these necessarily must be from the Philosophy Department; one of the three must be from outside the Philosophy Department). One faculty member from the Philosophy Department will serve as the chair/director of the thesis.
In addition to meeting the requirements for classified graduate standing and the basic requirements for the master’s degree as described in Requirements for Master’s Degrees, the student must complete a program of 30 units of graduate coursework (500-799) selected with the approval of the graduate adviser. Students must complete a minimum of 24 units from courses in philosophy. The 24 units shall include PHIL 521 and PHIL 796 (non-thesis) or PHIL 799A (thesis), and a minimum of 12 units of 600-level courses in philosophy.