M.A. Program Requirements

The Department of Philosophy offers a graduate programme which leads to the Master of Arts degree. Admission to the programme requires an honours degree in Philosophy or its equivalent. Students with particularly strong academic credentials who do not meet this requirement may be admitted with probationary status, but a degree in a cognate programme and course background in the discipline is strongly recommended.

Incoming students enter the course-based programme by default. Students in this programme must complete 30 credit units of coursework (a total of 10 graduate level courses or equivalent, normally over two years), as well as attending PHIL 990, and complete GSR 960. 

Normally, students may, subject to a suitable rationale, substitute at most one ordinary graduate course with either of an upper year undergraduate course, special reading course (898.3), or a graduate level  course in another department.  This may only be done once in a year and requires the permission of both the course instructor and the Graduate Director.  Faculty are under no obligation to provide special reading courses, which must also be approved by both the Graduate Director and CGPS.

Students have the option of transferring to a thesis based programme for their second year provided that certain conditions are met, as follows:

  • They must have successfully completed of all their first year courses with a cumulative average of at least 80%;
  • They must have assembled an advisory committee of supervisor and two advisors;
  • They must have satisfactorily completed and obtained approval of a thesis proposal, with approval received no later than 30 June (that is, the end of their first year).

If all of these conditions are satisfied, the student will be transferred to the thesis programme. 

Residency for the MA degree (thesis) is one year, although two years is the normal completion time. Students must register for GSR 960 upon commencement of their program and for PHIL 990 each fall or winter term they are enrolled. The MA-by-coursework option may also be pursued on a part-time basis, though this will make a student ineligible for the thesis option.

Normal Pattern for Initial Registration:

Fall Term: Sept – Dec
Two or three PHIL 8xx.3
PHIL 990
GSR 960

Winter Term: Jan – Apr
Two or three PHIL 8xx.3
PHIL 990

Spring Term: May – Jun
MSTA 000 (Maintenance of Status) or an 8xx.3, if available

Summer Term: Jul – Aug
MSTA 000 or an 8xx.3 if available