Academic Calendar 2021-2022

Philosophy - Doctor of Philosophy

Course Requirements

Candidates must take six one-term courses (or equivalent1). At least one course must be in the subject the subject area of epistemology and metaphysics and at least one in the subject area of value theory. Each year all graduate courses offered by the department will be classified as falling into one (or both) of the two subject areas.

Area Requirement

No later than the end of the first week in June of the first year of the Ph.D. program, the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the candidate and relevant faculty, will form a committee of three faculty members, including one as chair, who will constitute the student’s Ph.D. supervisory committee to assist the student in identifying an area of research and mastering an appropriate reading list in preparation for the writing of the thesis. The second year is devoted to this preliminary process of research, focusing a dissertation topic and writing a dissertation proposal in conformity with procedures described in the Handbook for Graduate Students in Philosophy. At the end of the second year, no later than June 30, students will be orally examined by their committee on the dissertation proposal and research work preparatory for writing the dissertation. Details on proposal submission and the oral examination are also in the Handbook for Graduate Students in Philosophy.

Research Tool Recommendation

It is strongly recommended that students acquire one of the following research tools, as decided upon by their committee, in relation to their area of research: Reading capacity in a language other than English, expertise in a discipline other than philosophy (e.g. English, biology) or a skill set, such as statistics. Candidates who propose to submit a thesis in an area for which knowledge of a particular language or languages other than English is deemed essential must pass an examination set in this language. Other students are encouraged to acquire such a research tool, as well as evidence that they have done so, in order to enhance their research capacity and employability.


The defence of the dissertation will be an oral examination conducted by an examining committee in accordance with the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. The examination will focus upon the dissertation, but may extend to the general field in which the dissertation is written.