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Our research and teaching strengths include legal and political philosophy, ethics and applied ethics, the history of analytic philosophy, the philosophy of language, ancient philosophy, and continental philosophy.


The McMaster University Department of Philosophy offers both an M.A. and a Ph.D. program of graduate study. The M.A. progam is a two-year thesis-based M.A. degree. We also offer a fast-track to the Ph.D. program to select students who do exceptionally well during their first-year in the M.A. program. Otherwise, only students who have completed an M.A. in philosophy or the equivalent are eligible for entry into the Ph.D. program.

The Ph.D. program comprises two years of coursework and preparation for a qualifying exam that the candidate must pass before proceeding to the program’s final requirement, the writing and successful defense of the Ph.D. thesis. The M.A. and Ph.D. programs respectively guarantee two and four years of T.A. and scholarship funding to both International and Canadian students accepted into the program, so long as all program benchmarks are met.


We encourage interested applicants to visit our website for more information about our programs and their many opportunities, including:

Graduate applicants interested in academic or consulting careers in applied ethics should take note of the unique opportunity to affiliate with IEPI. Under the auspices of the Department of Philosophy and the direction of Dr. Claudia Emerson, IEPI’s team of research associates is the primary source of ethics and policy guidance for the Global Health and Development arm of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and it provides similar support to numerous other prominent institutions working in this area.


Hamilton, Ontario is the home of McMaster University. It is wrapped around the westernmost part of Lake Ontario and is one of the larger urban centers in Canada. While it boasts one of the nation’s most developed industrial and medical infrastructures, it is also one of the greenest urban spaces in the country, with 4500 hectares of conservation land and 100 waterfalls within the city limits. The city core is also experiencing a cultural revival with a bourgeoning music scene, a monthly “Art Crawl” street festival, and a growing number of critically acclaimed restaurants, cafes, and farm-to-table establishments. It is a city of both rich urban opportunities and community-based, walkable neighbourhoods surrounded by the beauty of the Niagara escarpment.


Barry Allen (Princeton)
Distinguished University Professor,
Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada
Theory of knowledge; philosophy of technology; aesthetics; pragmatism; Chinese philosophy; work of Nietzsche, Bergson, Deleuze.

Nancy C. Doubleday (Queen’s)
Hope Chair in Peace and Health
Peace and health in complex ecological-social-cultural
systems; international law and policy; the Arctic region
and globalization; adaptive co-management.

Claudia I. Emerson (McMaster)
Director, The Institute on Ethics and Policy for Innovation (IEPI)
Global health ethics; applied ethics.

Diane Enns (SUNY-Binghamton)
Social and political philosophy; contemporary continental philosophy.

Elisabeth Gedge (Calgary)
Feminist bioethics; philosophy of law; philosophy of religion; environmental philosophy.

Nicholas Griffin (Australian National)
Canada Research Chair in Philosophy
Bertrand Russell; philosophical logic; epistemology;
19th and 20th century intellectual history.

Violetta Igneski (Toronto)
Political philosophy; philosophy of law; moral philosophy; applied ethics.

Mark Johnstone (Princeton)
Ancient Greek philosophy; ethics; moral psychology; philosophy of mind.

Sandra Lapointe (Leeds)
History of 19th and 20th century philosophy of logic; language and mind; phenomenology; German philosophy from Kant to Husserl; methodology.

Brigitte Sassen (Pennsylvania State)
Early modern philosophy; Kant; feminist philosophy; 20th century continental philosophy.

Stefan Sciaraffa (Arizona)
Department Chair
Philosophy of law; social and political philosophy; ethics.

Megan Stotts (California-Riverside)
Philosophy of language; social ontology, epistemology.

Wilfrid Waluchow (Oxford)
Senator William McMaster Chair in Constitutional Studies
General jurisprudence; philosophy of constitutional law.



We will review files on a rolling basis. To be assured full consideration, all materials must arrive no later than February 15, 2018.