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Graduate Programs

The Department of Philosophy at McMaster University is a vibrant, research-oriented department offering both M.A. and Ph.D. programs. We embrace a variety of approaches to philosophical study and consider the breadth of expertise of our 13 tenured and tenure-track faculty to be one of the advantages of our degree programs. Our research and teaching strengths include both continental and analytic perspectives, legal and political philosophy and ethics as well as epistemology and metaphysics, and strength in the history of philosophy from ancient through modern to twentieth century thought.

M.A. Program

McMaster offers a stand-alone two-year M.A. Program. The mix of graduate courses and thesis research and writing is designed to prepare students for more advanced philosophical studies or for a professional career outside academia. The department offers a “fast-track” option, allowing students who are successful in their M.A. coursework to progress directly to the Ph.D. program after one year. Click on the link to the right for more information about our M.A. program.

Ph.D. Program

McMaster’s Doctoral Program in Philosophy offers courses of study leading to the degree of Ph.D. in philosophy. The program is designed so that students may quickly enter into the excitement of their own research, while steadily building a solid foundation of comprehensive knowledge. Click on the link to the right for more information about our Ph.D. program.

Department Life

The McMaster department regularly hosts international conferences and workshops. Graduate students are heavily involved in these events, as both presenters and organizers. There is also a weekly visiting speaker series during the teaching term. The speaker series is preceded and followed by social events, in which the whole department community is able to come together. There are always several reading groups in progress. Graduate students are encouraged to attend department meetings, and are considered full members of the community.

Associated Programs and Opportunities

McMaster houses the Institute for Ethics and Policy Innovation (IEPI), a major international centre for global health care ethics research. The director, Claudia Emerson, is an Associate Professor in the philosophy department. Many of our graduate students work for IEPI as research fellows. In addition, McMaster houses the Bertrand Russell Research Centre, and is home to the Russell Archives. The department hosts many visiting scholars and events in the history of analytic philosophy. We have a vibrant community of students and faculty working in legal and political philosophy, and are a member of the Ontario Legal Partnership. Graduate students (both M.A. and Ph.D.) have the opportunity to supplement their studies with diplomas in Gender Studies and Feminist Research and in Water Without Borders.