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Ph.D. Program

McMaster’s Doctoral Program in Philosophy offers courses of study leading to the degree of Ph.D. in philosophy. The program’s fundamental aims are to develop in students the research capabilities required of professional philosophers and to qualify students to teach philosophy at university level. Since the most important qualification for a university position is competence in advanced research, the program makes research the main feature of a student’s individual course of study. Coursework is complementary to research rather than a qualification for it. The program has been designed so that students may quickly enter into the excitement of their own research while steadily building a solid foundation of comprehensive knowledge.

McMaster has been offering Ph.D.s in philosophy since 1971, when the joint Ph.D. program in philosophy with the University of Guelph was inaugurated. With the addition of Wilfrid Laurier University in 1999, this became the Tri-U Program or Guelph-Laurier-McMaster Joint Ph.D. Program in Philosophy (see below). In July 2006 the participating departments decided to phase out the Guelph-Laurier-McMaster Doctoral Program in Philosophy in favour of stand-alone Ph.D. programs in philosophy at the Universities of Guelph and McMaster. In 2008 McMaster received approval for its own stand-alone program, to which all students admitted to do the Ph.D. at McMaster since 2006 automatically belong. Wilfrid Laurier decided not to apply for a Ph.D. program. As a legacy of our association with Guelph and Laurier, there remains a course-sharing agreement whereby graduate students at any of the three institutions may take courses at any of the others without charge.

Full accounts of the McMaster program regulations, current courses, student and faculty research, and information on funding and applying may be accessed from the links below.

International Student Applicants should be various tuition and funding information when applying to the program

Prospective students will find all the necessary information regarding the application process for the Ph.D. program

A  description of the program from the admission process to the thesis and defense

Course outlines and the timetable for the graduate course offerings

An outline of the various funding opportunities for our program students

The 4 year timeline summarizing a student’s progress through the Ph.D. program

An overview of the theses and placement information for our recent Ph.D. graduates