Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy

The PhD program in Philosophy provides students with the training and preparation needed to become excellent scholars, effective pedagogues, and good citizens of the profession of academic philosophy, or related disciplines. Philosophy deals with the central questions of what there is, how we know about it, and why it matters, so this training and preparation can also enable students to serve society in a number of high-level capacities outside of academia, involving planning, understanding, or other skills of abstract reasoning.

The unique features of the PhD in Philosophy at Texas A&M are its pluralism within the discipline of philosophy and its commitment to cross-disciplinary research. Students are required to complete coursework in several different methodological traditions within philosophy, and are also required to engage in truly interdisciplinary academic research. Students finally write a dissertation synthesizing this work and developing novel research of their own. Our students graduate well-prepared to make a contribution to ongoing dialogues in important philosophical topics and across multiple philosophical traditions.

The interdisciplinary research requirement is completed either by earning, in addition to the PhD, a master’s or higher-level supporting degree in a field other than philosophy, or by completing an interdisciplinary track developed by the Philosophy department in conjunction with several other departments. Approved interdisciplinary tracks are described in the Philosophy department's Graduate Handbook. Supporting degrees may come from any academic field in any college, provided that it supports the student's philosophical research interests. Supporting degrees must be approved by the Department’s Graduate Program Advisory Committee. Applicants who already hold a master’s or higher-level degree may petition to have it counted as the supporting degree. Such petitions are approved only if the department judges the prior work to fit the overall needs of the student’s course of study. Other applicants are expected to choose a track or secure admission to an approved master’s program in another department during their second year of study.

Steps to Fulfill a Doctoral Program