Twin Cities campus

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Twin Cities Campus

Philosophy Ph.D.

Philosophy Department
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Philosophy, 271 19th Avenue South, 831 Heller Hall, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0310 (612-624-6563; fax: 612-626-8380)
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2023
  • Length of program in credits: 62
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The Philosophy PhD is noteworthy for its emphasis on the individual student's research interests. With the help of an advisor, students design their own program of study, which consists of the philosophy major and either a supporting program or a minor that complements the student's research focus. Students gain a broad base of knowledge in history of philosophy, logic, ELMS (epistemology, philosophy of language, metaphysics or mathematics, philosophy of science), moral and political philosophy, and value theory, which provides a firm foundation for research and teaching beyond the PhD program.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Broad undergraduate background that includes substantial philosophy coursework.
Special Application Requirements:
Individuals apply to the University and the Department of Philosophy via the University’s online admissions system. Application materials include the application form; personal statement; diversity statement; transcripts; three academic letters of recommendation; and a philosophical writing sample not to exceed 25 pages. For more information regarding application requirements and funding opportunities, refer to the Department of Philosophy website at Applications must be received by December 31 for the following fall semester.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
26 credits are required in the major.
12 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 3 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
Coursework offered on both the A-F and S/N grading basis must be taken A-F. Application of 4xxx-level coursework toward degree requirements requires advisor approval, and is permitted only when taken in conjunction with an appropriate 8xxx-level workshop. Workshop selection is based on the area of philosophy: 8010 (history of phil); 8100 (epistemology and metaphysics); 8200 (logic and philosophy of math, language); 8300 (moral and political) 8600 (philosophy of science). See the Department of Philosophy website at for more information.
Major Coursework (26 credits)
Select 26 credits from the following, in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies. Non-PHIL courses may be applied to this requirement with advisor and director of graduate studies approval.
PHIL 5xxx
PHIL 8xxx
Outside Coursework (12 credits)
Select 12 credits outside the major in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies.
Thesis Credits
Take a total of 24 doctoral thesis credits beginning the second semester of Year 1.
PHIL 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral (1.0-24.0 cr)
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PHIL 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral
Credits: 1.0 -24.0 [max 100.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 24 cr required