Why Apply to York?

Why come to York for graduate studies?

York Philosophy is a vibrant, research active department in the cosmopolitan multicultural city of Toronto. York University has the second largest Philosophy department in Canada, with over 25 professors whose research and teaching cover a diverse range of philosophical topics. Our program has particular strengths in ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law, feminist philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, and cognitive science. With the new subway station in the middle of campus, access is easier than ever

Study with research leaders:

York’s award-winning philosophy professors work closely with students, and are committed to training students academically and professionally. Students often have the opportunity to work closely with faculty on research projects, and have the possibility of obtaining additional funding and experience as a Research Assistant for faculty members’ funded projects. Currently, faculty members are engaged in the following SSHRC funded projects: Prof. Kristin AndrewsAnimals and Moral Practice; Prof. Jacob Beck’s Beyond Language: How the Mind Represents the World; Prof. Alice MacLachlan’s Civility and Solidarity; Prof. Louis Philippe Hodgson’s Institutionalism and Theories of International Justice; as well as projects associated with Prof. Regina Rini’s Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition.

Intellectual environment:

The Department of Philosophy has a vibrant intellectual community, which include two speaker series, workshops, and an annual graduate student conference. We bring philosophers to campus via the Philosophy and the Cognitive Science talk series, as well as through workshops on a variety of topics (this year the topics are Normative Folk Psychology and Perception and Nonconceptual Content). Last year’s Graduate Student Conference celebrated the Legacy of Donald Davidson. The Department participates in the longstanding Greater Toronto Area Animal Minds reading group, and currently supports reading groups in Philosophy of Perception, Rule Following, Buddhist Ethics, and Social Epistemology. Such reading groups are formed to reflect the interests of current students and include both faculty members and graduate students.

Teacher training

Our PhD students TA two courses a year, with the possibility of gaining additional funding and experience by TAing in the summer. In the 4th or 5th year of the program, students who are making good progress are typically given the opportunity to teach their own course. Faculty members are happy to attend student courses to offer feedback and to prepare to write a letter on the student’s teaching abilities. We also offer regular departmental workshops on teaching, including the Diversify Our Syllabi workshop series on how to include non-western philosophy in undergraduate courses. In addition, teaching training and certificates are available via York’s Teaching Commons.

Placement program:

We provide our students with professional training from the first year of the PhD, and in the last year of the program two placement officers work closely with students who are now job candidates to prepare them for the job market. We read drafts of cover letters, cv’s, research statements and teaching dossiers. We also organize mock interviews and work with students to help identify appropriate jobs to apply to. In addition to providing guidance in the academic job market, we hold an annual non-academic placement workshop and bring in York PhDs who are working in other areas, such as health policy and consulting. Our placement program has been written up in University Affairs as a model placement program.

Our placement program has an excellent job placement rate, with 80% of our PhD’s from the last 10 years employed in philosophy and 24% of those already holding tenure track jobs.

Regular funding packages:

We offer competitive funding packages. For full-time MA students, we offer funding in the range of $22,000-$28,000 for the academic year. No extra work is associated with this funding package. Since the MA is a one-year program, the funding is offered for one year only.

For full-time PhD students, York offers a basic funding package of approximately $22,500 guaranteed for 5 and 2/3 years, which includes TA work. In addition, the Philosophy Program offers entrance scholarships to all students admitted to the PhD program, bringing the total funding for the first year to $30,500-$35,500.

Scholarships and fellowships:

We offer entrance scholarships, dissertation year fellowships, and offer students support for applying for governmental grants (SSHRC and OGS).

Funding for travel for conferences and research:

York offers graduate students competitive funding for travel from a variety of sources (CUPE, York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA), Faculty of Graduate Studies) and in addition the Department guarantees conference travel funding of up to $800 each year. The Faculty of Graduate Studies also offers research funding to offset costs associated with fieldwork or travel for research via the FGS Fieldwork Cost Fund and the FGS Research Costs Fund.

Philosophy graduate student association:

Both MA and PhD students participate in the Philosophy Graduate Student Association (PGSA), which is a social as well as an academic group. The PGSA holds regular parties, sponsors work-in-progress reading groups, practice conference talks, and organizes an annual graduate conference.

A warm and supportive environment:

And, not least, York’s graduate program is a friendly and welcoming environment. We support and mentor our students and make their goals our goals. Professors co-author articles with students, we have shared social events and we take students to conferences. Feel free to reach out to students to hear what they have to say for themselves about doing graduate studies in philosophy at York.