Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students with an MA degree in philosophy with at least a B+ average can be considered as candidates for the PhD degree.

Degree Requirements

PhD Candidates must complete the following:

1.Course Requirements
Complete Philosophy 6800 6.0: First-Year Seminar and either Philosophy 6850 6.0: PhD Research Seminar or Philosophy 6860 6.0: PhD Research Seminar II, plus another six half courses (or the equivalent), with no more than one full course equivalent a reading course and no more than one full course equivalent integrated with an undergraduate course.  Philosophy 6800 6.0 must be taken in Year 1. The six half courses must normally be completed by the end of Year 2, and Philosophy 6850 6.0 by the end of Year 3, in order to remain in good standing in the program.  With the permission of the program director, students may take one half graduate course outside the program, either at York University or elsewhere, and count it towards these course requirements.
2. Breadth Requirements History Requirement: Include, among their courses, at least two half courses each of which focuses in depth on a single significant problem or philosopher, and covers different periods in the history of philosophy. (Students who have taken such courses during their MA may, with the director’s permission, place out of all or part of this requirement.)
Area Requirement Area Requirement: Include, among their courses, at least two half courses in metaphysics and/or epistemology (understood as including philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science), and two half courses in moral, political, social or legal philosophy.
3. Logic Requirement
Normally, by the end of the second year students must demonstrate
to the logic examination committee a mastery of the semantic and
syntactic elements of sentential and first-order predicate logic. This
includes understanding validity, logical truth, and natural deduction
derivations for both sentential and predicate logic. Mastery may
be demonstrated by passing an exam in logic that is set by the logic
examination committee, or by passing a graduate level course in
logic, normally Philosophy 5460 3.0: Philosophical Logic, that
assumes an introductory logic course as background. Students who
fail to fulfill the logic requirement by the end of the second year will
be withdrawn from the program.
4. Paper Exam Submit two papers, normally by the end of the first term of Year 3, to be examined by three anonymous examiners in the program. To pass the exam, at least two of the three examiners must pass both papers. A one-time-only option of revising and resubmitting both papers is available. Students must resubmit within 6 weeks of the original decision. The papers, which may be based upon previous term papers, will demonstrate the skills that are needed to successfully pursue advanced doctoral research.  Papers that are published or forthcoming in refereed philosophy journals are also acceptable as submissions for the Paper Exam, but their status as published or forthcoming is not, of itself, sufficient to merit a passing grade in the exam. As the papers are to be written with a view to the norms and expectations of professional philosophical venues, such as peer-reviewed philosophy journals, they should include a carefully reasoned defence of a philosophical position, as well as demonstrate originality. One paper will be in the student’s primary area of research, and the other paper will be in a closely related (but not identical) area. The papers will normally be no more than 30 pages long, double spaced. Students who do not pass this exam after the second submission will be withdrawn from the program.
5. Dissertation Proposal Submit a suitable dissertation proposal acceptable to the supervisory committee.  Please see Proposal Contents for what should be included in the proposal.
6. Proposal Defence Successfully defend the dissertation proposal and pass an oral examination on literature relevant to the dissertation topic. The list of literature will be compiled jointly by the supervisor and the student after the supervisory relationship is formed and before the proposal is written. The examiners will consist of the student’s supervisory committee plus one outside member from the program. This requirement must normally be met by the end of PhD 3 in order to remain in good standing in the program.
7. Dissertation Write an acceptable dissertation embodying original research and defend it at an oral examination. It is recommended that Candidates whose field of study necessitates a reading knowledge of a language other than English acquire sufficient knowledge of that language. Candidates may be asked to demonstrate their proficiency to the Examining Committee.

Minimum time to completion

 12 terms

Maximum time to completion

18 terms