Temple University offers graduate study in philosophy leading to both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. One track to the M.A. requires a thesis and the other requires additional courses. The requirements for the Ph.D. include distributional minima, two written preliminary examinations (one in history of philosophy, the other in the area of the dissertation), competence in a foreign language, a dissertation and an oral defense. A Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies is available as an additional qualification.

********NEW PROGRAM*******Starting in Fall 2016, students in the MA in Philosophy program will be able to take a dual master’s degree with the Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy at the medical school.  Further details are here and here.  The Philosophy Department will extend the deadline for application to the dual master’s degree until May 1, 2016

A detailed description of the requirements is available from the Director of Graduate Studies, Kristin Gjesdal, and the Department Coordinator, Sonia Lawson. Although an undergraduate major in philosophy is desirable preparation for graduate work, students with an interest but limited formal training in the field are encouraged to apply and they may be admitted to a program of study that will fill the gaps in their backgrounds. Students with external fellowship support are encouraged to apply. We currently have students studying on Ford Foundation, Rotary International, and Fulbright Foundation fellowships.

Areas Of Strength

Temple’s Department of Philosophy has had a traditional strength in the fields of aesthetics, the philosophy of the arts, and the philosophy of culture that extends back to the contributions of the late professors Monroe Beardsley, John Fisher, and Judith Tormey. Among its current faculty, department members have also made significant contributions in African American philosophy, ancient philosophy, Continental philosophy, epistemology, ethics, history of philosophy, philosophy of culture, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, social and political philosophy.

The Department is also involved in a scholarly exchange program with institutions in Vietnam under the auspices of the Temple Center for Vietnamese Philosophy, Culture and Society.

Additional Programs & Consortia

Philosophy students can pursue an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in the Women’s Studies Program in which over 100 affiliated faculty members in 30 departments are involved. Students can also participate in Temple’s interdisciplinary graduate program in neuroscience in which the Department is actively involved and which features both courses and a colloquium series. In addition to the Department’s regular schedule of visiting speakers, graduate students run a Works- in-Progress Program at which students can present their own research for public discussion among colleagues and friends. Temple University is a founding member of the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, consisting of a number of area universities and colleges with substantial programs in philosophy. Students at member institutions may receive graduate credit for graduate courses and seminars at other member institutions that have graduate Philosophy programs (the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University), subject to regulations of the student’s home institution. The student is thus offered a wider selection of courses from which to choose. Since 1981 the Consortium has sponsored regular conferences in many areas of philosophy, bringing national and international scholars to the Philadelphia area.


Despite a difficult academic job market, the philosophy department continues to be successful in placing its graduates in universities and colleges throughout the country, as well as in philosophically-related non-academic positions. At present there are over 35 Temple Ph.D.s teaching in universities around the world, including the University of Massachusetts, the University of Iowa, Marquette University, the University of North Carolina, California State University, the University of MIssouri, Colorado State University, Colby College, the University of Leeds, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, National Central University of Taiwan, and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.