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Philosophy studies many of humanity’s fundamental questions, to reflect on these questions and answer them in a systematic, explicit, and rigorous way—relying on careful argumentation, and drawing from outside fields as diverse as economics, literature, religion, law, mathematics, the physical sciences, and psychology. While most of the tradition of philosophy is Western, the department seeks to connect with non-Western traditions like Islam and Buddhism.

The graduate program in philosophy at Harvard offers students the opportunity to work and to develop their ideas in a stimulating and supportive community of fellow doctoral students, faculty members, and visiting scholars. Among the special strengths of the department are moral and political philosophy, aesthetics, epistemology, philosophy of logic, philosophy of language, the history of analytic philosophy, ancient philosophy, Kant, and Wittgenstein.

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As a PhD student in the Harvard philosophy program, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your ideas, knowledge, and abilities. You'll work with other doctoral students, our faculty, and visiting scholars, all in a stimulating and supportive environment. The program has strengths across a broad range of topics and areas, so you'll be able to pursue your interests wherever they may lead, especially in moral and political philosophy, aesthetics, epistemology, philosophy of logic, philosophy of language, the history of analytic philosophy, ancient philosophy, Immanuel Kant, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. In addition, students can pursue joint degrees with classics, Harvard Law School, and in Indian philosophy.

Incoming cohorts consist of five to eight students per year. You will have substantial access to our renowned faculty and all the resources that Harvard makes available. This relatively small size also gives students a sense of intellectual community.

The curriculum is structured to help you make your way towards a dissertation: graduate-level coursework, a second-year research paper, a prospectus to help you identify a dissertation topic, and then the dissertation itself. Past dissertations in the department have addressed a broad range of topics: Aristotle, Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau; contemporary moral and political philosophy; metaphysics; epistemology; and logic.

In addition to your research, you will also have the opportunity to develop your teaching skills in many different settings across the University.

You can find graduates of the PhD program in many universities. Some of our students have gone on to faculty positions at Yale University, Princeton University, Brown University, and Stanford University. Other graduates have gone on to diverse careers in, among others, the arts, the law, secondary education, and technology.

In addition to the standard PhD in philosophy, the department offers a PhD in classical philosophy in collaboration with the Department of the Classics and a coordinated JD/PhD program in conjunction with Harvard Law School.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of Philosophy and requirements for the degree are detailed in Policies .

Areas of Study

Philosophy | Classical Philosophy | Indian Philosophy 

For information please consult the Department webpage on the  graduate program overview .

Admissions Requirements

Please review admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of Philosophy .

Academic Background

Applicants to the program in Philosophy are required to have a solid undergraduate background in philosophy, indicating that they have a good grounding in the history of philosophy, as well as familiarity with contemporary work in ethics, epistemology and metaphysics, and logic.

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Optional

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required as part of the application and should be between 12 to 30 pages long. The sample must address a substantial philosophical problem, whether it is an evaluation or presentation of an argument, or a serious attempt to interpret a difficult text. The upload of the writing sample should be formatted for 8.5-inch x 11-inch paper, 1-inch margins, with double-spaced text in a common 12-point font, such as Times New Roman.

Applicants seeking admission to the coordinated JD/PhD program must apply to and be separately admitted to Harvard Law School and the Department of Philosophy.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Philosophy

See list of Philosophy faculty

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Questions about the program.

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Philosophy PhD

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College of Arts and Sciences

Program description.

The Department of Philosophy offers graduate study in various subfields, with notable strengths in two cross-disciplinary research areas that apply philosophical ideas and methods in the real world. The first is applied ontology, which links philosophical ideas and methods to the use of computers in managing data, for example in medical research or in intelligence analysis. The Department is the world's center for the academic study of theoretical and applied ontology. A second area where the Department has particular strengths is in the growing field of philosophy, politics and economics, which studies how the economy, political and social institutions, and questions of justice interact and draws on analytical tools and models from a range of disciplines to address pressing social problems. The Department also excels in philosophy of science, bioethics, and early modern philosophy. The Department is distinguished by its high-quality teaching, robust faculty-student interaction within a vibrant academic community, and the successful placement of our graduates in both academic and extra-academic positions.

Catherine Gaston 832 Clemens Hall Buffalo, NY 14260 Email:  [email protected] Phone: 716-645-9042

Instruction Method

  • In Person   (100 percent of courses offered in person)

Full/Part Time Options

Credits required, time-to-degree, application fee, admission tests**.

This program is officially registered with the New York State Education Department (SED).

Online programs/courses may require students to come to campus on occasion. Time-to-degree and number of credit hours may vary based on full/part time status, degree, track and/or certification option chosen. Time-to-degree is based on calendar year(s). Contact the department for details.

** At least one of the admissions tests are required for admission. Test and score requirements/exceptions vary by program. Contact the department for details.

The Graduate Program in Philosophy

Eitan Fischer

Graduate Degree

Stanford's graduate program in Philosophy is by any measure among the world's best. We attract  excellent students , we provide them ample access to  leading scholars  for instruction and advice, and we turn out accomplished philosophers ready to compete for the best jobs in a very tight job market. We offer both MA and PhD degrees.

Doctoral Program

Masters Program

Our  graduate students  are part of a vigorous philosophical community.

Our tradition is to treat and regard our graduate students as much like colleagues as like students. Faculty and graduate students participate in workshops, in reading groups, in colloquium discussions and in nearly all department life on an equal basis. The Department covers the cost of graduate student participation in lunches and dinners with visiting speakers. Our graduate students participate in the running of the department. Two graduate students serve as representatives at department meetings, a graduate student serves on the Graduate Studies Committee, and graduate students also serve on faculty hiring committees. Graduate students are essential to our efforts to recruit new graduate students each year.

Graduate students have a lively society of their own, the Hume Society that is responsible for a range of both intellectual and social events.

Graduate students take a mixture of courses and seminars both in our department in other departments. They also regularly take directed reading courses or independent study courses when special needs are not met by scheduled courses or when students are working directly on their dissertations.

Our  calendar  is packed with a range of philosophical events. We have a regular  Colloquia series  with visiting speakers on Friday afternoons. Our Colloquia are followed by receptions for the speakers hosted by the graduate students followed by dinner with the speaker. In addition to the regular colloquia series, every year we host the  Immanuel Kant Lectures . Our graduate students, along with other local graduate students,  organize the  Berkeley/Stanford/Davis Conference  where every year graduate students have the opportunity to present papers to an even larger philosophical community.

Many more informal reading and research groups,  including the Social Ethics and Normative Theory Workshop, the Global Justice and Political Theory Workshop, and the  Logical Methods in the Humanities Workshop , existing within the department and the university and are able to invite speakers from all across the world.

The affiliated  Center for Ethics in Society  hosts many different events including the annual lectures such as   Tanner Lectures in Human Values , the   Wesson Lectures on democratic theory and practice , and the  Arrow Lecture Series on Ethics and Leadership , in addition to a vast range of other  conferences, lectures and workshops  on ethics and political philosophy.

The  Center for the Explanation of Consciousness  (CEC) is a research initiative at  Center for Study of Language and Information  which is devoted to studying materialistic explanations of consciousness. The CEC hosts talks and symposia from a variety of viewpoints exploring the nature of conscious experience. They also sponsor reading groups during the term, led by faculty and graduate students.

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The APA Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy

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PhilJobs: Jobs for Philosophers—the most complete listing of philosophy jobs

Total Schools

Total students, total ph.d. programs, total ma programs.

The  Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy , published biennially until the early 2000s, was relaunched in 2012 as an annual online resource. The guide compiles data on both doctoral and master’s degree programs in philosophy at institutions throughout the US and Canada, offering prospective students, job candidates, and other members of the profession a rich resource on post-graduate education and employment in philosophy. 

All data in the guide are self-reported by representatives of the institutions. Any changes or corrections should be sent directly to them.

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    Philosophy. Tuition unknown. 4 years. Foster your independent research skills, scholarly analysis and ability to communicate research findings with the Doctor of Philosophy program from University of the Sunshine Coast. Ph.D. / Full-time, Part-time / Online, On Campus, Blended.

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    Top 10 Most Affordable PhD in Philosophy Programs Online for 2021. Society needs great minds. If you find moral dilemmas fascinating or enjoy pondering the meaning of human existence, then you may be an ideal match for an online doctorate in philosophy degree program.

  3. Philosophy

    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences The graduate program in philosophy at Harvard offers students the opportunity to work and to develop their ideas in a stimulating and supportive community of fellow doctoral students, faculty members, and visiting scholars.

  4. APA Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy

    The guide compiles data on both doctoral and master’s degree programs in philosophy at institutions throughout the US and Canada, offering prospective students, job candidates, and other members of the profession a rich resource on post-graduate education and employment in philosophy.

  5. Philosophy

    As a PhD student in the Harvard philosophy program, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your ideas, knowledge, and abilities. You'll work with other doctoral students, our faculty, and visiting scholars, all in a stimulating and supportive environment.

  6. Philosophy PhD

    Philosophy PhD. College of Arts and Sciences. Program Description. The Department of Philosophy offers graduate study in various subfields, with notable strengths in two cross-disciplinary research areas that apply philosophical ideas and methods in the real world.

  7. The Graduate Program in Philosophy

    Stanford's graduate program in Philosophy is by any measure among the world's best. We attract excellent students , we provide them ample access to leading scholars for instruction and advice, and we turn out accomplished philosophers ready to compete for the best jobs in a very tight job market.

  8. The APA Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy

    The Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy compiles data on both doctoral and master’s degree programs in philosophy at institutions throughout the US and Canada, offering prospective students, job candidates, and other members of the profession a rich resource on post-graduate education and employment in philosophy.