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Graduate Program

About Our M.A. Program

Students in our M.A. program focus their work on one of two divisions, Methodology or Social Justice. These divisions reflect two distinctive strengths of our faculty: its pluralistic composition and its concern with problems of Social Justice. Our faculty are trained and work in analytic, continental, and Chinese philosophical traditions, and this pluralistic composition allows us to train students in a wider range of methodological practices, presuppositions, skills, styles, and theories. A second strength of the philosophy faculty at Eastern is our attention to problems in Social Justice. We have several faculty whose central research programs focus on tough ethical problems including the justice of immigration policies, our responsibility relative to food production and consumption, global and environmental ethics and justice, and the nature of historically marginalized groups' rights in an increasingly global and modern environment.

Our graduate program seeks to do all it can to make philosophy an inclusive discipline. We understand the value that diversity brings to philosophical inquiry, and that the health of our profession depends on greater inclusion of under-represented groups in the ranks of philosophers. As a training program, we play an important role in cultivating a diverse philosophical community. Our goal is to recruit and sustain a diverse graduate student body. In order to realize this goal, we will

  • encourage a full range of applicants with diverse backgrounds
  • provide financial support, academic assistance, and advisement that reflects the diverse needs of a diverse population
  • strive for a curriculum that illustrates that a diverse group of people have contributed in the past, and should contribute in the future to the richness of philosophy
  • continuously strive toward an environment of greater inclusion and respect through critical self-examination, paying due attention not only to overt forms of prejudice or exclusion but also to its subtler manifestations.

Please email Graduate Coordinator Laura McMahon with any questions about our program. 

Admissions

Our program has rolling admissions, so you may apply at any time. However, application deadlines are in place for prospective students interested in being considered for a Graduate Assistantship.

Application Requirements

  1. Application to the Graduate School
    • The Graduate School has a minimum requirement of (a) 2.7 GPA overall OR (b) 3.0 GPA in the last half of undergraduate course work.
    • The Graduate School requires a personal statement for the purpose of admission. When prompted to upload this document, please upload a copy of your Personal Statement of Philosophic Interests (described below).
    • The Graduate School has several additional requirements for International students. Please be sure to meet all general application requirements.
  2. Personal Statement of Philosophic Interests
    • Applicants should provide a statement (maximum 1000 words) describing their: (a) interests in philosophy, including the area(s) of philosophy they believe will be the focus of  their graduate work, potential thesis or project ideas, (b) desire to pursue philosophy at the graduate level, and (c) self assessment of their level of preparation for graduate work in philosophy. 
    • Your Personal Statement of Philosophical Interests is the only statement you need for your application. When the online application asks for your Personal Statement, please simply upload the same document a second time.
    • This will be submitted along with the rest of your application to the Graduate School.
  3. Two letters of recommendation, including at least one from a college professor, which speak to the applicant's ability to pursue graduate level work.
    • In most cases, the application software will query your listed recommenders for their letters. That said, letter writers may submit letters by electronic or regular mail to the Graduate School. Electronic submissions should be sent by email to Graduate Admissions. Your letter writer should include either your EID# or your date of birth, so that admissions can properly associate your letters with your application.
  4. A minimum of six credit hours (or the equivalent) in philosophy from an accredited institution.

Once you have applied, please email our Graduate Coordinator Laura McMahon so that she can track your application. 

The admissions committee will consider applications as they arrive. The committee will consider conditional admission for students who do not meet all admission requirements. Those admitted conditionally will be required to overcome specified deficiencies existing at the time of admission. The GRE is not required for admission to this program.

Graduate Courses

Social Justice Division

  • PHIL 520 – Ethical Theory
  • PHIL 524 – Food Justice
  • PHIL 525 – Theories of Justice
  • PHIL / WGST 526 – Topics in Feminist Philosophy*
  • PHIL 527 Social Epistemology
  • PHIL 528 – Comparative Ethics
  • PHIL 529 – Topics in Environmental Philosophy 

Methods Division

  • PHIL / WGST 526 – Topics in Feminist Philosophy*
  • PHIL 527 Social Epistemology
  • PHIL 575 – Contemporary Philosophical Practices
  • PHIL 580 – Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 581 – Philosophy of the Life Sciences
  • PHIL 593 – Comparative Philosophy
  • PHIL 594 – Chinese Philosophy
  • PHIL 595 - Phenomenology

Other Courses

  • PHIL 542 - Philosophy of Mind
  • PHIL 570 -  20th Century Continental Philosophy