Degree Programs

MA in Philosophy 

Course Requirements, Credits, and Grades
The master's candidate must successfully complete 30 credits. Of these, 24 credits must be earned in Philosophy-credit courses, and at least 18 of those 24 credits must be taken from the core program. Up to six credits, which are not otherwise designated as Philosophy-credit courses, may be earned from other departments. A minimum of six credits must be earned in Philosophy-credit seminars. A grade average of no less than 3.0 is required.

Transfer Credit
A maximum of three credits taken at another university may be granted toward the credit requirement for the master's degree. 27 credits must be completed at The New School for Social Research. Forms for requesting transfer of credit are available in the University Records Office.

Language Requirement
Each student must demonstrate competence in one of the following four languages: Greek, Latin, French, or German. Competence will be evaluated in one foreign language examination in which the student will be given three hours to translate a philosophical text. The student is permitted to bring a dictionary and a grammar book to the language examination.

Core Program
A total of six courses (18 credits) must satisfy the distribution requirements listed below.

These six courses must be chosen as follows

  • One course in quantificational logic. Students may be exempted from taking the logic requirement provided they pass an examination in logic
  • One course in ancient philosophy
  • Courses in four of the following five areas:
    • Medieval and Renaissance philosophy
    • Early modern philosophy
    • Kant and German idealism
    • Twentieth-century Continental philosophy
    • Thematic, historically oriented courses in ethics, political philosophy, history of logic or science, and aesthetics

Students must consult with the Philosophy department's student advisor for approval of distribution requirements.

MA Thesis and Examinations
In addition to meeting the requirements described above (including the foreign language examination), the candidate for the continuing MA must satisfy either of the following options:

  • The candidate may write a thesis of 50 to 75 pages that covers at least two of the eight topic areas designated for the MA examination. There will be an oral defense of the thesis. The candidate must also take an oral examination in two more of the required eight topic areas designated
  • The candidate may choose to take a written examination on two of the eight topic areas designated for the MA examination, and an oral examination on a further two of the eight topic areas

In order to be admitted to the PhD program, a student must receive a high pass on at least three of the MA examination areas, with no failing score in any area. For a terminal master's degree, either of the following options is sufficient in lieu of the options stated above:

  • writing and defending a master's thesis
  • receiving a score of low pass on each of the four areas covered on the MA written and oral examinations

For further details, see the Philosophy Student Handbook (PDF).

MA in Philosophy with a Concentration in Psychoanalysis

This concentration provides philosophy students with an opportunity to focus on the field of psychoanalytic studies. The core of the program will be four courses in psychoanalytic theory, and a thesis in the area. The courses will range from intensive study of Freud to current trends in psychoanalytic theory. In recent years the department has offered the following courses: Freud's Early Writings; Freud on Culture and Civilization; Klein and Lacan; Fetishism and Unconscious Processes; Psychoanalysis and Deconstruction; Feminine Sexuality from Freud to Lacan; and Mourning and Metaphysics.

As with the MA in philosophy, students in this MA concentration are required to successfully complete 30 graduate credits for graduation. Of these, 24 credits must be earned in philosophy and a minimum of six credits must be earned in philosophy seminars. Also, of the total 30 credits, seven courses (i.e., 21 credits) must satisfy the distribution requirements listed below:

  • Four courses in psychoanalytic theory
  • Courses in three of the following six areas:
    • Ancient philosophy
    • Medieval and Renaissance philosophy
    • Early modern philosophy
    • Kant and German idealism
    • Twentieth-century Continental philosophy
    • Thematic, historically oriented courses in ethics, political philosophy, history of logic or science, and aesthetics

Students must also fulfill the language requirement and successfully submit an approved MA thesis on psychoanalytic theory. To advance to the PhD program in philosophy, students must in addition receive a high pass on the MA oral exam.

PhD in Philosophy 

Admission
Students matriculated in the master's program at The New School for Social Research will be accepted into the PhD program upon completing the MA oral examination with a high pass and with the agreement of the department. Students who already have an MA in philosophy (or its equivalent) from another institution may be admitted to PhD study. Others are directed to begin their studies in the MA program.

Transfer Credit
Transfer credit, not exceeding 30 credits, may be applied toward the PhD degree. Note that transfer credits are granted on a case-by-case basis.

Course Requirements

  • The doctoral student must successfully complete graduate courses and seminars equaling at least 60 credits. The 30 credits received for the MA are considered part of the 60-credit total
  • Of the total 60 credits, at least 48 must be in philosophy courses, and up to 12 credits may be in fields other than philosophy
  • Of the 48 philosophy credits, the student must earn at least 15 credits in philosophy seminars
  • At least a 3.0 average must be maintained in the philosophy courses as well as overall
  • The Philosophy department does not require a specific program of courses. However, students who do not satisfy the core course requirements prior to receiving the MA must satisfy these requirements, including the required course in logic, subsequently

Language Requirement
The candidate for the PhD must demonstrate a reading knowledge of an additional language to that required for the MA. The second language will be chosen from French, German, Greek, Latin, or (by petition) another language relevant to the student's dissertation.

PhD Qualifying Examinations
Upon completion of all course requirements, PhD students proceed to PhD candidate status by passing the PhD qualifying examinations, both written and oral. The structure of the PhD exams replicates that of the MA written and oral examinations, covering the remaining four topic areas. Students must receive a score of high pass in at least three out of four areas, with no failing score in any area, on the PhD qualifying examinations before submitting a dissertation proposal for approval. During their final year of course work, PhD students are required to complete the yearlong Prospectus Seminar. For further details, see the Philosophy Department Procedures Guide (PDF).

 
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