The Department of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma offers programs of study leading to two advanced degrees: a terminal MA, either with thesis or without, and a PhD. The department offers broad training in the major fields of philosophy, with particular strengths in epistemology, philosophy of religion, aesthetics, Asian philosophy, philosophy of science, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics, political philosophy, and the history of ancient and modern philosophy.
An excellent teacher-to-student ratio combined with small class size assures students of a program of study with extensive interaction with faculty. In addition to classes and seminars, the department offers a rich and lively philosophical environment with an emphasis on informal interaction between faculty and students. The department has an active program of visiting speakers, and the University Library has large and comprehensive holdings in philosophy.
The Masters in Philosophy at OU: We offer a terminal MA degree in philosophy. Those who complete their MA here may apply to the PhD program, and will compete on the same footing as all candidates applying with MA degrees in philosophy. The MA requires either 30 hours of coursework (if you write a thesis), or 36 hours of coursework (if you take the MA exam). The pre-requisite is a Bachelor's degree in philosophy. (In exceptional cases, an applicant may be admitted with a Bachelor's degree in another field, if the applicant has substantial philosophy coursework.) Those granted admission to the MA program do not receive funding.
The PhD in Philosophy: You may be admitted to the PhD program either with a previous MA degree in philosophy, or with only a Bachelor's degree in philosophy. If you come with an MA in philosophy, you will typically be granted 30 hours of coursework toward your PhD. This corresponds to two years' worth of coursework as a full-time PhD student. If you are admitted with only a Bachelor's degree in philosophy, then you will be required to complete the full 60 hours of coursework (plus 30 hours of dissertation research) here in our program. Each of our PhD students receives an assistantship which is guaranteed for five years, assuming satisfactory progress toward the PhD. The department has a strong record of placing our students in tenure-track positions.
See our Graduate Program Syllabus for degree requirements and related information about the graduate program.
Everyone who is admitted to the PhD program is automatically awarded a Graduate Assistantship, which is typically a half-time (20 hours/week) appointment. During 2011-2012, the stipends ranged from approximately $13,000 to $14,000 per year. Seven hours of resident tuition and 9 hours of the additional tuition paid by nonresidents are waived for all Graduate Assistants. All Graduate Assistants are also eligible to receive basic single health coverage as a benefit of employment. An upgrade to a more comprehensive plan, or the addition of a spouse and/or children to one's coverage, is available by paying an additional premium.
Admission to the MA program does not come with a Graduate Assistantship.
For information about the graduate program, you can fill out our on-line information request form and an information packet (including application materials) will be mailed to you.
Further inquiries about the graduate program and requests for application materials may be directed to:
Dr. Sherri Irvin
Director of Graduate Admissions
Department of Philosophy
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK 73019-2006
Telephone: (405) 325-6324
FAX: (405) 325-2660
Instructions for applying to our graduate program:
1) Get a copy of the application for admission to the University of Oklahoma. You can do this in any of three ways:
* fill out our on-line request form here and we will send you an information packet containing, among other things, the application, or
* fill out the application form on-line here (requires a credit card for payment of application fee), or
* print out the application form from a pdf document available here (US citizens and permanent residents) or here (international applicants).
2) Send in application (or submit it online) to the Office of Admissions with your application fee and official transcripts from every college or university you have attended.
3) Send to the Philosophy Department (not to Admissions!) (i) a brief statement of purpose, (ii) three letters of recommendation, (iii) a sample of written work, (iv) an official report of your GRE scores, and (v) unofficial copies of your transcripts. You can send all of these materials to the Director of Gradaute Studies at the address given above.
All application materials for the PhD program are due by January 31st for earliest consideration for admission and funding.
All application materials for the MA program are due by July 15th.
A bit of explanation about the application materials you should send directly to the Philosophy Department:
(i) Your statement of purpose should explain why you wish to pursue an advanced degree in philosophy, why you consider yourself to be qualified to undertake such a pursuit, what areas of philosophy you expect to work in, and why you think that the OU philosophy department is the right place for you to do so. While you should feel free to include any information about yourself that you think will be relevant and helpful to the admissions committee, please keep this statement to no more than one to two single-spaced pages.
(ii) Letters of recommendation are ideally from philosophy professors from whom you have taken classes or with whom you have done other intensive academic work. In their letters, they should address the extent to which you are prepared to excel in a rigorous graduate philosophy program. Indications of excellence in previous graduate or undergraduate work, estimates of potential to do well in graduate school, and rankings against other students the professors have taught are all helpful. It is best if your letter-writers send their letters directly to the Graduate Director.
(iii) You should send a writing sample that reflects your very best philosophical work. This will typically be a paper from an undergraduate philosophy class, or a senior thesis, or some other term-paper length sample of your most polished work. If you wish to send a sample from some longer work, such as a Master's thesis, please excerpt a reasonable section of it to send.
(iv) Your application will not be considered complete until we have received an official report of your GRE scores. Only the general test is required. There is no official minimum score that one must get on the GRE in order to be considered for admission. The GRE score is one element of the application that will be weighed along with everything else when we make admissions decisions.
Early aid and admission decisions are made in early February.