Accelerated Master of Arts in Philosophy
The Accelerated M.A. provides KU undergraduates who have majored in Philosophy an opportunity to complete the M.A. in Philosophy within a year of completing their bachelor’s degree. Talented students who are planning to continue their studies at the doctoral level or to continue to law school will receive a competitive advantage by acquiring a master's degree in half the time traditionally required for a terminal M.A.
Admission to Graduate Studies
An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
- All requirements for a bachelor’s in philosophy from KU complete or in progress.
- GPA of 3.5 in philosophy
Students must apply to start the accelerated MA in the semester immediately following their graduation (Spring/Summer graduates apply to begin the next Fall; Fall graduates apply to begin in the Spring).
For Spring admission, the priority deadline is October 1st. Final deadline is December 1st.
For Fall admission, the priority deadline is February 1st. Final deadline is May 1st.
For additional information, including relevant deadlines and a list of required supplemental documentation to be submitted with the online application, please visit the graduate page of the Philosophy website, or contact the department Graduate Program Coordinator.
Students must complete all of the following requirements for the Accelerated M.A. within one calendar year post-bachelor’s:
- 24 credit hours of graduate coursework (500-level or above) in philosophy post-bachelor’s with a grade of B or higher. At least 15 of these hours must be in courses numbered 800 or above.
- PHIL 800 Proseminar must be taken in the first year of study.
- Required Courses. Coursework must include two graduate-level courses (500 or above) in the following 3 areas: 1) History of Philosophy, 2) Metaphysics and Epistemology, and 3) Value Theory. The Graduate Handbook lists the department’s graduate course offerings and indicates which courses count toward which distribution area. For courses that can count toward multiple areas, the semester course schedule will indicate which topic and distribution area(s) are relevant.
- Elective courses. Elective coursework can be selected from the department’s graduate course offerings. Students are encouraged to consult the Director of Graduate Studies when choosing elective courses.
- Final Examination: all Accelerated MA students must pass an oral examination conducted by a committee of three philosophy department faculty.
- The student will work with their advisor to identify two additional committee members. Once the thesis draft is approved by the advisor, it will be sent to the other committee members for their approval. The committee must be afforded a reasonable interval within which to read the thesis and suggest revisions (standardly, 2 weeks). Once all three committee members approve the thesis, the student will work with the Graduate Coordinator to schedule the final examination.
- The student will complete an oral defense of the thesis in accordance with Graduate Studies policy. The oral examination is held during the student’s final semester of coursework. While the examination focuses on the written thesis, the committee may pursue any philosophical issue deemed relevant for ensuring the thesis reflects a breadth of philosophical knowledge.
- The examination can include any material from the student’s M.A. program. In advance of their final semester of coursework, the student will work with the Director of Graduate Studies to identify three faculty members to serve on the student’s examination committee. The specific format of the exam is then decided by the student and the committee, often in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. A frequently used option is for the student to select (and perhaps subsequently revise) a paper written for a class and to use the topic of that paper as the focus of the examination.
Time Limits and Other Restrictions
Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the first semester of graduate study in order to maintain eligibility for the program. They will be subject to a formal mid-year review to ensure satisfactory progress towards completion of the degree.
A student who receives a bachelor’s degree in Spring or Summer begins the M.A. portion of the degree that Fall. The student must then complete all requirements for the Accelerated M.A. by the first day of classes the following Fall.
If a student does not complete the Accelerated M.A. requirements within one year post-bachelor’s, the student may petition the department for admission to the standard 30-hour M.A. track. In extraordinary circumstances, for example, serious illness, students may petition the department to remain in the 24-hour track.