Philosophy MA


Learn more about the Master of Arts in Philosophy.

About the Program

Temple’s Department of Philosophy has strengths in several areas of philosophical study. The department has a rich history and continuing presence in the field of aesthetics as Monroe Beardsley and John Fisher were in the department for many years. The department also has expertise in European philosophy, epistemology, feminist philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of race, and philosophy of science.

The MA program is designed for students to begin advanced training in the field of Philosophy. Students may plan to continue with a PhD program elsewhere, or may be satisfied with a master's degree for personal enrichment or for pre-college teaching. Students who plan at the outset to pursue the PhD at Temple should apply to the PhD. The MA can be earned on the way to the PhD, if desired.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location: Main, Center City

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students complete the degree program through classes largely offered before 4:30 p.m. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Interdisciplinary Study: The program encourages students in the MA program to engage in a limited amount of interdisciplinary coursework. Students generally take courses in African American Studies, Art History, English, Psychology or Women’s Studies. A dual-degree program earning the MA in Philosophy/MA in Urban Bioethics is also now being offered with the Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

Affiliation(s): The Greater Philadelphia Consortium provides expanded course options for graduate work in Philosophy. Students enrolled in the MA program at Temple may take graduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University.

Job Prospects: MA graduates often find employment as teachers in community colleges and in other professions. For university teaching, the PhD is necessary.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students may register for courses after an interview with the Director of Graduate Studies, at which time they should present academic transcripts. Credit toward a subsequent degree program at Temple University is limited to 9 credits.

Financing Opportunities: University Fellowships, Graduate Assistantships, and Academic Internships are ordinarily reserved for PhD students.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1

Admission is competitive and determined only once a year.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with your academic competence.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A baccalaureate degree is required, preferably with some coursework in Philosophy.

Statement of Goals: In approximately 500 to 1,000 words, address your interest in Temple's program, research goals, future career goals, and academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Optional. Scores may be submitted if available.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: A short curriculum vitae should be submitted with your application.

Writing Sample: The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to research and write a scholarly paper. The paper should be 15-20 pages in length and fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual. It should be in the area of Philosophy or a closely related field.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:
The Thesis Option requires students to take 24 credits in Philosophy and 6 credits in thesis writing. The Non-Thesis Option requires students to take 6 credits in electives rather than in thesis writing.

For a current copy of the Departmental Graduate Handbook, which lists all requirements, email or call 215-204-1742.

Culminating Events:
Thesis Option:
A thesis is required when choosing the Thesis Option.

Non-Thesis Option:
Successful completion of coursework constitutes the culminating event for this option.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Philosophy

731 Mazur Hall

1114 W. Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


Irina Segal


Director of Graduate Studies:

David Wolfsdorf, PhD


David Wolfsdorf, PhD