The Department of Philosophy faculty members have strengths in political and social philosophy (including feminism and philosophy of race); philosophy of mind; philosophy of science; philosophy of language, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics and epistemology; and continental philosophy (including Nietzsche and phenomenology).

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Office of Graduate Admissions
Bendetson Hall
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-3395

MA in Philosophy

The Master of Arts (MA) program offered by the philosophy department is perennially among the highest-ranked of its kind in the United States. It has a strong record of placing its students in the excellent PhD programs in philosophy. The program is ideal for students who wish to pursue a PhD in philosophy but whose undergraduate preparation in the subject might not qualify them for competitive doctoral programs.

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Application Deadline

Fall: January 15

Application Requirements

> Application fee
> Resume/CV
> Personal statement
> GRE scores are not required
> Official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test, if applicable
> Transcripts
> Three letters of recommendation
> Writing sample

While each application is evaluated holistically, an important part of a successful application is the writing sample. The ideal writing sample is a piece of your writing that best manifests your philosophical capacities. It need not be a philosophy paper. The ideal length of a writing sample is about 15 pages, double-spaced. More than 20 pages is probably too long, while 10 is probably too short.

For more information, visit the Department of Philosophy.


Avner Baz
Professor and Chair
Ph.D. , University of Illinois at Chicago
Ethics and Aesthetics
Christiana Olfert
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Ph.D. , Columbia University
Ancient philosophy and Early modern philosophy
Jody Azzouni
Ph.D. , City University of New York
Philosophy of language and Philosophy of logic
Nancy Bauer
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Feminist Philosophy, Existentialism and Phenomenology
David Denby
Senior Lecturer
Ph.D. , University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Metaphysics and Philosophy of Language and Ethics
Daniel C. Dennett
D. Phil. , Oxford University
Philosophy of mind and Philosophy of psychology
Brian Epstein
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Stanford University
Metaphysics and Philosophy of social science
Patrick Forber
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Stanford University
Philosophy of biology and Philosophy of science
Ray Jackendoff
Seth Merrin Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Natural language semantics and Syntax
Erin Kelly
Associate Professor and Department Chair
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Moral philosophy and Political philosophy
Peter Levine
Peter Levine
Associate Dean for Research and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs
Ph.D. , University of Oxford
Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life
Lionel K. McPherson
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Ethics and Political and social philosophy
Dilip Ninan
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of language
Susan Russinoff
Senior Lecturer
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Logic and Philosophy of language
George E. Smith
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Philosophy of science and Logic
Sigrún Svavarsdóttir
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Moral philosophy and Practical rationality
Stephen L. White
Ph.D. , University of California Berkeley
Philosophy of Mind and Epistemology

The current tuition and relevant fees for the program can be found here.

Tuition for the MA in Philosophy is paid in its entirety during your first year, in two equal installments, each due roughly a month before the start of the next semester (i.e., in August and December). No tuition is paid during your second year of study.

The tuition fee is offset by $3,000 that you will receive after completing the first-semester pedagogy seminar (which does not require work outside class).

After your first semester in the program, you can apply for a Teaching Assistantship. These currently pay roughly $4,250 per course (or per discussion section). We ordinarily can accommodate all MA candidates in good standing who apply for a teaching assistantships.

For questions about this program, including scholarships and assistantships, please contact the graduate program director, Christiana Olfert.

Department of Philosophy
222 Miner Hall
Medford, MA  02155

Office: 617.627.3230