Philosophy Department

MA - Philosophy

Advisors: Dr. Carlos A. Sanchez

Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing

Candidates must meet all university requirements for admission. In addition, a student will be admitted to classified status only if:

  1. At least 18 units in philosophy have been taken including at least 6 units in upper division work, at least 6 units in the history of philosophy, at least 3 units in ethics, and at least 3 units of symbolic logic (Phil 9 or its equivalent). Exceptions based on comparable studies and experience may be made with graduate committee approval.
  2. The average grade received in the 18 units is at least a "B".
  3. Three letters of recommendation have been submitted.

Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing

Applicants who meet requirements for admission to the Graduate Division but who do not meet all the requirements for classified standing will be admitted as conditionally classified.

Requirements for Admission to Candidacy for the MA - Philosophy

The basic requirements for admission to candidacy for the MA - Philosophy are outlined in detail in the Academic Requirements section of this catalog. The University requires that all graduate students satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as a condition for advancement to candidacy. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" for details. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, please refer to the Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluations website at

Completing Requirements

Plan A - Thesis

Designed for students who wish to do a thesis.

Plan B - Option 1: Reading Intensive

Designed for students who wish to do a guided, individualized reading project.

Plan B - Option 2: Applied Philosophy Project

Designed for students who wish to do a project.

Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see
Requirements of the Masters30
Core Courses12
PHIL 290. Advanced Seminar in a Selected Philosopher or TraditionGWAR3
PHIL 291. Advanced Seminar in Epistemology and MetaphysicsGWAR3
PHIL 292. Advanced Seminar in Ethics or Aesthetics3
Complete one course from:
PHIL 157. Intermediate Logic & Language Analysis3
PHIL 293. Advanced Seminar in Logical Theory3
Elective Courses12
100- or 200-level courses within the department
one or more of 290, 291, 292, and 293 may be repeated as electives when the course content is different
Comprehensive Exam
taken after most of the core and elective courses are completed
Choose One Plan6
Plan A- Option 1: Thesis6
200-Level course chosen with advisor1-3
PHIL 299. Master's Thesis3
Plan B- Option 1: Reading Intensive6
200-level course (on advisement)1-3
PHIL 298. Special Studies1-3
Plan B- Option 2: Applied Philosophy Project6
200-level course chosen with advisor1-3
PHIL 298. Special Studies3

Total Units:30