This guide is intended to serve as an aid to candidates seeking the degree of Master of Arts at SIUC. It supplements information in the Graduate School Catalog. All deadlines and dates of exams will be announced on firstname.lastname@example.org, the Philosophy Department's listserv.
I. M.A. REQUIREMENTS IN PHILOSOPHY
The Department’s M.A. degree program is designed both for students wishing to continue on for a Ph.D. degree within a pre-doctoral program and those who plan to receive a terminal Master’s degree. A minimum of 15 hours in Philosophy courses numbered 500, however, still must be earned.
In order to receive an M.A. degree, the student must fulfill the following requirements:
- Course Work – Completion of 30 hours of regular course work, 6 of which may be credited toward preparation of the thesis.
- Logic Requirement – Fulfillment of a formal logic requirement demonstrated in one of the following ways:
- By having earned a grade of ‘B’ or better in an undergraduate course covering sentential calculus and first order predicate logic.
- By having earned a grade of ‘B’ or better in Philosophy 105 as an undergraduate at SIUC.
- By passing, with a grade of ‘B’ or better, during one’s first year of residence, an examination covering sentential calculus and first order predicate logic.
- By passing, with a grade of ‘B’ or better, Philosophy 420 during one’s first year of residence, should this course be offered.
- Language/Research Tool – Fulfillment of a language or research tool requirement. This may be accomplished by passing, with a grade of ‘B’ or better, one of the following:
- A 488 language course. (Note: these courses are offered through the Department of Foreign and Classical Languages at various times)
- An examination offered through the Department of Philosophy.
- A Directed Readings course offered either by the Department of Philosophy (PHIL 591) or (subject to approval by the Graduate Director) another academic unit, in which a philosophic text is translated and a final piece of research is produced.
- The student may appeal to the Director of Graduate Studies:
- To produce a translation of a previously untranslated text or article under professional guidance, whether within or outside the Philosophy Department.
- For special dispensation, having already demonstrated sufficient competence in a language or research tool.
- Comprehensive Examination in the History of Philosophy – A written comprehensive examination of up to five hours in length, dealing with the formulations and solutions of the persistent problems of philosophy as treated by major thinkers, from Thales to the end of the 19th Century. Normally, this examination should be taken no later than at the beginning of one’s third semester of residence. Students who have incompletes older than one month may not sit for this exam. (Students are expected to make up incomplete grades within one month of completion of the course in which the incomplete was awarded.) The Graduate Committee may address special considerations. Students preparing for the exam should consult the Department’s Study Guide, available in the Office Specialist's Office. The History Comprehensive exam will be offered once each year in the Fall Semester. The Comprehensive examination papers will be read by five members of the Department’s faculty. These readers will submit to the Department’s Director of Graduate Studies a ‘high pass,’ ‘pass,’ ‘low pass’, ‘terminal pass,’ or ‘fail’ recommendation. Students failing the Fall exam may attempt to retake the examination in the Spring, through a request to the Graduate Director. No student may sit for a History Comprehensive examination more than two times without the written consent of the Graduate Committee. The Graduate Committee will make such decisions on a case-by-case basis. A terminal pass allows the candidate to receive the Masters Degree as the final degree sought in the Department.
- E. Master’s Thesis/Research Papers – Fulfillment of a research writing requirement by either of the following. In general, this requirement should be met no later than the end of one’s second year of residence.
- Presentation of an acceptable thesis, 50-75 pages in text length, to be written under the direction of a member of the Department. Six thesis hours is the maximum number of hours that can count for credit for the Master’s degree (paragraph A, above). A preliminary draft stating the thesis title, describing the problem to be investigated, the method to be used, the outline of the study, and a preliminary bibliography must be prepared in advance for the thesis advisor. An instruction booklet should be secured from the Graduate School or the Department Office Specialist, which specifies the proper form for these documents.
- In the event of a terminal MA, the student may present three edited research papers, written in connection with graduate courses or seminars under three different individuals (whose prior approval must be obtained), to a special committee of three members, only one of whom may be an individual under whom the papers were originally written.
- F. Thesis Oral – An oral defense, normally about an hour in length, to be conducted by at least three members of the graduate faculty. This examination will deal with either (a) the thesis (E, 1), both in its internal detail and in its relation to the general field of Philosophy (or, in the case of a double major, in relation to both fields of study) or (b) the research papers (E, 2) in the same manner as the thesis.