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Ph.D. Program

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Ph.D. degree in philosophy is designed to prepare students for college teaching and for research in their field of study. In order to receive the Ph.D. degree the student must fulfill the following requirements (Note that, due to recent changes in program requirements, there are distinct sets of requirements for students who enter the Ph.D program prior to the fall semester of 2014 and for students who enter in the fall semester of 2014 or after.):

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS WHO ENTER THE PH.D. PROGRAM PRIOR TO THE FALL SEMESTER OF 2014

1. Completion of 30 semester hours of work beyond the M.A. level including:

2. Demonstration of competence in formal logic in one of the following ways:

a) By having met the logic requirement for the Master's degree.

b) By having earned a grade of 'B' or better in an undergraduate course covering sentential calculus and first order predicate logic.

c) By having earned a grade of 'B' or better in Philosophy 105 as an undergraduate at SIU.

d) 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.

e) By passing with a grade of 'B' or better, Philosophy 420 during one's first year of residence.

3. Incoming doctoral students from other universities will be required to take the history comprehensive examination on the history of philosophy. This must be completed by the end of the first year of residence. Candidates who have already passed a comprehensive examination on the history of philosophy, or who have taken a range of courses in the history of philosophy may appeal to the Graduate Director to be waived from taking this examination.

4. Each doctoral candidate should take a general preliminary examinations after (s)he has accumulated between 24 to 30 hours of credit beyond the Masters degree level and before (s)he begins work on the dissertation. (Students who have incompletes older than one month may not sit for this examinations. 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.) Candidates should see the Graduate Secretary for a copy of the Department's Study Guide, which lists recommended readings and study questions. The examinations will cover the following areas:

  1. Metaphysics
  2. Epistemology
  3. Ethics
  4. Political Theory
  5. Aesthetics

The student will write a response to one of several possible questions in each of these sections, writing five answers in total in a single six-hour session.

5. Fulfillment of a language/research tool requirement in one of the following ways:

a) As indicated in the M.A. level requirements (paragraph I,C), for a second language in addition to that studied for the Master's degree. The level of proficiency required is the same as the M.A. level and fulfilling the M.A. requirement counts as one of the two required.

b) By showing greater proficiency in the same language that was used to meet the same requirements for the Master's degree.

c) By demonstrating a reading knowledge of one language as indicated in the M.A. level requirements and by completing, satisfactorily, at least two courses in a research related area, such as mathematics, history, archival work, editing, and so on, pursued outside the Department at the graduate level. This option must be approved by the Graduate Director prior to being undertaken.

Fulfilling these requirements does not count toward the completion of 30 semester hours of work beyond the M.A. level, unless the work is done as Directed Readings (PHIL 591).

6. Admission to Candidacy - After 30 hours of course work have been completed, the logic and the language requirements have been fulfilled and the preliminary examinations passed, the Director of Graduate Studies (in the person of the Graduate Secretary) must file an Admit to Candidacy form with the Graduate School. This form is to be filed at least six months before the expected date of graduation. The student is responsible for seeing whether this form has, in fact, been filed. The student must have obtained the agreement of a faculty member to serve as dissertation director. Degree conferral must be not less than six months nor more than five years after admission to candidacy. 

7. Dissertation

a) The dissertation director is responsible for selecting a dissertation committee for the student. The committee shall consist of five graduate faculty members, at least one of whom shall be from an SIU graduate program outside the student's academic unit. The Department allows for the possibility of faculty from other institutions to serve on the student's committee in addition to the requisite number of SIU faculty. Once the dissertation director has been chosen and the committee formed, any subsequent changes to the dissertation directorship position must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. The appropriate change form must be sent to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval.

b) In preparation for the writing of the dissertation,the candidate must have a prospectus review. The Director of the dissertation is responsible, inconsultation with the candidate, for determining what appropriate background reading is necessary for beginning the dissertation and for the initial formulation of the project. The candidate will proceed to generate the prospectus. A prospectus should be approximately 10 - 20 pages in length; it should also include a proposed outline for the dissertation and a working bibliography. The Director of the dissertation will appoint a committee (four professors, including one from outside the Department) that will convene for the review of the prospectus. The review will help the candidate in the final formulation of the project before proceeding with the writing of the dissertation. The committee members will fill out a comment sheet for the candidate.

c) While working on the dissertation, the student must register for the course numbered 600. The student is to devote at least one academic year of full-time work to complete the dissertation and will register for 24 semester hours of dissertation credit (Students may sign up for from 1 to 16 hours of PHIL 600 per semester). For example, the student wishing to complete the dissertation in one year may register for 12 hours of dissertation credit for each of two terms. Students who have registered for 24 semester hours of dissertation credit and have not completed the doctoral dissertation are subject to the continuing enrollment requirement course number 601. Students are required to complete 24 hours of Philosophy 600. The student may take only 6 of these 600 level hours prior to formal admission to candidacy, and only 6 of these hours will count towards the residency requirement.

d) Students who have completed all but the dissertation requirements, but who have previously enrolled for the minimum number of research, thesis, or dissertation credit hours required of the degree, must enroll every semester for at least one hour until all degree requirements have been completed (Summer sessions exempt). Whether in residence or not, students are required to enroll in Continuing Enrollment (PHIL 601 - 1 hour p/semester) if not otherwise enrolled. Concurrent registration in any other course is not acceptable. See the Graduate Catalog for more specific details, under heading GENERAL REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES.

e) The candidate will do the required research and write the dissertation. There is no given length for a dissertation,but 150 to 250 pages is the average length of a philosophy dissertation. An instruction booklet for dissertation preparation should be secured from the Graduate School or the Department Graduate Secretary.

f) The candidate and the dissertation director should work together until the document is ready to receive critical input from the committee. When the dissertation director indicates that the dissertation is ready for defense, it shall be required of the dissertation director to submit to each committee member a copy of the dissertation for the members' examination. This must be delivered at least one month in advance of the scheduled defense. The committee must then decide whether or not the dissertation is acceptable for defense.

g) The candidate shall conduct an oral defense of the dissertation and related topics in the field before the dissertation committee. The oral defense is open to the public. Only the committee members vote or make recommendations concerning the acceptance of the dissertation and final examination. At the discretion of the dissertation director, guests may be permitted to ask questions of the candidate after the committee members have conducted the examination. A student will be recommended for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy only if the members of the committee judge both the dissertation and the performance at the final oral examination to be satisfactory. One dissenting vote is permitted.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS WHO ENTER THE PH.D. PROGRAM IN THE FALL SEMESTER OF 2014 OR AFTER

The Ph.D. degree in philosophy is designed to prepare students for college teaching and for research in their field of study. In order to receive the Ph.D. degree the student must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Completion of 30 semester hours of work beyond the M.A. level including: Students, as part of their required coursework in the Ph.D. program, must take one course in each of the following ar­eas as Course Distribution Requirements: Asian Philoso­phy, Ancient/Medieval Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, 19th Century Philosophy, 20th Century Philosophy. The 19th and 20th Century Philosophy requirements must in­clude one course taken in the American tradition and one course in the Continental Tradition.
  2. Demonstration of competence in formal logic in one of the following ways:
    1. By having met the logic requirement for the Master’s degree.
    2. By having earned a grade of B or better in an under­graduate course covering sentential calculus and first order predicate logic.
    3. By having earned a grade of B or better in Philosophy 105 as an undergraduate at SIU.
    4. 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.
    5. By passing with a grade of B or better, Philosophy 420 during one’s first year of residence.
  3. Incoming doctoral students from other universities will be required to take the history comprehensive examination on the history of philosophy. This must be completed by the end of the first year of residence. Candidates who have already passed a comprehensive examination on the his­tory of philosophy, or who have taken a range of courses in the history of philosophy may appeal to the Graduate Director to be waived from taking this examination.
  4. Each doctoral candidate should take a general prelimi­nary examination after (s)he has accumulated between 24 to 30 hours of credit beyond the Masters degree level and before (s)he begins work on the dissertation. (Students who have incompletes older than one month may not sit for this examinations. 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.) Can­didates should see the Graduate Secretary for a copy of the Department’s Study Guide, which lists recommended readings and study questions. The examination will cover the following areas:
    1.  Ancient Philosophy
    2.  Medieval Philosophy
    3.  Modern Philosophy
    4.  Nineteenth Century Philosophy
    5.  Early Twentieth Century Philosophy

This examination will consist of five sections, and students will write responses to five questions. Students failing the exam may sign up to sit for a retake in the Spring Semester. The preliminary examination papers will be read by mem­bers of the Department’s faculty who will submit to the De­partment’s Director of Graduate Studies a ‘high pass,’ ‘pass,’ ‘low pass,’ or ‘fail’ recommendation. Any student whose exam receives a simple majority of failing recommendations will have failed the exam, and any students whose exam receives simple majority of high passes or passes or of a combination will be deemed to have passed the exam. No student may sit for the preliminary 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.

During the semester after general preliminary examination has been passed, the students will take a special area/special thinker examination, to be designed by their advisor. When the student has fulfilled the requirements of the special area/ special thinker examination to the advisor’s satisfaction, the advisor will notify the Graduate Director that the student has fulfilled this requirement. The student will then have been deemed to pass the Preliminary Examinations (general and special area/special thinker) and may be admitted to can­didacy.

5. Fulfillment of a language/research tool requirement in one of the following ways:

  1. As indicated in the M.A. level requirements (paragraph I,C), for a second language in addition to that studied for the Master’s degree. The level of proficiency required is the same as the M.A. level and fulfilling the M.A. re­quirement counts as one of the two required.
  2. By showing greater proficiency in the same language that was used to meet the same requirements for the Master’s degree.
  3. By demonstrating a reading knowledge of one lan­guage as indicated in the M.A. level requirements and by completing, satisfactorily, at least two courses in a research related area, such as mathematics, history, archival work, editing, and so on, pursued outside the Department at the graduate level. This option must be approved by the Graduate Director prior to being un­dertaken.

Fulfilling these requirements does not count toward the com­pletion of 30 semester hours of work beyond the M.A. level, unless the work is done as Directed Readings (PHIL 591).

  1. Admission to Candidacy – After 30 hours of course work have been completed, the logic and the language require­ments have been fulfilled and the preliminary examina­tions passed, the Director of Graduate Studies (in the person of the Graduate Secretary) must file an Admit to Candidacy form with the Graduate School. This form is to be filed at least six months before the expected date of graduation. The student is responsible for seeing whether this form has, in fact, been filed. The student must have obtained the agreement of a faculty member to serve as dissertation director.
  2. Dissertation
    1. The dissertation director is responsible for selecting a dissertation committee for the student. The committee shall consist of five graduate faculty members, at least one of whom shall be from an SIU graduate program outside the student’s academic unit. The Department allows for the possibility of faculty from other institu­tions to serve on the student’s committee in addition to the requisite number of SIU faculty. Once the dis­sertation director has been chosen and the committee formed, any subsequent changes to the dissertation di­rectorship position must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. The appropriate change form must be sent to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval.
    2. In preparation for the writing of the dissertation, the candidate must have a prospectus review. The Direc­tor of the dissertation is responsible, in consultation with the candidate, for determining what appropriate background reading is necessary for beginning the dis­sertation and for the initial formulation of the project. The candidate will proceed to generate the prospectus. A prospectus should be approximately 10 - 20 pages in length; it should also include a proposed outline for the dissertation and a working bibliography. The Director of the dissertation will appoint a committee (four pro­fessors, including one from outside the Department) that will convene for the review of the prospectus. The review will help the candidate in the final formulation of the project before proceeding with the writing of the dissertation. The committee members will fill out a comment sheet for the candidate.
    3. While working on the dissertation, the student must register for the course numbered 600. The student is to devote at least one academic year of full-time work to complete the dissertation and will register for 24 semes­ter hours of dissertation credit (Students may sign up for from 1 to 16 hours of PHIL 600 per semester). For example, the student wishing to complete the disserta­tion in one year may register for 12 hours of dissertation credit for each of two terms. Students who have regis­tered for 24 semester hours of dissertation credit and have not completed the doctoral dissertation are subject to the continuing enrollment requirement course num­ber 601. Students are required to complete 24 hours of Philosophy 600. The student may take only 6 of these 600 level hours prior to formal admission to candidacy, and only 6 of these hours will count towards the resi­dency requirement.
    4. Students who have completed all but the dissertation requirements, but who have previously enrolled for the minimum number of research, thesis, or dissertation credit hours required of the degree, must enroll every semester for at least one hour until all degree require­ments have been completed (Summer sessions exempt). Whether in residence or not, students are required to enroll in Continuing Enrollment (PHIL 601 - 1 hour p/ semester) if not otherwise enrolled. Concurrent regis­tration in any other course is not acceptable. See the Graduate Catalog for more specific details, under head­ing GENERAL REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES.
    5. The candidate will do the required research and write the dissertation. There is no given length for a disserta­tion, but 150 to 250 pages is the average length of a phi­losophy dissertation.
    6. The candidate and the dissertation director should work together until the document is ready to receive critical input from the committee. When the dissertation direc­tor indicates that the dissertation is ready for defense, it shall be required of the dissertation director to submit to each committee member a copy of the dissertation for the members’ examination. This must be delivered at least one month in advance of the scheduled defense. The com­mittee must then decide whether or not the dissertation is acceptable for defense.
    7. The candidate shall conduct an oral defense of the dis­sertation and related topics in the field before the disser­tation committee. The oral defense is open to the public. Only the committee members vote or make recommenda­tions concerning the acceptance of the dissertation and final examination. At the discretion of the dissertation director, guests may be permitted to ask questions of the candidate after the committee members have conducted the examination. A student will be recommended for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy only if the members of the committee judge both the dissertation and the per­formance at the final oral examination to be satisfactory. One dissenting vote is permitted.