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Ph.D. Degree Program

Our graduate program has particular strengths in Continental philosophy, critical philosophy of race, and feminist philosophy. Graduate training in philosophy at Penn State focuses on these areas while providing all graduate students with a strong foundation in the history of philosophy and encouraging genuine dialogue across multiple philosophical traditions, including Continental, analytic, and American philosophy. Graduate students have the option of pursuing dual-title doctoral degrees in one of the following areas: African American and Diaspora Studies; Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies; or Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Doctoral minors in social thought and literary theory, criticism, and aesthetics are available as well.  Our faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized experts in their fields; a small sample of their recent publications appears here.  We strive to prepare our graduate students for professional academic careers through our mentoring program, teaching apprenticeship and certification programs, and our effective placement program.

Announcement: The Penn State Philosophy Department no longer either requires or considers GRE scores for admission to our Ph.D. program. All admitted students will be funded through a combination of tuition waivers and a graduate assistantship. However, because the university requires GRE scores for certain university-wide fellowships (such as the University Graduate Fellowship) that come with enhanced stipends and/or other benefits, applicants who wish to be considered for such awards should submit their GRE scores. Generally, to be awarded a University Graduate Fellowship, an applicant needs to have a cumulative score around 320 and a writing score around a 5.0.