The Department of Philosophy also offers a program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The degree requires 72 points. The department requires that 44 points (the “basic points”) be as specified below. A minimum of 36 of the 44 basic points must be taken in the NYU Department of Philosophy.
28 of the total 72 points may be in dissertation research, although the student may include other courses toward that total as well.
Coursework: The required 44 basic points consist of the following:
1. Proseminar, PHIL-GA 1000, (8 points). This seminar is open to first year philosophy PhD. students only. It includes frequent short writing assignments, and the mode of instruction emphasizes discussion rather than lecture. The topics are determined by the instructors but include basic texts and ideas in analytic philosophy.
2. Basic course work (28 points; typically seven 4-point courses). These seven courses are drawn from advanced introduction courses, intermediate-level courses, topics or advanced seminar courses, and research seminar courses. In special circumstances, students may earn 4 points (but no more than 4 points) of basic coursework by completing an Independent Study with a faculty member. The seven courses must include at least one course in value theory (ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of law, or political philosophy); at least one course in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, or philosophy of mind; and at least one course in the history of philosophy (ancient, medieval, modern, or 19th century). At least three of the courses must be outside value theory.
3. Two Associated Writing courses (8 points). In an Associated Writing course, students work with a faculty member to develop and refine an already existing paper or project.
Third-Year Review: By the date one week prior to the first day of the fifth semester in the program, students must submit two papers written while enrolled in the NYU PhD program. To satisfy the requirement, papers should be substantial pieces of work that demonstrate that the student is able to take his or her philosophical research and writing to the high level appropriate for writing a dissertation.
Thesis Prospectus: During their third year in the program, students develop a prospectus for their dissertation. The prospectus document, between five and a strict maximum of fifteen pages long, should not be a philosophy paper, but rather a thesis plan that clearly articulates an interesting philosophical project, situates the project in the space of philosophical ideas, and gives an indication of the main relevant literature.
Logic Requirement: This requirement can be satisfied in four ways. One way is to take a graduate-level logic course in the NYU philosophy department. A second way is to take an upper-level undergraduate course at NYU or elsewhere, or a graduate-level course elsewhere, but in both cases the appropriateness of the course must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. A third way is to satisfy the department that some course or courses taken previously meets the required standard. A fourth way is to schedule an oral examination covering an appropriate range of topics.
Thesis and Oral Examination: The dissertation can consist of a monograph or, alternatively, of three outstanding papers. The department envisions that, in most cases, the dissertation will grow out of work done for the topics or advanced seminar and Associated Writing courses and that there will be no sharp distinction between years of course work and years of dissertation writing. Students are expected to complete all degree requirements, including the dissertation, within six years (or five if the student elects not to participate in the teaching program).