Learning Outcomes for the M.A. & Ph.D.

 

Broad Program Learning Goals for the M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy

Last Updated: 10 August 2022

Program Goal
1A. Knowledge of some of the different areas of philosophy, for example, ethics, metaphysics and epistemology, and of the history of philosophy, at the level appropriate to the degree (M.A. or Ph.D.) and the area of specialization of the student.
2B. Mastery of philosophical methods, at the level appropriate to the degree (M.A. or Ph.D.).
3C. Mastery of skills necessary for a professional philosophy career, at the level appropriate to the degree (M.A. or Ph.D.).

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and Assessment Methods for the M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy

 Last Updated: 10 August 2022

Student Learning OutcomeAssessment Method

A1. Students can give an overview of the current state of knowledge and research in a chosen field of specialization, referencing both major primary works and important secondary sources, including historical sources where appropriate, at a level sufficient for teaching either a lower-level undergraduate course (M.A.) or conducting a graduate seminar (Ph.D.).

This outcome will be evaluated via Spring seminar papers. Student papers will be rated on a five point scale in relation to their mastery of this outcome (1=Unsatisfactory, 2=Below expectation, 3=Satisfactory, 4=Good, 5=Excellent).  We expect 75% of students toreceive (an average of) 3 or better.

B1. Students can formulate a thesis expressing an interpretation of the thought of a particular figure in the history of philosophy, or the solution to a particular problem in contemporary philosophy, and support this thesis with philosophical argument, at a level sufficient either for submitting a competitive writing sample for a Ph.D. application (M.A.) or for serving as the basis for publishable work on the topic (Ph.D.).This outcome will be evaluated via Spring seminar papers. Student papers will be rated on a five point scale in relation to their mastery of this outcome (1=Unsatisfactory, 2=Below expectation, 3=Satisfactory, 4=Good, 5=Excellent).  We expect 75% of students toreceive (an average of) 3 or better.
C1. Students can prepare a presentation of a paper appropriate for presenting at a professional philosophy conference.This outcome will be evaluated by measuring how many PhD students present papers in the three-year period. The Department Administrator will record, each semester, who has presented a paper, the title of that paper, where and at what venue it was presented, and whether the student received departmental funding. We expect 60% of students enrolled in the three-year period present at least one paper at a professional philosophy conference.  
C2. Students who are teaching assistants can design and teach course content and manage classroom interaction.This outcome will be evaluated by teaching observations of the graduate students by faculty members. Graduate students will be observed in their first and third year of teaching (or, if they teach fewer than three years, once). The faculty member will evaluate the student’s teaching using a twelve-item evaluative rubric, where each item will be rated on a scale of 1 (inferior) to 5 (excellent). We expect that 90% of students evaluated in the three-year period score a 4 or 5 on at least nine out of the twelve items on the rubric.