M.A. Program

The M.A. program is designed to give the student a solid foundation in philosophy beyond the undergraduate level, whether the student's goal is further graduate work in philosophy, graduate work in other disciplines, employment in some field related to philosophy, or simply the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity. All M.A. students will be accepted into the program as Plan II students. In special circumstances, a student may petition the Faculty to take the Plan I option. The student should explain in this petition why he or she thinks that Plan I would be in his or her case a more appropriate program of studies than Plan II. Requirements specific to Plan I are marked with the superscript '1', and requirements specific to Plan II are marked with the superscript '2'.

 

M.A. Plan I

A1. Time Limit

All coursework toward the M.A. degree (including coursework transferred from another institution) must be completed by the end of the student's third year (sixth semester) in residence, and all requirements for the M.A. degree must be completed by the end of a student's fourth year (eighth semester) in residence.

Any M.A. students who are informed by the Philosophy Department faculty that they are making unsatisfactory progress in the program will have two semesters to restore their unsatisfactory progress towards the M.A. degree.  The Philosophy department faculty will specify the requirements that must be met to restore satisfactory progress towards the M.A. degree.

B1. Graduate Credit Hour Requirements (Plan I)

An M.A. student under Plan I must complete a minimum of 24 graduate hours of coursework credit: at least 6 hours must be at the 500-level, no more than 6 hours can be independent-study credit (498/551/651), and no more than 3 hours can be workshop credit. If a minor is declared, at least 14 graduate hours of coursework credit must be in the major and 7 such hours must be in the minor. Thesis (599) hours do not count as coursework credit, and hence they cannot be used toward fulfilling these requirements. Further coursework requirements for Plan I M.A. students can be found in The Graduate Program section of the UNM Catalog.

C1. Philosophy Credit Hour Requirements (Plan I)

An M.A. student under Plan I must complete a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours of coursework in philosophy: at least 9 hours must be at the 500-level, and no more than 3 hours can be independent-study credit (498/551/651). Graduate credit hours in philosophy are hours in graduate courses offered by or cross-listed with the philosophy department, or courses approved by GAC as carrying graduate credit in philosophy. Thesis (599) hours do not count as coursework credit, and hence they cannot be used toward fulfilling these requirements.

D1. Distribution Requirements (Plan I)

Plan I students must take a minimum of 4 courses designated as H(A), H(M), H, VT, M, or E (see key to left).

  • At least one of these must be designated as H(A) or H(M) at the 500-level
  • At least one of these must be designated as VT, M, or E

E1. Program of Studies and Other Graduation Requirements

Each student must file a Program of Studies no later than the middle of the semester before he or she intends to graduate.  The Program of Studies, its specific deadlines, and further details on graduation requirements can be found here. Moreover, students need to submit their M.A. theses to their M.A. committee members at least two weeks prior to the scheduled thesis defense.

F1. M.A. Thesis (Plan I)

  1. Before beginning work on the M.A. thesis, a Plan I student must select, in consultation with the Graduate Director and subject to approval by the department Chair, a thesis committee consisting of three members, a majority of whom must be from the Philosophy Department
  2. A copy of the final draft of the student's M.A. thesis, which must not exceed 25,000 words of main text, shall be distributed to each member of the thesis committee at least two weeks before the scheduled date of the thesis defense. This date shall be fixed in consultation with the Graduate Director.
  3. Every M.A. Candidate under Plan I is required to pass successfully a master's exam, which is an oral defense of the student's thesis before his or her thesis committee. An M.A. candidate may take a master's exam at most twice.

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M.A. Plan II

A2. Time Limit

All coursework toward the M.A. degree (including coursework transferred from another institution) must be completed by the end of the student's third year (sixth semester) in residence, and all requirements for the M.A. degree must be completed by the end of a student's fourth year (eighth semester) in residence.

Any M.A. students who are informed by the Philosophy Department faculty that they are making unsatisfactory progress in the program will have two semesters to restore their unsatisfactory progress towards the M.A. degree.  The Philosophy department faculty will specify the requirements that must be met to restore satisfactory progress towards the M.A. degree.

B2. Graduate Credit Hour Requirements (Plan II)

An M.A. student under Plan II must complete a minimum of 30 graduate hours of coursework credit: at least 12 hours must be at the 500-level, no more than 6 hours can be independent-study credit (498/551/651), and no more than 3 hours can be workshop credit. If a minor is declared, at least 18 graduate hours of coursework credit must be in the major and 12 such hours must be in the minor. Further coursework requirements for Plan II M.A. students can be found in The Graduate Program section of the UNM Catalog.

C2. Philosophy Credit Hour Requirements (Plan II)

An M.A. student under Plan II must complete a minimum of 24 graduate credit hours of coursework in philosophy: at least 15 hours must be at the 500-level, and no more than 3 hours can be independent-study credit (498/551/651). Graduate credit hours in philosophy are hours in graduate courses offered by or cross-listed with the philosophy department or courses approved by GAC as carrying graduate credit in philosophy.

D2. Distribution Requirements (Plan II)

Plan II students must take a minimum of four courses designated as H(A), H(M), H, VT, M, or E (see key to left).

  • At least two of these must be designated as H(A), H(M), or H, with no more than one designated as H; and
  • At least two of these must be designated as VT, M, or E.

E2. Program of Studies and Other Graduation Requirements

Each student must file a Program of Studies no later than the middle of the semester before he or she intends to graduate.  The Program of Studies, its specific deadlines, and further details on graduation requirements can be found here.

F2. M.A. Paper (Plan II)

  1. A Plan II student must select, in consultation with the Graduate Director and subject to approval by the department Chair, a master's exam committee consisting of three members, a majority of whom must be from the philosophy department.
  2. A copy of the final draft of the student's M.A. paper, which must not exceed 12,500 words of main text, shall be distributed to each member of the student's master's exam committee at least two weeks before the scheduled date of the exam. This date shall be fixed in consultation with the Graduate Director.
  3. Every M.A. candidate under Plan II is required to pass successfully a master's exam, which is an oral exam focused on the student's M.A. paper. An M.A. candidate may take a master's exam at most twice.

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4 + 1 M.A. Plan

Beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year, the Department of Philosophy will be offering a 4 + 1 M.A. degree program. This program is designed to provide undergraduate Philosophy majors at the University of New Mexico with the possibility of earning both a B.A. and a M.A. in Philosophy in a five-year timeframe. Normally, receiving a M.A. requires an additional two-plus years after a four-year B.A. program.

Undergraduate majors in philosophy, during their third/junior or fourth/senior years of study, can apply to the Department of Philosophy for admission to the 4 + 1 M.A. Philosophy program. Applicants to the 4 + 1 M.A. Philosophy program will be considered for acceptance along with applicants to the regular M.A. Philosophy program. The application requirements, including the application fee, are the same for 4 + 1 M.A. applicants as for regular M.A. applicants. However, applicants to the 4 + 1 M.A. program should list two UNM Department of Philosophy faculty as references instead of furnishing three letters of recommendation.

For students accepted into the 4 + 1 M.A. Philosophy program, either 400/500- or *400-level Philosophy courses taken by these students as part of completing their Philosophy B.A. will then also count towards their required coursework for a M.A. degree in Philosophy.

Students in their fifth (i.e., final) year of the 4 + 1 M.A. Philosophy program will enroll at the 500-level in all of their philosophy courses. During this fifth year, they will both complete their required M.A. coursework as well as fulfill the other requirements holding for all M.A. students in the graduate program (for these, see:  http://philosophy.unm.edu/graduate/policies-requirements/ma-degree.html).  Other than this, the M.A. degree requirements for students accepted into the 4 + 1 M.A. Philosophy program will be the same as those for M.A. students admitted into our standard M.A. Philosophy program.

Distribution Requirement Designations (DRD's)

  • H(A) - history of ancient philosophy
  • H(M) - history of modern philosophy
  • H - history of philosophy
  • M - metaphysics
  • E - epistemology
  • VT - value theory