Coursework credits. Ph.D. students take a minimum of 48 graduate course credit hours (16 courses), including at least one three-credit course in ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary philosophy. With the approval of the Chair, 6 course credits (2 courses) may be philosophy or philosophy-related graduate courses in other departments or at area universities (e.g., the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University). Ph.D. students normally complete their coursework in three years, taking 9 course credits (3 courses) each semester during their first two years and 6 credits (2 courses) each semester during their third year. Later years are dedicated to dissertation work
Credit transfer. After a reasonable period has elapsed to observe performance at Duquesne, the Chair may approve the transfer of up to 9 credits of prior graduate coursework in philosophy. Transfer credit limits for students who wish to transfer graduate-level philosophy coursework from institutions outside the U.S. and Canada will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Languages. Ph.D. students must demonstrate research competence in two languages, normally ancient Greek, Latin, German, or French. With the approval of the Chair, research competence in other languages may be substituted when relevant to dissertation research. The language requirement must be satisfied before dissertation prospectus submission and so is usually completed during the first three to four years of the program. The Departments of Classics (Greek and Latin) and Modern Languages (French and German) allow Philosophy graduate students to enroll in their courses tuition-free, and departmental funding is often available for summer intensive language study abroad.
Pedagogical training. Students register for the Graduate Teaching Philosophy Seminar (PHIL 689/690) the semester prior to teaching their first course. This course is a credit- and tuition-free seminar that provides an introduction to course and syllabus construction, classroom practice, grading management, etc. Additional pedagogical training is provided through the Center for Teaching Excellence and by faculty mentorship when graduate students serve as Teaching Assistants
Supervised Teaching. After pedagogical training, Ph.D. students usually teach introductory-level courses of their own in return for their stipend. Typically, these courses are assigned beginning with the fourth semester in the program. Students register for Supervised Teaching of Philosophy (PHIL 691/692) during their first two semesters of teaching and their classroom performance is reviewed by departmental faculty. This course is credit- and tuition-free.
Comprehensive Exams. Ph.D. students must pass two rounds of comprehensive exams: written exams taken no later than the third semester in the program and oral exams taken no later than the sixth. One of these is focused on an ancient/medieval text list and the other on a modern/contemporary lists. Students entering with M.A. degrees in philosophy from other institutions may be assigned abbreviated exam schedules. Any student failing to pass a comprehensive exam after two attempts will be asked to leave the program.
Grant submission. All Ph.D. students are required to make at least one application for an external grant (for research, travel, language study, or other relevant purpose) before a dissertation prospectus may be submitted. A copy of the grant application should be sent to the Chair at time of submission.
Dissertation Prospectus. A prospectus approved by a director and two readers must be submitted to the Chair and the Graduate School Office no later than two years following completion of the comprehensive exams. Normally, the prospectus is submitted within six months of completing the exams.
Dissertation. A publically defended dissertation approved by each member of a dissertation committee must be submitted no later than four years following completion of the comprehensive exams. Candidates must submit the final copy to their director and readers at least one month in advance of the oral defense. After the defense, a signed copy of the dissertation signature page along with the approved checklist and supporting documents must be delivered to the Chair and the Graduate School. An electronic copy of the dissertation formatted to meet the guidelines of the Electronic Theses and Dissertations office at the Gumberg Library must be submitted by the date specified in that year’s University Calendar.
Dissertation credits. After completing all coursework credits, Ph.D. students must register for a minimum of 6 dissertation research credits (a minimum of 1 credit/semester) (PHIL 701).
Continuation credits. After completing coursework and dissertation credits, Ph.D. students must register for fee-based continuation credits (GRAS 701) in order to maintain their status as enrolled Duquesne students. Continuous registration does not apply to students on leave of absence. Note that online registration for these credits is not available; a message stating intent to register for continuation credits must be sent to the Dean’s Office and the Philosophy Department each semester.
Satisfactory Progress. The Chair and Director of Graduate Studies periodically review progress toward degree; students deemed not to be making satisfactory progress may be placed on probation or asked to leave the program. University policy requires all work leading to a Ph.D. degree to be completed no more than four years after passing the final round of comprehensive exams.
Degree conferral. Ph.D. candidates must make a formal application for the degree at the office of the Registrar prior to the date specified in that year’s University Calendar and should be present at graduation. Students must make complete settlement of their financial accounts with the university before any degree will be conferred.