Graduate Courses

To receive a Ph.D. degree in philosophy from Brown, a student must successfully complete a number of courses:

  1. Proseminar. All students are required to register for the Proseminar in both the first and second semesters of their first year. (Only first-year PhD students are permitted to enroll in this course.) The Proseminar is intended to foster skills in critical analysis of texts and philosophical discussion. Work for the Proseminar includes discussion, reports, and short papers but does not normally include a term paper.
  2. Twelve additional courses, of which at least eight must be seminars. Seminars are courses numbered above 2000 or designated as seminars by the instructors. A course will be designated as a seminar only when it involves substantial discussion of philosophy among several people.

The twelve additional courses must fulfil the following Distribution Requirements:

  1. Philosophy of Language/Mind/Science: One course in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind or philosophy of science.
  2. Ethics: Two courses in ethics or political philosophy, at least one of which must be in ethics.
  3. Epistemology: One course in epistemology.
  4. Metaphysics: One course in metaphysics.
  5. History of Philosophy: Three courses in history of philosophy, at least one of which shall be in ancient philosophy and at least one of which shall be in modern philosophy up through Kant. The third course may be in any period of philosophy.

Up to two courses offered by other departments may be counted toward the twelve required courses, provided they clearly contribute to the student’s philosophical progress and they are approved in advance by the Director of Graduate Studies.

More details can be found in the Graduate Handbook.

Current and recent courses can be found at Courses @ Brown.