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Candidates for the Master of Arts in Philosophy must fulfill the following requirements:


Complete a program consisting of nine courses selected with the approval of a faculty advisor to be assigned to each student upon matriculation. Please note that Independent Studies do not count toward the required nine courses. Unless special approval is granted, at least seven of the nine courses must be Brandeis Department of Philosophy offerings.  All M.A. students must take PHIL 200a and PHIL 299a (see below), which both count towards the nine courses required.  Students must receive a grade of “B+” or higher or the equivalent for each course they wish to count towards the nine required courses. 


Complete PHIL 200a, Graduate Proseminar. The Proseminar includes frequent short writing assignments, and the mode of instruction emphasizes discussion rather than lecture. The topics are determined by the instructor but include central texts and topics across a range of fields.

Master’s Paper

Enroll in PHIL 299a (Master’s Project) and successfully complete a master’s paper of professional quality and length. The paper will be evaluated by two faculty members.

Symbolic Logic

Demonstrate competence in symbolic logic, specifically, facility in translations between English and propositional and predicate logic and proof techniques (e.g., natural deduction or truth trees).  The Director of Graduate Studies will assess the student’s background and determine if the requirement has been satisfied or if an appropriate logic course at Brandeis needs to be taken.


Satisfy the university’s one-year minimum residency requirement. Students may enroll on a full or part-time basis. Students who wish to complete the program on a part-time basis are strongly encouraged to complete all the requirements within four years.

Note: There is no foreign language requirement for the M.A. in Philosophy.