Department of Philosophy

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Whether you want to prepare to enter a doctoral program or simply deepen your knowledge of philosophy, our master’s program in philosophy will give you a solid grounding in the key areas of the discipline.

Our program is ranked among the best in the country, and the remarkable success of our graduates in entering top doctoral programs supports that. We offer strengths in:

  • Metaphysics and epistemology
  • Ethics
  • Social and political philosophy
  • Philosophy of language
  • Logic
  • Philosophy of mind and cognitive science
  • History of modern philosophy
  • Aesthetics
  • Philosophy and gender
  • Philosophy of law

Your training in philosophy will prepare you to apply to the most rigorous PhD programs in the country and will prove equally valuable if you choose another profession. The ability to reason, analyze and communicate is highly desirable in business, economics, law, medicine, publishing, divinity — almost any career path you choose.

Why Brandeis?

You’ll work closely with distinguished scholars who are also gifted teachers dedicated to your success — and you’ll chose one of them to guide your master’s thesis work and serve as your mentor. You’ll also be enriched by the interdisciplinarity of the Brandeis education, taking courses taught by faculty from other departments.

Our department hosts a colloquium series and speakers from around the country, so you can keep up with the debates currently animating the field and be part of the conversation. And you can form your own reading group with other master’s candidates. What’s more, you’ll have many occasions to present recent work to your peers.

Because we are minutes from Boston and Cambridge, you can take advantage of the surrounding academic resources. We’ll keep you apprised of lectures, conferences, discussion groups and other philosophy-related events at other institutions. You can also take a course for credit at a number of area colleges and universities belonging to the Boston consortium.

Careers and Alumni

Our graduates enjoy an extremely high rate of acceptance — 90 percent — into doctoral programs and have gone on to earn their PhD from Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, the London School of Economics and many other prestigious institutions.


You’ll complete nine courses, approved by a faculty adviser, and you must receive at least a B-plus for each. Two of these are required:

  • The proseminar, a discussion-based course with frequent writing assignments.
  • The master’s project course, which entails writing a philosophical essay of professional quality.

Finally, you must demonstrate competence in symbolic logic.

Financial Aid and Scholarship

Brandeis offers both merit- and need-based aid, and our department offers course assistantships to help defray the cost of graduate study.

“The faculty in the Brandeis philosophy department are outstanding, and they are very supportive of MA students. When I arrived, I instantly felt comfortable in the department, as many faculty members made an effort to reach out to me and speak with me about my research interests.”

Michael Dale, MA'16

PhD Student, University of Texas at Austin