Graduate Degrees & Plans | Philosophy & Religion

Graduate Degrees & Plans

The Graduate Program in Philosophy at UNT offers a world-class learning experience that prepares students for both academic and non-academic careers. Graduate students study with nationally and internationally known faculty members in the fields of environmental philosophy and the philosophy of science, technology, and society. Our curriculum is grounded in the history of philosophy with a strong emphasis in environmental philosophy. It also offers broad latitude for students to craft a degree plan to suit their interests, including interdisciplinary work across campus and internships beyond campus. We are home to the Center for Environmental Ethics and the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program as well as research projects focused on food, water, and philosophy for children.


Students pursuing academic careers in the humanities and the sciences may take the Master of Arts in Philosophy as preparation for Ph.D.-level work in philosophy and other environmentally related fields. It is also a good background for students planning careers in environmental law.

For the Thesis Option, the student takes 24 semester credit hours of approved course work and a thesis carrying 6 hours of credit (PHIL 5950). The student will normally take a minimum of six courses in philosophy. Six semester credit hours may be elected by the student in supporting fields with the consent of the department. An oral examination is scheduled after the completion of the thesis.

A Non-Thesis Option is available for students pursuing non-academic environmental career objectives in business, government and non-governmental organizations. Because this option can be taken in a single year, it can provide environmental professionals with the opportunity to develop expertise in the value aspects of environmental policy and decision making during one-year leaves of absence from their jobs. The non-thesis option consists of 36 semester credit hours. The student will normally take a minimum of six courses in philosophy.

A 9-semester-credit-hour minor in a supporting field is required. Nine additional semester hours may be elected by the student in philosophy or in one or more supporting fields. The student will form an examination committee for his or her oral examination consisting of a major professor plus two others, one of which will be from their minor field, the other from the department. The examiners at the oral examination will include a faculty member representing the minor field and, at the option of the department, one or more representatives of other supporting fields.

Students pursuing either option are required to complete:

1. One of the following courses

  • PHIL 5450 - Seminar in the Philosophy of Ecology
  • PHIL 5451 - Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 5700 - Seminar in Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 5750 - Environmental Ethics and Public Policy

2. A graduate course in Environmental Science


The Philosophy Ph.D. Program at the University of North Texas seeks to train students in the rigorous modes of thought and expression that characterize work in professional philosophy, and in the rhetorical and contextual skills necessary for translating philosophical insights for non-specialists. Specifically, the program is intended to offer a broad-based doctoral training which allows students both flexibility in structuring their individual programs of study and also the opportunity to focus that training in areas of departmental strength: environmental philosophy and ethics, the philosophy of science and technology studies, the history of philosophy, and philosophy of religion.

Students completing the program will be prepared to teach and to do research in philosophy in colleges and universities. This training could also be appropriately put to use in related non-teaching professional environments, such as environmental NGOs, legal practice, state and federal environmental agencies, school administration, or the ministry.To be awarded the Ph.D. in philosophy, students must successfully complete a minimum of 42 semester credit hours (SCH) beyond the Master's degree. Departmental requirements for the Ph.D. operate in conjunction with the Toulouse Graduate School Ph.D degree requirements.

Each Ph.D. student is also required to complete a qualifying exam paper, and complete a doctoral dissertation. In addition to the written product, the student must complete a final oral examination which involves a public short presentation and public oral defense of the dissertation to the student's Dissertation Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC is made up of 3-5 graduate faculty members.

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