PhD Program Information | Philosophy & Religion

PhD Program Information

Marketable skills for this degree include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas, that are valued by employers, and are primary or complementary to the major. The marketable skills goal was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers. UNT's marketable skills were faculty-developed and approved by employers or discipline-specific agencies, e.g., internship providers, chambers of commerce, workforce development boards, and other workforce-related entities. For information on these marketable skills - https://vpaa.unt.edu/thecb/class.

PhD Program

The PhD Program offers a world class educational experience and foundational training in environmental philosophy, the history of Western philosophy, philosophy of science and technology and related fields. The program is designed to prepare students for careers both within academia and in non-academic sectors. In the initial year of study the departmental Director of Graduate Studies will primarily advise students. Student supervision and advisement following the first year will be the responsibility of the student's major professor and committee. Graduate students assume full responsibility for knowledge of all Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and University of North Texas rules, regulations, and deadlines published in the Graduate Catalog and of all departmental and program requirements concerning their degree program.

Time Limitations

All work to be credited toward the doctoral degree beyond the master's degree must be completed within a period of 8 years from the date doctoral credit is first earned. No course credit beyond the master's degree that is more than 10 years old at the time the doctoral program is completed will be counted toward the doctorate. Time limits are strictly enforced. Students exceeding the time limit may be required to repeat the QEP, replace out-of-date credits with up-to-date work, and/or show other evidence of being up-to-date in their minor fields. Students anticipating they will exceed the time limit should apply for an extension of time before their seventh year of study. (Note: Holding a full-time job is not considered in itself sufficient grounds for granting a time extension and time spent in active military service of the United States will not be considered in computing these time limits.)

Residency

Every candidate for the doctoral degree must complete the appropriate residence requirement at UNT as prescribed by the individual departments and schools. The minimum residence requirement consists of two consecutive long terms/semesters at UNT (fall and the following spring, or spring and the following fall), or a fall or spring term/semester and one adjoining summer session/term at UNT. During the long terms/semesters a minimum of 9 graduate hours must be taken. During the combined summer sessions/terms a minimum load of 9 graduate semester hours must be taken. (That is, residency is only fulfilled by a course load of 9/9 for the fall/spring or spring/fall or a course load of 6/6/6 for the fall/spring/summer or spring/summer/fall.) Enrolling in courses during the summer does not affect doctoral residence begun the previous spring and completed the following fall.

Continuous Enrollment

Doctoral students must maintain continuous enrollment subsequent to passing the qualifying examination for admission to candidacy. Continuous enrollment means a minimum of 3 semester hours of dissertation are taken during each fall and spring term/semester, including the term/semester the dissertation is accepted by the dean of the Toulouse Graduate School. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment through the semester of graduation will either invalidate any previous dissertation credit or will result in the student's being dropped from the program, unless granted an official leave of absence by the graduate dean in advance. (Note: Dissertation registration in at least one summer session/term is required if the student is using university facilities and/or faculty time during that summer session/term or to graduate in August.)

Leave of Absence

This applies to students admitted to the doctoral degree program who wish to discontinue work toward the degree for a specified period of time due to exigent circumstances. Leave of absence may be granted by the Graduate School. If the student has begun dissertation and is under the continuous enrollment requirement, a waiver of continuous enrollment must also be requested and approved by the Graduate School. Degree requirements and graduation must be completed within the appropriate time limit for completion of the degree. If needed, a 'stop clock' request can also be made.

Milestone Schedule

  1. Submit final defended copy of dissertation.Schedule final defense of dissertation no later than four to five weeks prior to filing deadline and notify graduate school of date and time.
  2. Apply to Graduate at beginning of final semester.
  3. Prepare Dissertation.
  4. Defend Dissertation Prospectus the semester following the qualifying exam.
  5. Ensure that degree plan and committee are up to date, all course work is completed, QEP or Comprehensive Exam results have been sent to Graduate School, external committee member(s) added, and submit Committee Status Report to Department.
  6. Submit form to add external member to doctoral committee.
  7. Upon nearing coursework completion, determine Qualifying Exam Paper (QEP) or Comprehensive Exam deadlines, procedures, and requirements and complete qualifying exam per these procedures and requirements.
  8. Submit a degree plan to the Department and Graduate School upon or before completion of 18 semester hours (or one academic year) of coursework.
  9. Establish major professor/advisory committee and prepare proposed degree program upon or before the completion of 12 semester hours of coursework.
  10. Meet with Director of Graduate Studies, assigned by department chair, to plan course of study for first semester before first semester registration.

Annual Schedule

First Year: Meet with Director of Graduate Studies; Establish Major Professor; Eighteen Hours of Coursework (9/9 or 6/6/6).

Second Year: Submit Degree Plan; Eighteen Hours of Coursework (9/9 or 6/6/6); Prepare for Qualifying Exam Paper.

Third Year: Complete Coursework (if necessary); Complete QEP or Comp Exam; Modify /

Submit Final Degree Plan; Prepare and submit a dissertation prospectus to Committee; Complete Committee Status Report.

Fourth Year: Preparing dissertation.

Fifth Year: Prepare and defend dissertation.

PhD OPTIONS AND COURSE SEQUENCES

Categories

Student categories determine the coursework required to earn a PhD in Philosophy at UNT. Categories for incoming students are determined according to the degree achieved upon admission to the program.

Category 1 students (72 hours total; 60 course hours and 12 dissertation hours)

Accepted to the PhD program with bachelor's degree in any discipline.

  • Required courses, 9 hours of history of philosophy, 6 hours of environmental philosophy
  • PHIL Elective courses, 30 hours
  • Additional PHIL or non-PHIL Elective courses, 15 hours
  • Dissertation, 12 hours

Category 2 students (42 hours total; 30 course hours and 12 dissertation hours)

Accepted to the PhD program with master's degree in a discipline other than philosophy.

  • Required courses: 9 hours of history of philosophy, 6 hours of environmental philosophy
  • PHIL elective courses: 9 hours
  • Additional PHIL elective or non-PHIL elective courses: 6 hours
  • Doctoral Dissertation: 12 hours

Category 3 students (42 hours total: 30 course hours and 12 dissertation hours)

Accepted to the PhD program with master's degree in philosophy.

  • Required courses: 9 hours of history of philosophy, 6 hours of environmental philosophy
  • Additional PHIL elective or non-PHIL elective courses: 15 hours
  • Doctoral Dissertation: 12 hours

Course Sequences

Philosophical history sequence: Three Courses (9 credit hours) Required of all students. Topics courses may be taken more than once for credit. Substitutions may be made with the consent of the department Director of Graduate Studies

PHIL 5100. Topics in Ancient Philosophy PHIL 5200. Topics in Modern Philosophy

PHIL 5250. Topics in History of Philosophy

Environmental Philosophy sequence: At least two courses (6 credit hours) Required of all students. Topics courses may be taken more than once for credit. Substitutions may be made with the consent of the department Director of Graduate Studies.

PHIL 5000. Environmental Ethics PHIL 5010. Philosophy of Ecology

PHIL 5700. Sem. in Enviro. Ethics

PHIL 6710. Ecofeminism

PHIL 6720. Religion and Ecology

PHIL 6730. Christianity and the Environment

PHIL 6740. Environmental Ethics and Public Policy PHIL 6750. Environmental Justice

PHIL 6760. Topics in Environmental Philosophy

Interdisciplinary study: Students entering the PhD program with a BA (in any discipline) and those entering the program with an MA in philosophy may take up to five courses (15 credit hours) in other departments. Students entering the PhD program with an MA degree in a field other than philosophy may take up to two courses (6 credit hours) in other departments.

Dissertation course: 12 credit hours; After completing all other course requirements and the qualifying exam requirement, (QEP) students will enroll in 12 semester credit hours of dissertation writing over the remainder of the degree program. (Note: No more than 12 semester hours of dissertation credit are applied to the degree program, even though more dissertation hours may be accumulated. Grades of PR will be recorded at the end of each term/semester of enrollment until the dissertation is filed with the Toulouse Graduate School and approved by the graduate dean.)

Required of all students.

Departmental Coursework

Any student that desires to apply more than 9 credit hours of coursework taken outside of the department toward the completion of their PhD or MA degree plan must have the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the student's major professor.

Independent Studies / Special Problems

Graduate students in the Department of Philosophy and Religion will take no more than two special problems or independent studies throughout their graduate career unless approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the student's major professor. Students should note that a good use of a special problems or independent study course is to arrange one with their major professor in their last year of coursework, in order to assist in the development of a literature base, dissertation topic, and working relationship between the major professor and the student.

PHD QUALIFYING EXAMINATION PAPER (QEP)

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE INCLUDE A QUALIFYING EXAM PAPER OR COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINIATION, AND DISSERTATION WRITING/DEFENSE.

***Disclaimer: Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program Fall 2016 and earlier will have the option to complete the Qualifying Examination Paper OR the Comprehensive Examination. Students enrolled Fall 2017 and later will be required to complete the Comprehensive Examination.***

Satisfying the Toulouse Graduate School Requirement for Qualifying Examination and Admission to Candidacy.

The purpose of the Qualifying Exam Paper is for the PhD student in philosophy to develop and demonstrate an area of scholarly competency beyond the specialization of the student's dissertation topic. Consistent with the Toulouse Graduate School Requirement for Qualifying Examination and Admission to Candidacy this qualifying exam paper will require the student to demonstrate competency with exemplary writing, research, and analytical skills. Students are to produce a paper of high scholarly merit consistent with "publishable" quality standards.

http://www.unt.edu/catalog/grad/pdfs/doctoral_degree_requirements.pdf

Upon the final semester of coursework, the PhD students will prepare to submit the Qualifying Exam Paper, which must be turned in as a final and complete draft by the deadline following the semester of course completion[1]:

Qualifying Exam Paper Due the Following March 1

Course Completion Upon Any Fall Semester

Revisions of March 1 papers are due by April 15

Students funded by the Department will be advanced to Level 3 pay scale the following fall semester.

Qualifying Exam Paper Due the Following May 15th

Course Completion Upon Any Spring Semester

Revisions are due by August 1st

Students funded by the Department will be advanced to Level 3 pay scale if the revision is submitted and approved by August 1st. Any revisions submitted later than August 1st, even with extenuating circumstances, will not be advanced to Level 3 pay scale until the following year. This is policy for the University that Level 3 pay scale increases occur only during fall semesters, and any revised paper submission after August 1st will fail to meet the Departmental arrangements to meet the University policy.

Format/Criteria/Procedure/Evaluation:

1. Course completion entails all course requirements are completed and all requirements set by the Toulouse Graduate School are satisfied.

2. Qualifying exam papers must be on a topic explicitly other than the dissertation. However, content and research for examination may be present in minor portions of the ultimate dissertation project.

3. The qualifying exam paper should amount to between 6,000-8,000 words.

4. The qualifying exam paper should be of publishable quality. The Qualifying Exam Committee (QEC) will evaluate the paper. The QEC will be comprised of three tenured faculty, who serve on an annual basis. The QEC membership will be determined during the May committee assignment meeting. The paper evaluation is based upon a general rubric of "publishable quality." Publishable papers are based upon evaluation criteria that are addressed with the following considerations and questions:

PAPER FORMAT (Strictly Enforced)

Papers must include an abstract.

Papers must be double-spaced, including the abstract, but notes may be single spaced.

6000-8000 word count is strictly enforced. Any paper outside of that number will be immediately returned to the author. Notes and bibliography are NOT included in the word count.

Citations must follow the style of the Journal of Environmental Ethics. It is an in-house journal that can be easily accessed.

A Works Cited or Bibliography page must be in the style of the Journal of Environmental Ethics.

A. Considerations: The QEC recognizes the diversity of philosophical paper topics, the multiplicity of argument styles, and the multiplicity of philosophical end points. The QEC therefore gives consideration to the different kinds of questions that can be addressed in the qualifying exam paper. The QEC offers this guideline of questions for its evaluation process. This list is neither exhaustive nor measuring as a sufficient condition for the QEC's evaluation options given the different available approaches available to candidates. It is the obligation of the student to ensure a meeting with the QEC to discuss expectations and conditions of the qualifying exam paper prior to completing the last semester of coursework.

PHD COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION

***Disclaimer: Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program Fall 2016 and earlier will have the option to complete the Qualifying Examination Paper OR the Comprehensive Examination. Students enrolled Fall 2017 and later will be required to complete the Comprehensive Examination.***

Satisfying the Toulouse Graduate School Requirement for Qualifying Examination and Admission to Candidacy.

The purpose of the comprehensive exam is for the PhD student in philosophy to develop a broad background in the major figures and themes in the history of philosophy.

Consistent with the Toulouse Graduate School Requirement for Qualifying Examination and Admission to Candidacy, this comprehensive exam will require the student to demonstrate competency in the basic areas of philosophy.

Students are eligible for the comprehensive exam following the completion of course work. Exams will be administered by the end of the spring semester. Exams can be administered by the end of the fall semester with the consent of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students are required to take three PhD comprehensive examinations in the history of philosophy: one in ancient philosophy, one in modern philosophy, and one in contemporary philosophy. There are separate suggested readings lists for each exam. The questions for the exams will be based on the reading lists and recently offered courses. Sample questions are posted at the department web site.

Each exam will be four hours long, administered in the Department of Philosophy and Religion, written on internet disabled computers. Students take one exam per day over the course of one week.

Evaluation, Grading and Appeals

The Comprehensive Exam Committee will grade the student's examination with a Pass/Fail grade in a timely manner.

Pass

The comprehensive exam satisfactorily meets the Graduate School's Qualifying Exam Requirement. Students must pass all three exams.

Fail

The comprehensive exam does not satisfactorily meet the Graduate School's Qualifying Exam Requirement.

A pass grade on all three exams is required to move the student to ABD status as a doctoral candidate.

One Fail grade per exam is permissible. Students may retake each exam one time. The retake will take place on or near July 1. For students taking the exam in the fall, the retake will take place on or near February 1.

Appealing the Fail Grade

In the event of a second Fail grade, the student may appeal the grade. An appeals committee comprised of the Comprehensive Exam Committee, Director of Graduate Studies, and the Department Chair will confer to determine the merits of the appeal. If the appeal is upheld, the examination will be re-graded by the Executive Committee. If any members of the Executive Committee are also on the Comprehensive Exam Committee, the exam will be graded by members of the Tenure and Promotion Committee who are not on the Comprehensive Exam Committee.

A Fail grade after the appeal and second grading will result in dismissal from the program for unsatisfactory progress.

PhD DISSERTATION REQUIREMENTS

No dissertation enrollment is permitted until the Comprehensive Exam or QEP has been passed and the QER form is on file with the Graduate School. Students are admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree by the graduate dean upon successful completion of the qualifying examination and residency requirements; the department should notify the office of the Graduate Dean when a student passes the qualifying examination and is admitted to candidacy. Prior to beginning your dissertation, discuss your research interests and possible topics with your major professor/advisory committee and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Dissertation Committee

Membership of dissertation advisory committees will include representatives from the Department and, if desired, outside members. The number of members on thesis committees will normally be three to five; at least three are required. The majority of committee members must hold regular UNT faculty status and be members of the Department. The dissertation chair is the student's major professor and guide through the process of thesis development and the demonstration of independent scholarship. Therefore, the chair of the dissertation committee, who must be willing to serve, is selected by the student in consultation with the appropriate graduate faculty, graduate advisor or department chair in the student's discipline. (Note: A person who is not a regular member of the University of North Texas graduate faculty may receive a temporary graduate faculty appointment from the graduate dean in order to serve on a committee. For these appointments, the thesis committee chair should submit an associate membership nomination form, justification for the appointment, and a vita of the prospective committee member.)

Dissertation Prospectus

Students must consult with their dissertation advisor in preparing the prospectus, which must be completed the semester following the qualifying exam. The dissertation prospectus should readily convey even to a non-specialist the nature and import of the student's project and refer to procedure and method (e.g., "This dissertation will consist of six chapters. . . ."). The prospectus is a provisional document that advances the basic argument of your dissertation project and therefore should include:

      1. A brief description and statement on the significance of the project.
      2. An overview of the current state of research.
      3. A plan of research and statement on methodology.
      4. A preliminary outline of chapters.
      5. A preliminary bibliography.

The prospectus should be between 8 and10 pages (approx. 2500 words) in length, not including the bibliography. Consult this webpage for more information: http://philosophy.unt.edu/graduate-program/dissertation-prospectus-policy.

Dissertation Defense

When the dissertation is completed and has received preliminary approval of the advisory committee, the student's major professor will schedule the final defense and will notify the Toulouse Graduate School of the date and time of the examination. Students should apply for graduation with the graduate school in accordance with the graduate graduation deadlines and at least 10 days prior to the final defense of their dissertation. The dissertation may not be submitted to the dean of the student's college or the graduate dean until this final examination has been passed. (Note: No dissertation credit will be recorded until the dissertation has been approved by the student's advisory committee, submitted to the graduate dean's office and finally approved by the graduate dean. Instructions for submission of the dissertation may be obtained from the graduate dean's office.)

Dissertation Submission

The University of North Texas, as a member of the Council of Graduate Schools, ascribes to the fundamental tenet on openness and access of thesis and dissertation research. All UNT ETDs are placed in the UNT ETD repository and made available via the online Libraries catalog for reading and/or downloading by all users, including being crawled and indexed by online search engines (e.g., Google). ETDs are available in perpetuity; there are no restrictions regarding who can download the file or how many times it can be downloaded.

In addition to the UNT Libraries, copies of all ETDs are also sent to ProQuest. All students must sign and submit a ProQuest publication agreement as part of their required paperwork for graduation. As copyright holders, students earn royalties on every copy sold of their thesis or dissertation so students must include their social security number on the ProQuest forms. The "microfilm" graduation fee covers ProQuest's Traditional Publishing option. If a student has opted to restrict access to the UNT Libraries copy of their ETD, this is *not* communicated to ProQuest. Access choices are listed on the ProQuest agreement form but if these are not sufficient, students must contact ProQuest directly to discuss alternatives.

The document submitted to the Toulouse Graduate School must be the absolute final version, with all committee, department and/or college requested changes included. Subsequent

submissions will not be accepted. Instructions for submission of the dissertation may be obtained from the graduate dean's office. All documents must be turned in by the appropriate deadlines.

A completed thesis packet will include:

  1. Filing Envelope Cover (use only if mailing your thesis/dissertation)
  2. A CD or flash drive (thumb drive) containing three separate files (with appropriate formatting)
    1. PDF version of your dissertation/thesis
    2. PDF version of your abstract
    3. Word-processing version of your abstract, e.g., MS Word or .txt file
  3. Hard copy of both the dissertation/thesis and abstract, printed from the PDF. This is a reading copy to assist review, so does not have to be color or good quality paper. The hard copy must be completely "loose," i.e., not bound in any way. This means no paper clips, no binder clips, no staples, etc.
  4. Electronic Document Filing Form
  5. Final Defense Form (may be submitted directly by your department)
  6. ProQuest Agreement Form [http://tsgs.unt.edu/downloads/thesis/proquest-agreement.pdf]
  7. Copies of any copyright permission letters you have received. Copies can be hard copy or digital (included on the CD)

After your dissertation has been submitted, the Graduate Reader will examine your work and email you regarding any necessary revisions (if needed).

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