DePaul University Catalog > Degree Requirements > Graduate > College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Philosophy (MA/PhD) and (PhD) > Student Handbook

Student Handbook

Probation and Dismissal

The Graduate Affairs Committee will review every student’s progress toward the degree once a year, normally at the beginning of the Spring quarter. Students deemed not to be making satisfactory progress may be placed on probation or required to leave the program.


Students can petition the Graduate Affairs Committee in the Department of Philosophy for readmission. Petitions should be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Transfer Credit

PhD students may request to transfer up to 12 quarter hours either from courses taken while a non-degree-seeking student at DePaul or from other universities if they have already done graduate study elsewhere. MA students may request to transfer up to 8 quarter hours.  These credits must not have been counted toward any other degree the student has received. In exceptional cases, the Graduate Affairs Committee may recommend to the Graduate Student Services Office that more hours of transfer credit be allowed, but in no case more than 25% of the hours required for the DePaul degree.

Non-Curricular Courses

PhD students may take up to three courses during their studies outside of the graduate offerings in Philosophy for credit towards PhD course requirements (12 credit hours), though students cannot take such (non-language related) independent studies during their first year in the program, whether they are entering the program with a BA or an MA.  These non-curricular courses may include graduate courses at other universities or graduate courses at DePaul in other fields relevant for student research.  On rare occasions students may take independent studies with faculty members in our department on topics that would not otherwise be offered as graduate courses. All such non-curricular courses must be approved beforehand by the Director of Graduate Studies. 

Language Courses

PhD students may also take up to three courses aimed at language acquisition in the Department of Modern Languages at DePaul for credit towards PhD course requirements (12 credit hours).  (These courses must be at the graduate level, 400 or higher, in order to count toward a graduate degree.)

Residency Requirement

Three consecutive quarters of full-time residence, i.e., registration for eight credit hours each quarter. 

Admission to Doctoral Candidacy

A student will be recommended to the graduate school for admission to doctoral candidacy when he or she has: 1) completed the residency requirement; 2) completed all course requirements (excluding PHL 699 DISSERTATION RESEARCH) and the submission of required file papers (which shall count as fulfilling the University’s qualifying examination requirement); 3) completed the foreign language requirements; 4) submitted a dissertation proposal (approximately 10-15 pages in length, including critical bibliography); and 5) successfully defended the dissertation proposal during a public oral defense before the dissertation committee.

Candidacy Continuation

Registration for PHL 701 Candidacy Continuation is required each quarter of the regular academic year between admission to candidacy and graduation. Permission of the dissertation director is required once each academic year for registration for Candidacy Continuation.  The Dissertation Research course shall also count toward meeting this requirement. Completion of the doctoral dissertation, ordinarily of 200-275 pages, including scholarly apparatus, and a public oral defense of this work before the dissertation committee.

The dissertation committee will consist minimally of three members, including a director and two readers, all of whom must be permanent, full-time members of the DePaul's Department of Philosophy. Other members of DePaul faculties, or philosophers and scholars from outside the University, whose expertise is pertinent to the topic of the dissertation, may serve as extra readers upon the consent of the dissertation director and the Director of Graduate Studies.

In the event that a faculty member leaves the department, that faculty member may continue to serve on any already constituted and officially proposed dissertation committees as a director, a co-director, or an internal reader for up to one year. If the dissertation is not defended in the course of that year, the faculty member can continue to serve on the committee only as an external reader. It may be advisable, in the case of a departing faculty member continuing to serve as a dissertation director, to name a department member as a co-director.

Submission of a dissertation abstract of up to 350 words and filing of the completed final version of the dissertation with the Graduate Division by the required date prior to graduation.

Time Limitations

Students who come in without an MA in Philosophy and who will work as Teaching Fellows from their third year on are considered to be making satisfactory progress through the program if they complete all requirements for the MA before the start of their third year, including applying to have the degree conferred. PhD students, both those who have completed their MA at DePaul and those who entered with an MA, should defend their Dissertation Proposals and become ABD by the end of their fourth year, but no later than the end of their sixth year. Students should submit and successfully defend their dissertations by the end of their sixth year, but no later than the end of their tenth year after entering the program. Exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.