Certain forms of serious work in the philosophy of language require of philosophers that they be conversant with certain forms of current research in linguistics, especially where those forms of research bear directly on claims set forth by philosophers of language. A student who wishes to specialize in the relevant areas of philosophy of language therefore ought to have a firm grounding in the relevant basics of the discipline of linguistics as well. Since both the Departments of Linguistics and Philosophy each have their own exacting and distinct standards of disciplinary training, we deem it inadvisable for most students to pursue a joint PhD -- i.e., the sort of degree which would equip them to be hired in either sort of department. Instead, we have sought to establish a cooperative program, one in which students will enroll either in the Ph.D. program in Linguistics or in the Ph.D. program in Philosophy but will also be required to take certain courses in the department in which they are not enrolled. The program is a cooperative program in the sense that the faculty of both departments are committed to training students in the other department in the ways specified below and in the sense that the students in both programs will develop a working relationship with each other, through participation in seminars, as well as in the Semantics and Philosophy of Language Workshop.
The faculty of the Cooperative Program consists of two sorts: (1) faculty from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago, and (2) faculty from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago.
Faculty at the University of Chicago affiliated with the Cooperative Program and regularly engaged in the teaching of relevant courses:
Karlos Arregi (Linguistics) - Link
Jason Bridges (Philosophy) - Link
James Conant (Philosophy) - Link
Kevin Davey (Philosophy) - Link
David Finkelstein (Philosophy) - Link
Itamar Francez (Linguistics) - Link
Anastasia Giannakidou (Linguistics) - Link
Chris Kennedy (Linguistics) - Link
Gregory M. Kobele (Linguistics) - Link
Michael Kremer (Philosophy) - Link
Jason Merchant (Linguistics) - Link
Josef Stern (Philosophy) – Link
Malte Willer (Philosophy) – Link
Ming Xiang (Linguistics) – Link
The remainder of this page is concerned to outline the requirements for those PhD students in the Department of Philosophy who wish to enroll in the Cooperative Program. These are distinct from the requirements that apply to PhD students in the Department of Linguistics who wish to enroll in the Cooperative Program. These are specified here [forthcoming].
Please note that, in addition to the Department's requirements, the Humanities Division also has requirements for the Ph.D. They are given on page 57 of the current year's University of Chicago Graduate Programs in the Divisions: Announcements and the Humanities Division's online catalog page.
The requirements for Philosophy students in the Cooperative Program are in many ways the same as those for students in the regular Philosophy Ph.D. program. Differences are found in the distribution of courses (some must be courses listed in the Linguistics Department), in the logic requirement, in the grade required to pass the language requirement, and in the total number of required courses. Below you will find a complete list of the requirements with those special to the Cooperative Program highlighted in boldface. Please contact Malte Willer with any questions.
Please use the subnavigation links below to view the required components of the Joint Program in German Philosophy.
The Course Requirement has six parts concerning: (a) the number of required courses, (b) the distribution of required courses, (c) the logic requirement, (d) required progress, (e) policies concerning incompletes, and (f) grades.
Students must complete at least thirteen courses in their first two years of study: the first year seminar and twelve graduate courses. First-year students must enroll in the first-year seminar. This is a year-long course that has generally met in past years four or five times a quarter, although its exact organization and scheduling varies from year to year according to the instructor's discretion. It is graded on a pass-fail basis.
In addition, twelve graduate-level courses must be completed with a grade of B or better. Of these twelve courses:
In addition, students in the Cooperative Program:
Students are required to take one course in each of the following three areas of contemporary philosophy:
and three courses on the history of philosophy as follows:
It should be noted that not all graduate philosophy courses satisfy a field distribution requirement; those not classified in the published course descriptions as belonging to I-V cannot be used to satisfy the distribution requirement. Nor can Philosophy 30000 (Elementary Logic) be used to satisfy a field distribution requirement.
In addition, students in the Cooperative Program must complete four graduate-level courses in Linguistics prior to graduation and these must be distributed as follows:
Any course co-listed in both the Philosophy and the Linguistics Departments may be counted towards satisfying either the Philosophy or the Linguistics component of the Cooperative Program’s total course requirement, but not both. At most two of the four required Linguistics courses may count towards the overall Philosophy Course Distribution, and then only if taken in the first two years. This means that in order to satisfy the total course requirement for the Cooperative Program, a graduate student in Philosophy must complete at least two courses beyond the number normally required to satisfy the standard course requirement for a PhD in Philosophy.
The requirement in logic for students in the Cooperative Program can be satisfied in any of the following ways:
Courses must be completed, with a grade of B or better, according to the following timetable.
In addition to this timetable, students should keep in mind that because they are expected to be working on their Preliminary Essay over the summer following their sixth quarter, they would be ill-advised not to have their course requirements completed by the early part of the summer or earlier.
At the discretion of the instructor, coursework not completed on time may be regarded as an "incomplete." This means that the instructor will permit a student to complete the work for a course after the normal deadline.
The instructor sets the time period for completion of the incomplete, subject to the following limitation: all coursework must be submitted by September 30th following the quarter in which the course was taken in order to count toward fulfillment of the requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D. This date is an absolute deadline and is not subject to further extensions by individual faculty members.
Satisfactory grades for work toward the Ph.D. in philosophy are A, A-, B+, and B.
For Philosophy faculty, those grades mean the following. A: pass with distinction; A-: high pass; B+: pass; B: low pass.
Any student intending to write a thesis on a topic in philosophy of language must pass the Departmental or University exam in a foreign language with a "High Pass".
Such students may take the Departmental exam in a particular language a maximum of three times (as opposed to two times, which is the rule for other Philosophy graduate students).
Requirements for students in the Cooperative Program are the same as for students in the standard Philosophy PhD track with the exception that the Preliminary Essay and Dissertation must each be on a topic in philosophy of language.
This workshop is for Philosophy Ph.D. students who are planning on seeking an academic job as a philosophy professor. The workshop is taught by the Placement Director, with the assistance of other members of the departmental faculty. It is designed to help students to complete and polish all the required components of a job dossier and to provide other sorts of preparation for going on the academic job market. For more information on the Placement Workshop, please click here.
By the end of the sixth quarter (normally, the second year):
By the first day of the eight quarter (normally, winter quarter of the third year):
By the end of the ninth quarter (normally, spring of the third year):
By the beginning of the tenth quarter (normally, fall of the fourth year):
By the beginning of the eleventh quarter (normally, winter of the fourth year):
By the end of the fourteenth quarter (normally, winter of the fifth year):
The end of the fifteenth quarter (normally, spring of the fifth year):
Prior to graduation:
Students who do not meet the above expectations may not be permitted to continue in the program.