The Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) offers students an intensive, one-year Masters program at one of the world's premier research universities. MAPH students have access to every department and program in the Humanities, and can take all graduate courses offered to entering Ph.D. students. MAPH students benefit from the University of Chicago's emphasis on graduate study (graduate students outnumber undergraduates at the University two-to-one), and they have wide latitude in their choice of courses (seven elective courses out of nine total). For further information about the MAPH program, please visit the MAPH website .
The philosophy department at the University of Chicago is wide-ranging in its research and teaching interests, which, given the size of the department, typically allows a wealth of course offerings. Faculty interests presently include, but are not limited to, the philosophy of mind and action, Wittgenstein, Kant, the philosophy of science (physics, biology, mathematics), epistemology, metaphysics, psychoanalysis, logic, ancient philosophy, philosophy of art and aesthetics, philosophy of language, moral psychology and moral and political philosophy, medieval philosophy, phenomenology, Nietzsche, Marx, Heidegger, the philosophy of religion, and the history of philosophy. As this list suggests, the department is unusual in the extent and depth of its engagement with both the analytic and continental traditions. These traditions are treated as complementary, rather than exclusive; many of the philosophy faculty teach and do research in both traditions. MAPH students who study philosophy can expect to take away from their year in the program a heightened appreciation of both of these approaches to philosophy.
Each year the MAPH program admits an average of ten to twenty students whose primary focus is philosophy. These students are welcomed by the philosophy department each fall at the department’s graduate student library and lounge—a place where MAPH/philosophy students can come during their year in Chicago, to study or to meet and talk to philosophy students at either the master’s or doctoral level. MAPH/philosophy students are ably assisted by the doctoral students from the philosophy department that the MAPH program hires as preceptors each year (for more information about the role of preceptors in MAPH, please consult the MAPH website). In addition to the classes that these preceptors lead and the help with MAPH coursework, writing, etc. that they provide, the preceptors from the philosophy department serve as guides—to the philosophy department, to the philosophical profession, and to philosophy itself.
One resource that the philosophy department has designed specifically for MAPH/philosophy students is a core seminar in analytic philosophy, through which students can become familiar with some of the central issues, and distinctive techniques, of the analytic tradition. Because most good philosophy graduate schools are predominantly analytic in orientation, this course is especially recommended for those who are considering applying to doctoral programs.
MAPH students interested in philosophy, like MAPH students generally, can use their time in the program in any of various ways. Those who go on to pursue a doctorate in philosophy will leave the program solidly prepared to do work at that level. Some discover that the aspects of philosophy most exciting to them are taken up in a better or more congenial way outside the philosophy department (for example, the questions in the philosophy of language that they want to pursue may turn out to receive their fullest treatment in the Linguistics or Comparative Literature departments; their study of aesthetics may find its home in Art History, or Cinema and Media Studies; and so on). Some find, indeed, that their interests lie outside philosophy altogether. It is one of the virtues of the MAPH program that it makes these possibilities available and transparent to its participants, and offers guidance in the process of selecting from them.
If you have further questions about studying philosophy in the MAPH program, you should contact Benjamin Callard, Co-Director of the MAPH program and the philosophy/MAPH coordinator (email@example.com). Those with other questions about the MAPH program can contact either the Director of MAPH, David Wray (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Hilary Strang, Associate Director of MAPH (email@example.com).