The Joint Degree Program in Social Thought & Philosophy

Unlike the other cooperative programs described in the preceding sections of this website, this program is a joint degree program. It is designed to provide students with equally in-depth training simultaneously provided by each of two different units of the university. Both the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Philosophy each have their own exacting and distinct program requirements. The Joint Degree Program is designed for students who are willing to take the time and trouble to satisfy both those sets of standards within their allotted term as graduate students at the University of Chicago.

Degree

Upon completion of all requirements, the student shall be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Social Thought and Philosophy.

Admission

Students may be admitted into the joint degree program only after having been admitted to one of the two individual programs, and after completing at least the first year of study in either program.

Any financial aid arrangements made at the time of admission to one of the two programs shall remain in effect for as long as the student continues to work towards the satisfaction of the requirements in his or her original program.

Students wishing to apply for the joint degree program shall make application to the second Department/Committee. If admitted by that Department/Committee, they are admitted into the joint degree program. The first step in either case is to contact Michael Beetley, Associate Dean of Students for the Division of the Humanities. Students are strongly encouraged to apply while they are still in the process of completing their coursework requirements.

Requirements

Students must satisfy the normal requirements for the degree in Social Thought: successfully passing the Fundamentals Examination, a High Pass in a foreign language examination, and the writing of a dissertation.

Students must satisfy the normal requirements for the degree in philosophy, with the following qualifications:

  1. The philosophy department requires that all doctoral students complete a preliminary essay by the end of the Autumn quarter of their third year in residence and philosophy doctoral students enroll in a Preliminary Essay Workshop (Spring of their 2nd year through Autumn of their 3rd year); students admitted to the Joint Program through Social Thought will be expected to enroll in the Preliminary Essay Workshop the Spring following the year in which they are admitted to the Joint Program, and will be expected to complete their Preliminary Essay in the normal way.
  2. The philosophy department requires that all doctoral students satisfy a logic requirement and complete the First Year Seminar.  The First Year Seminar requirement will be waived for students admitted to the Joint Program through Social Thought.
  3. The requirements do not include all the teaching requirements for the Philosophy doctoral program.
  4. The 12 course requirement for philosophy students is subject to the following distribution requirement:

Students are required to take one course in each of the following three areas of contemporary philosophy:

    * Value theory (listed in the course descriptions as I)
    * Philosophy of science, philosophy of language, and logic (listed in the course descriptions as II)
    * Epistemology and metaphysics (listed in the course descriptions as III)
        

and three courses on the history of philosophy as follows:

* A figure or movement in either Ancient or Medieval Philosophy (listed in the course descriptions as IV)
* A figure or movement in Modern Philosophy from the 17th through 19th centuries (listed in the course descriptions as V)
* One additional course on a figure or movement in either IV or V.

Candidates for the joint degree may satisfy one of the required history courses through courses listed as Social Thought graduate courses.

  1. Philosophy students are expected to complete the course requirement in the first two years of study.  Because students in the joint program will be taking courses and satisfying requirements in both the philosophy department and the Committee, the expectation that coursework be completed within the first two years shall be amended to allow a schedule consistent with the obvious demands made on the students’ time.  The student’s advisor in the Committee and the philosophy department advisor shall monitor the student’s progress annually and set whatever time limits are deemed appropriate.
  2. The philosophy department requirements for the topical examination and the writing of the dissertation shall be followed in the normal way: students in the joint program will be expected to pass their topical examination and be advanced to candidacy in philosophy by the end of their fourth year in residence.

The student’s dissertation committee shall consist of at least three faculty, including at least two members of the philosophy department and at least one member of the Committee on Social Thought.

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