Doctor of Philosophy
Departmental Preliminary Examinations
Students will be required to show competence in three of the following four areas:
Area I – metaphysics and epistemology
Area II – history of philosophy
Area III – philosophy of language and logic
Area IV – moral and political philosophy
The student chooses three areas. Competence in an area is shown by submitting a satisfactory essay or passing an examination. At least one area must be passed by either a sit-down or take-home examination. Exams are administered, and essays accepted, four times yearly. All three areas must be passed within 20 months of registration. Students who have not passed three areas within 20 months of registration will not normally receive further Departmental support.
Oral Candidacy Examination
After completion of required course work and preliminary examinations, the doctoral student must pass an oral candidacy examination prior to beginning the doctoral thesis. Before the examination, the student must submit a thesis proposal (approximately 20 pages) that will serve as the basis of discussion at the examination. The purpose of the examination is to ascertain whether the student’s academic preparation and ability is adequate to pursue profitable research on the issues proposed. Questions on the research proposal will be included in the oral candidacy examination.
Master of Arts (course-based)
The course-based Master of Arts has a research constituent. This constituent is to be satisfied by passing all components, written and oral, of the final Master's examination.
A final Master's examination of overall competency is required after completion of all course work, consisting of written and oral components. Effective July 1, 2009, the Department of Philosophy will be monitoring and overseeing this examination.
a) Details of the written component:
i. The written component will consist of two three-hour written examinations. The written examinations are to be completed within one week.
ii. The written component of the examination must be judged to be either acceptable ('Pass') or unacceptable ('Fail').
b) The student shall not be permitted to proceed to the oral component if the student does not secure a 'Pass' on the written component.
c) The oral examination will be held within two weeks following the written component. The oral examination will not be limited to the questions in the written examinations but will test the student's general knowledge of the areas selected for examination.
d) Details of the oral component:
i. The oral examination is a formal examination, not an informal discussion with the student.
ii. All examiners must be given an opportunity to question the student early in the examination, e.g. by rounds of questioning.
iii. The oral examination shall not exceed two hours. This does not include deliberation time of the committee.
iv. The oral component of the examination must be judged to be either acceptable ('Pass') or unacceptable ('Fail').
e) Each examiner is required to submit a written assessment of the student's written examination performance, to be submitted to the Chair of the examination committee prior to the examination.
f) The result of the Final Master's Examination shall be either 'Pass' or 'Fail'. To secure a 'Pass', the student must obtain a 'Pass' on both the written component and the oral component of the exam. In the event of a failure, the examining committee may recommend that the student be given an opportunity to take the failed component of the examination again between two and six months from the date of the first attempt. No more than two attempts will be permitted.
The candidacy exam has a written component, the student’s research proposal. This proposal must be submitted to all members of the candidacy examining committee at least two weeks before the examination. The candidacy oral can include questions on the research proposal.
Thesis oral examinations are open.