The Department offers two programs of graduate study: a two-year program leading to the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree, and a five-year program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.

The M.A. program is designed for those who want to pursue philosophy at a deeper level than in their B.A. degree, or who wish to transition into philosophy from other academic disciplines. Students may choose this program to improve their chances of acceptance into a highly-ranked Ph.D. program, or for other reasons. There are no distribution requirements: students may tailor their coursework to their own interests. Students must also write and defend a thesis, which can be used as a writing sample for Ph.D. program applications. (Note that acceptance into the M.A. program does not guarantee acceptance into our own Ph.D. program later on; the application procedures are separate.)

The Ph.D. program is specifically designed to prepare students for careers as professional teachers and researchers in philosophy, not only by way of coursework and research supervision, but also through professional mentoring and opportunities for philosophical development both inside and outside the classroom. Students normally enter with either a B.A. or an M.A. degree in philosophy. Students who enter without an M.A. and who fulfil the relevant requirements are awarded the M.A. degree as they work towards the Ph.D.

Each entering student is assigned a mentor from among the faculty, and faculty members lead professional development seminars on such topics as teaching, preparing work for publication, and preparing for the job market. A dedicated placement director work with each student to maximize their success at securing good post-graduation employment.

The Department prides itself on providing an inclusive, friendly and congenial atmosphere for doing philosophy, with many opportunities for informal interaction among students and faculty including workshops, conferences, colloquia and post-colloquium dinners and the Miami Forum. (These are described in detail under “Departmental life”.)