Philosophy, Ph.D. (School of Social Sciences)
The Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science and the Department of Philosophy jointly administer a Ph.D. program in Philosophy with two independent tracks: the Philosophy track and the LPS track. Both tracks begin from a common core of requirements in standard philosophical fields (e.g., history of philosophy, logic, ethics, metaphysics/epistemology) and branch off thereafter; both tracks offer the Ph.D. in Philosophy. Applicants are advised to apply to the unit whose faculty areas of specialization and curriculum correspond best with their interests. Students are expected to reside in the same unit as their primary advisor, but faculty in both units are available for all other academic purposes (course work, independent studies, committee membership, and more). See the Department of Philosophy in the School of Humanities for a description of the Philosophy track.
The M.A. in Philosophy may also be awarded to Ph.D. students who complete the necessary requirements.
Applicants for the LPS track must have a bachelor’s degree, but there is no formal requirement as to the field of that degree. The most natural undergraduate majors for LPS graduate students would be philosophy, mathematics or the sciences, but those with other degrees who are interested in the LPS fields should feel free to apply.
Complete applications must include statement of purpose, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a writing sample. The deadline for application is December 15.
Admitted students will be offered six-year funding packages consisting of a mix of fellowship support and teaching assistantships. Additional funding opportunities are available for students after they enroll.
All required courses must be completed with a grade of B or better.
The History of Philosophy Requirement provides a broad perspective. Graduate courses in three out of the following four areas—Modern Rationalism, Modern Empiricism, Kant, and Twentieth Century—must be completed by the end of the seventh quarter in residence.
The Logic Requirement acquaints students with the fundamentals of modern logic: elementary set theory, metalogic, effective procedures and Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. LPS 205A, LPS 205B, and LPS 205C must be completed by the end of the seventh quarter in residence.
The Field Requirement provides exposure to a range of philosophical disciplines. One graduate course in moral philosophy and one graduate course in metaphysics/epistemology must be completed by the end of the seventh quarter in residence. (These courses may not also be used to satisfy the History Requirement.)
The Philosophy of Science Requirement provides exposure to a range of philosophy of science, from general philosophy of science to the philosophies of particular sciences (e.g., physics, biology), to the philosophies of mathematics and logic. Three selected courses from LPS 240–247 must be completed by the end of the seventh quarter in residence. (These courses may be repeated as topics vary.) Courses used to satisfy the Philosophy of Science Requirement may also be used to satisfy the History or Field Requirements.
The Tools of Research Requirement provides some flexibility for students with various levels of interest in pursuing the philosophy of a particular science. So, for example, a student most interested in historical issues in the philosophy of mathematics might benefit most from the study of German, while a student most interested in the philosophy of quantum mechanics should take a series of graduate courses in physics. (Students wishing to specialize further in the philosophy of a particular science might wish to pursue more demanding options; see the Emphases in Mathematics, Physics, and Biology and the Behavioral Sciences, below.) To satisfy this requirement, a student must pass an examination on an appropriate foreign language or receive a grade of B or better in three appropriate graduate courses in a discipline or disciplines outside philosophy by the end of the ninth quarter in residence. Though the discipline(s) here must be outside philosophy, they might be taught by Philosophy or LPS faculty. The two-hour language examination will be administered by an LPS faculty member and will require the student to translate (with the aid of a dictionary) a passage or passages from philosophical or scientific authors.
The Portfolio Requirement ensures that students have acquired dissertation-level skills in the writing of philosophy: e.g., the ability to isolate, understand and evaluate arguments in the philosophical literature; the ability to assimilate secondary literature; the ability to formulate and defend an original philosophical thesis. The portfolio is designed to display these skills. To satisfy this requirement, a student must submit an extended writing sample, most often consisting of several individual papers, that demonstrates the skills necessary to write a Ph.D. dissertation. (A successful portfolio typically consists of several papers totaling around 80 pages. These may be revisions of term papers. Each paper should present and defend a definite thesis and should be accessible to faculty members unfamiliar with the literature in question. The papers in the portfolio need not be of publishable quality, but they must, collectively, demonstrate the specified skills.) Portfolios will be evaluated by the entire LPS faculty. (LPS track students may request that relevant Philosophy Department faculty also be present at the evaluation meeting.) Portfolios must be submitted by the end of the fourth week of the seventh quarter.
The Candidacy Examination demonstrates that the student has a viable dissertation topic and an adequate grasp of related literature. To satisfy this requirement, a student must prepare and be examined on a reading list of canonical literature in the area of the dissertation and a brief (15–20 page) dissertation proposal. The reading list should in effect define the context of the proposed dissertation. The examination must be completed by the end of the tenth quarter in residence. The normative time for advancement to candidacy is 3.3 years.
Dissertation Defense. Students must pass a final oral examination focusing on the content of the dissertation administered by the Dissertation Committee. The normative time for completion of the Ph.D. is six years, and the maximum time permitted is seven years.
In addition to the LPS track described above, students may elect to pursue the more demanding option of the Mathematics emphasis. Faculty in the UCI and UCLA Departments of Mathematics participate in the Mathematics emphasis. Students in the emphasis take courses and receive advising from these participating Mathematics professors, as well as from the faculty of LPS and the Philosophy Department. Mathematics emphasis students must satisfy the following requirement in addition to the usual LPS track requirements:
A student must receive a grade of B or better in six graduate courses in mathematics. (Though the courses here are in mathematics, some might be taught by LPS faculty. They may also be used to satisfy the Tools of Research requirement.)
LPS Track Emphasis in Physics
In addition to the LPS track described above, students may elect to pursue the more demanding option of the Physics emphasis. Physics emphasis students must satisfy the following requirement in addition to the usual LPS track requirements:
A student must receive a grade of B or better in three sections of PHILOS 241, as well as in three additional graduate courses in Physics or Mathematics. (Though the courses here are in physics or mathematics, they might be taught by LPS faculty. They may also be used to satisfy the Tools of Research requirement, but not the Philosophy of Science requirement.)
In addition to the LPS track described above, students may elect to pursue the more demanding option of the Emphasis in Biology and the Behavioral Sciences. Emphasis students must satisfy the following requirement in addition to the usual LPS track requirements.
Biology/Behavioral Sciences Requirement
A student must receive a grade of B or better in six graduate courses, each of which is in biology or the behavioral sciences. (In some cases, with the approval of the student's advisor and the DGS, courses taught by LPS faculty may satisfy the emphasis requirements. Emphasis courses may also be used to satisfy the Tools of Research requirement, but not the Philosophy of Science requirement.)