Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Professions

Philosophy of Education

About the Philosophy of Education Program

Study in the Philosophy of Education Program is oriented toward a critical understanding of broad conceptual and normative issues in education and the human service professions. Course offerings apply traditional humanistic modes of inquiry to the professions, focusing on philosophical questions not raised in specialized departments and programs. Graduate students take general courses in philosophy of education as well as topical courses that focus on special issues and literatures.

The Master of Arts program in philosophy of education offers students an overview of philosophical issues as they pertain to education and the other human service fields represented in the School of Education. Course work examines theories of society, morality, and knowledge as they relate to education and allied fields. Classes focus on topics such as the role of values in education; philosophies of science and applied science; feminist philosophies and their relevance to education and the human services; 20th-century philosophic movements; and ideas of nature.

In addition to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy of education, the program offers a master's degree in environmental conservation education that emphasizes the social, philosophical, and historical background of environmental issues. Interested students should consult the description for that program.

Career Opportunities

The master's degree program in philosophy of education prepares students to teach in humanities and social studies programs in secondary schools and colleges. The Ph.D. degree program in philosophy of education prepares professors and teachers of philosophy of education for college- and university-level positions.

Degree/Course Requirements for Master of Arts

The 36-point program includes the following requirements: Philosophy of Education (18 points); Courses Outside Philosophy of Education (12 points); Tutorial Study for Writing a Final Integrating Paper (6 points)

Degree/Course Requirements for Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral program in philosophy of education requires students to complete 88 points beyond the bachelor's degree and to have sufficient background to pursue independent study on philosophical problems and an orientation towards philosophic questions raised by the educational and human service professions.

The Ph.D. requirements include the following: Foundations of Education and Core Courses in the Philosophy of Education (15 points); Graduate Work in the Department of Philosophy of the Graduate School of Arts and Science (16 points); Specialty Courses in Philosophy of Education (18 points); History of Education (9 points); Research Dissertation, and Proposal Seminars (18 points); Electives (12 points).

Fulfillment of doctoral requirements may include a successfully completed 36-point master's degree program in philosophy of education.

Special Admission Requirements

*Please note that we are not currently accepting applications for either the M.A. or Ph.D. program in Philosophy of Education.*

In addition to the general admission requirements, the M.A. program requires a written sample on a philosophic topic; the Ph.D. program requires a bachelor's degree in philosophy or its equivalent and a written sample on a philosophic topic.