Master of Arts - Philosophy (all programs)

Comprehensive Exam

The written comprehensive examination is administered once a semester. Students will need broad knowledge of the history of philosophy and of contemporary philosophy to do well on the exam and should plan their classes and studies accordingly. The MA Reading List is a guide for selecting classes and exam topics. It is helpful to begin studying for the exam well ahead of the semester in which it will be taken. For advice about how to study and plan for the exam, students should consult with their advisors.

The exam has four parts which take a total of seven hours. Parts 1-3 each take two hours and Part 4 takes one hour. The parts may be taken on one day or on consecutive days. Each section is graded and an overall grade of B is required to pass.

Students should consult with the graduate coordinator several months before they are ready to take their exam, in order to set a date for it.