Graduate Bulletin

Fall 2020

The Department of Philosophy, in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy and the Master of Arts in Philosophy.

PhD Degree in Philosophy

The doctoral program offers a rare opportunity to integrate the study of the history of philosophy with an exploration of contemporary philosophical methods and to apply an interdisciplinary approach to the framing and treatment of philosophical problems. The Philosophy Department is a sponsor of the Transatlantic Philosophical Collegium that offers advanced students opportunity for extended study at select German universities.

There are three general aims of the doctoral program:

1. To cultivate and make explicit the values and principles of the principal contemporary styles of philosophical reasoning.

2. To investigate the areas between philosophy and other disciplines that involve methodological, conceptual, and historical exchanges between philosophy and these other disciplines.

3. To provide an understanding of the history, major figures, and diverse problems of philosophy.

MA Degree in Philosophy with a focus on the Arts and Aesthetics

The Masters Degree in Philosophy with a focus on the Arts and Aesthetics at Stony Brook is an intensive, cross-disciplinary program. Founded in 2005, the program explores the intersections between philosophy and art, offering a terminal MA to theorists, practicing artists, critics, and those with an interest in the philosophical implications of art history and contemporary artistic practices. No other set of courses with a comparable emphasis exists in the New York area. Our seminars are characterized by close attention to specific texts in the history of philosophy and innovative approaches to traditional and contemporary art, drawing on arts venues and resources in New York City. The Philosophy Department at Stony Brook University is internationally recognized for its focus on contemporary European philosophy and its interdisciplinary orientation. Stony Brook Philosophy Department faculty who specialize in or have strong research interests in aesthetics, phenomenology, the history of philosophy, psychoanalysis, and technoscience teach M.A. seminars, with additional faculty support from the departments of Art, Music, and Cultural Analysis and Theory. The program also attracts renowned visiting scholars and artists to teach courses and give lectures. Our internationally recognized graduate student Philosophy and Art conference takes place yearly at the end of March (

MA in Philosophy Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Completion of the master’s degree entails 30 course credits, the equivalent of 10 courses. You will find specific course descriptions for each semester on our website under the “current courses” tab. Of the 30 credits, 6 may be taken as Independent Study. Additionally, with the permission of the M.A. program director, 6 credits (2 courses) may be taken in the Philosophy Department’s PhD program or in other departments at Stony Brook. One M.A. course per year is delivered at the Stony Brook Campus. An M.A. thesis option is available but not required for graduation.

Advanced Graduate Certificate (AGC) in Art and Philosophy (ArtPHIL)
For information on this advanced certificate program, go to