PhD in Philosophy

Accomplished philosophers are formed here

Study diverse philosophical traditions to integrate the pursuit of enduring questions in the history of philosophy with contemporary problems and approaches. We offer graduate training that synthesizes these perspectives so that history of philosophy is a living tradition that bears on current debates, and current debates are analyzed with reference to their origins. The Ph.D. program in philosophy is one of the oldest at Marquette University.

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Philosophy Ph.D. Outcomes

Develop Professional Skills

Develop professional advanced critical thinking skills that provide the basis for scholarly research, teaching and publication as well as a wide range of non-academic professions.

Teach Others

Help others to learn about philosophy: undergraduate teaching experience, with quality mentorship and training, is available to nearly all Ph.D. students. Enjoy the challenge of having full responsibility for all classes that you might teach. This is a great way to develop leadership and communication skills.

Research Opportunities

Focus on specific areas of research. At the Ph.D. level, we offer coursework in History of Philosophy, Ethics and Values, Phenomenology and Existentialism, and Philosophy of Mind/Science.

Get Funded

Get funded: We offer graduate assistantships for Ph.D. students that include tuition benefits and stipend for work as research and teaching assistants.

Requirements Overview

For detail on coursework, please consult the Graduate School Bulletin.

  • A total of 60 hours are required for the Ph.D.
    48 credits in course work and 12 credits for the Dissertation) 
  • Incoming Ph.D. students who hold an M.A. in philosophy or related fields may transfer in up to 18 credits (6 courses).
  • Foreign Language Requirement (typically French, German, Latin, or Ancient Greek, although other languages may be approved by the DGS as relevant to a student’s research).
  • A Doctoral Qualifying Paper submitted the semester after completion of coursework
  • A Doctoral Dissertation

Career Opportunities

While university and college careers in teaching and research are the traditional paths for PhD students, there are a wide range of non-academic careers for both PhD and MA students.  For more information check out:

Our PhD students have a very good placement record in academic positions including: Molloy College (New York), Canisius College (New York), Creighton University (Nebraska), Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago de Chile, Mumbai Institute of Technology, India.

Our PhD and M.A students have been successful in obtaining non-academic positions in a variety of careers including:

  • Librarian
  • Chief of Research and Development (Leadership Academy)
  • Paralegal
  • Chief of Staff (City Year Milwaukee)
  • Client Side Developer (Flextrade)
  • Software Developer (Digital Measures)
  • Ethics and Compliance Manager (Oshkosh Corporation)
  • Senior Content Marketing Manager (Sojern)

10 Advantages Marquette Graduate School Offers

1. A firm grounding in the history of philosophy and the history and theory of ethics.

2. Graduate-level courses taught by highly qualified professionals in a range of academic disciplines.

3. A customized course of study.

4. Flexibility to move through the specialization on a full- or part-time basis.

5. Evening and late afternoon classes.

6. A stepping stone for possible further study leading to a PhD in Social and Applied Philosophy.

7. The Catholic, Jesuit tradition of Marquette.

8. One of the five largest philosophy faculties in the United States.

9. A unique MA Specialization in Social and Applied Philosophy in the Great Lakes area.

10. The "hands-on" experience of an internship.

Take the next step towards your future

Learn more about Marquette's Philosophy graduate program.


  • Request Information
  • Admission Requirements
  • Application Details
  • Application Deadline
  • Aid and Fellowships

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To be eligible for admission to the Graduate School at Marquette University, applicants must meet the following requirements:

Applicants are expected to have a master's degree in Philosophy in order to be competitive for admission into the PhD program. Students who do not have a master's may be denied admission into the PhD program, but admitted into the master's program. Propsective students should ensure there is a faculty member that corresponds to their intended area of study prior to applying for admission.

Application Requirements

Read all application instructions prior to beginning an application.

1Upon admission, final official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities, with certified English translations if original language is not English, must be submitted to the Graduate School within the first five weeks of the term of admission or a hold preventing registration for future terms will be placed on the student’s record. 

2Upon admission, an official course-by-course transcript/academic record evaluation must be submitted to the Graduate School within the first five weeks of the term of admission or a hold preventing registration for future terms will be placed on the student’s record. 

February 1: Application and application materials should be received to be considered for the fall term.

Financial Aid

Merit-based aid (graduate assistantships/fellowships) is available. Private scholarships may also be available. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to apply for need-based federal aid (loans) to help fund their educational expenses as well.