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Graduate Program

The Graduate Program of Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology is a PhD Degree Program in the Department of Philosophy. The PNP PhD is not a general cognitive science program. Rather, PNP supplements graduate training in philosophy with additional course work and research on modes of inquiry, empirical results and theoretical perspectives of psychology and the neurosciences. The aim of the program is to turn out first-rate philosophers with a strong ancillary competence in areas of Neuroscience and Psychology related to their research. Admission to the Program is highly competitive.

The PNP PhD program reflects a growing awareness among philosophers of mind of the importance of an informed interdisciplinary approach to understanding the mind and brain. Key elements of such an interdisciplinary approach include knowledge of the sciences of the mind including findings from cognitive neuroscience, psychology and artificial intelligence, as well as philosophical perspectives on these sciences and on the mind.

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Graduate Admissions

Financial Support

Successful applicants are eligible for support for up to six years (contingent on continued successful performance in the program). Stipends are available. Prospective students should indicate whether they are applying to the regular philosophy program or to the PNP program.

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PNP Admissions

The PNP program admits a number of new graduate students each year. As noted elsewhere on the website, a Ph.D. in PNP is not a Ph.D. in cognitive science, but a Ph.D. in Philosophy with a specialty in the PNP related areas. We do not accept applicants interested in pursuing only an MA. Applicants need not have majored in philosophy, but must demonstrate a strong competence in and aptitude for philosophy.

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Ready to apply?

Please complete and submit the application, as well as all supplemental materials by December 31st

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Admission to the program does not require undergraduate training in philosophy; students with strong backgrounds in any academic discipline are invited to apply provided they can demonstrate strong competence in and aptitude for philosophy.

PhD Requirements 

  • 33 units of Philosophy coursework
  • 18 units of empirical coursework/laboratory work
  • Participation in the PNP Dissertation Seminar (PNP 501) in semesters when it is offered
  • Regular attendance at the weekly Philosophy Colloquium, except with the permission of the director of PNP
  • Completion of the University MTE requirement - Departmental Statement of MTE Policy
  • Satisfaction of any colloquium requirement imposed by the department
  • Completion and defense of a dissertation prospectus (typically during the 4th year)
  • Completion and defense of a dissertation

MA Requirements

  • 36 total units of coursework
  • 6 units of seminars including 3 units for Proseminar
  • 3 units of logic (301, 405 or the graduate logic exam)
  • 3 units in philosophy of psychology or philosophy of neuroscience or philosophy of mind
  • 3 units in philosophy of language or epistemology or metaphysics or philosophy of science
  • 3 units of value theory or history
  • 6 units of empirical coursework/laboratory work (in psychology, biology or related areas)

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