There are two streams in the Ph.D. program in Philosophy at Western. Students entering with an MA (as most do) are enrolled in a four-year funded program. In first year students take courses; in their second they take a comprehensive exam in their main research area and complete a course that will lead the writing and defense of a thesis prospectus; their third and fourth years are spent writing their dissertations. The courses and supervision available reflect the strengths and diversity of interests of the faculty, which collect along five principal fields: feminist philosophy; history of philosophy (ancient, medieval and modern); moral, political and legal philosophy; philosophy of mind and language; and philosophy of science (including mathematics and logic).
There is also a five-year program for students entering with a BA. Students in this stream are funded for five years. The program is as described above, but with an extra year of coursework at the beginning.