Course Requirements

Four Year Stream

Credits Required

Students in the four year stream must complete seven half-credit courses, one of which is the prospectus course.

Distribution Requirement

There is a distribution requirement that assumes students have a specialization in one of the following areas: 

History of Philosophy

Value theory, including moral, political, legal, and social philosophy

Mind and Language

Philosophy of science, including logic and foundations of mathematics

Feminist philosophy

The requirement is that students take at least one graduate half-credit survey course in each of two areas outside of their area of specialization. It is required that History of Philosophy be one of these areas for students who lack a demonstrable competence in History of Philosophy. Whether students have the requisite competence in the History of Philosophy will be determined by the Graduate Chair, in consultation, if need be, with the chair of the History of Philosophy Area Committee.

The graduate course listing online identifies which courses are survey courses.

Completion Deadlines

Students must complete all of their required coursework, with the exception of their prospectus course, by the end of program Year 1.

Prospectus Course

The prospectus course, normally supervised by the department’s placement officer, is offered in the Winter term in each academic year.  It is graded on a pass/fail basis.  The course will begin with a discussion of the format and goals of the prospectus and will often include a review of anonymous sample prospectuses.  As the term progresses students will take turns presenting, commenting on, and discussing one another’s prospectus materials.  It is incumbent on presenters to make their materials accessible to the entire audience, and on each audience member to comment constructively on the materials.  It is expected that students will have met regularly with their supervisors prior to taking the course and will begin the course in a position where enough preliminary work has been done to allow the student to produce a first draft of a prospectus by a third of the way through the term.  Students admitted during the Winter term will be given the opportunity to present their material after other students to allow them more time to consult with their supervisors. The course will end with a conference at which students will present revised versions of their prospectuses and another student in the course will serve as commentator.  Faculty members other than the course supervisor may participate in the course from time to time.

Reading Courses

The equivalent of a half-course may be taken as an independent study or reading course with approval of the Graduate Program Chair. The Graduate Chair must approve the Reading Course. Upon approval, the Graduate Affairs Assistant will then assign a course number and manually register you in the course.

Reading Course Registration Request Form (see Philosophy > Graduate > Resources & Forms)

External Courses

Students may receive credit towards their PhD program requirements of one half-course, or, in exceptional circumstances, up to two half-courses taken in disciplines other than philosophy, subject to approval by the Graduate Program Chair.

Outside Home Program Course Enrolment Form (see SGPS > Forms)

Grades

The Department expects that students will maintain appreciably better course grades than the minimum 70% average required by SGPS. To be considered in good standing in the 4-year stream, students must earn grades of A in the equivalent of at least 4 of the 6 half-credit courses that they are required to take in addition to the prospectus course. If a student receives less than 70% in any course, the Graduate Affairs Committee reserves the right to withdraw the student from the program.

Selecting Courses

You will be required to consult with the Graduate Chair on your course selections. Typically, a sign-up sheet for meeting times to have courses approved is posted in September. However, the Graduate Program will advise as to the current year’s arrangements for this via email at the start of the academic year.  

Adding/Dropping Courses

Once your course selections have been approved, you must add your courses online via Student Center. Click here to be taken to Western's Office of the Registrar's step by step guide to online course registration. 

Last day to add: One month from the official beginning of the term in which the course begins
Last day to drop: Two months from the beginning of the term in which the course begins

Five Year Stream (Direct Entry)

Credits Required

Students in the five-year program must complete twelve half-credit courses, one of which is the prospectus course.

Distribution Requirement

There is a distribution requirement that assumes students have a specialization in one of the following areas: 

History of Philosophy

Value theory, including moral, political, legal, and social philosophy

Metaphysics and epistemology, including philosophy of language and mind

Philosophy of science, including logic and foundations of mathematics

There is a distribution requirement for courses that assumes students have a specialization in one of the four areas listed above in the old program (under the distribution requirement for coursework). The requirement is that students take at least two half-credit courses in each of two areas outside of their area of specialization. It is required that History of Philosophy be one of these areas for students who lack a demonstrable competence in History of Philosophy. (As is the case in the old program, the History of Philosophy Area Committee will be responsible for assessing whether students have this competence, based on their prior education in philosophy.)

Completion Deadlines

Students must complete all of their required coursework, with the exception of their prospectus course, by the end of program Year 2.

Prospectus Course

The prospectus course, normally supervised by the department’s placement officer, is offered in the Winter term in each academic year.  It is graded on a pass/fail basis.  The course will begin with a discussion of the format and goals of the prospectus and will often include a review of anonymous sample prospectuses.  As the term progresses students will take turns presenting, commenting on, and discussing one another’s prospectus materials.  It is incumbent on presenters to make their materials accessible to the entire audience, and on each audience member to comment constructively on the materials.  It is expected that students will have met regularly with their supervisors prior to taking the course and will begin the course in a position where enough preliminary work has been done to allow the student to produce a first draft of a prospectus by a third of the way through the term.  Students admitted during the Winter term will be given the opportunity to present their material after other students to allow them more time to consult with their supervisors. The course will end with a conference at which students will present revised versions of their prospectuses and another student in the course will serve as commentator.  Faculty members other than the course supervisor may participate in the course from time to time.

Reading Courses

The equivalent of two half-courses may be taken as reading courses with approval of the Graduate Program Chair. The Graduate Chair must approve each reading course.

Reading Course Registration Request Form (see Philosophy > Graduate > Resources & Forms)

External Courses

Students may receive credit towards their PhD program requirements of two half-courses, or, in exceptional circumstances, up to three half-courses taken in disciplines other than philosophy, subject to approval by the Graduate Program Chair.

Outside Home Program Course Enrolment Form (see SGPS > Forms)

Grades

The Department expects that students will maintain appreciably better course grades than the minimum 70% average required by SGPS. To be considered in good standing in the 4-year stream, students must earn grades of A in the equivalent of at least 4 of the 6 half-credit courses that they are required to take in addition to the prospectus course. If a student receives less than 70% in any course, the Graduate Affairs Committee reserves the right to withdraw the student from the program.

Selecting Courses

You will be required to consult with the Graduate Chair on your course selections. Typically, a sign-up sheet for meeting times to have courses approved is posted in September. However, the Graduate Program will advise as to the current year’s arrangements for this via email at the start of the academic year.  

Adding/Dropping Courses

Once your course selections have been approved, you must add your courses online via Student CenterClick here to be taken to Western's Office of the Registrar's step by step guide to online course registration. 

Last day to add: One month from the official beginning of the term in which the course begins
Last day to drop: Two months from the beginning of the term in which the course begins

Related Links:

Philosophy > Graduate > Courses