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Coterminal M.A. Degree in Philosophy

The Coterminal Master's Degree Program in Philosophy allows undergraduate students to study and earn an M.A. Degree in Philosophy while working towards their Bachelor's degree in any department, thus graduating with two degrees.

The M.A. degree Philosophy for the coterminal program requires 45 units, and usually requires an additional year to the standard four-year undergraduate work. Undergraduates may apply for admission to the Philosophy coterminal master's program upon completion of 120 units, but no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree.

University requirements for the coterminal M.A. are described in the "Coterminal Bachelor's and Master's Degrees" section of the bulletin. For the coterminal  application form, see the Publications and Online Guides web site.


For Admissions information, please check our coterm admissions page here:


Please check the Stanford Bulletin (ExploreDegrees) for the most up to date requirements.

General Program

The General Program requires a minimum of 45 units in Philosophy courses numbered above 99. These courses must be taken for a letter grade, and the student must receive at least a 'B-' in the course. Courses taken to satisfy the undergraduate core or affiliated courses may not be counted in the 45 units. The requirement has three parts:

Undergraduate Core

Students must have when they enter, or complete early in their program, the following undergraduate courses (students entering from other institutions should establish equivalent requirements with a master's adviser upon arrival or earlier):

  1. Logic: Course List
    Select one of the following:  
    PHIL 49 Survey of Formal Methods 4
    PHIL 150 Mathematical Logic 4
    PHIL 151 Metalogic 4
    PHIL 154 Modal Logic 4
  2. Philosophy of science: This requirement may be satisfied by PHIL 60PHIL 61, or any intermediate philosophy of science course numbered between PHIL 160 - 169.
  3. Moral and political philosophy: This requirement may be satisfied by any intermediate course devoted to central topics in moral and political philosophy numbered between PHIL 170 - 172, or PHIL 174-176. 
  4. Contemporary theoretical philosophy: This requirement may be satisfied by any intermediate course numbered between PHIL 180 - 189.
  5. History of philosophy: two history of philosophy courses numbered 100 or above

This work does not count towards the 45-unit M.A. requirement, and may require a non-Philosophy major more than an additional undergraduate year to complete the Coterminal Degree Program in Philosophy. 

Graduate Core

  1. Students must take at least one course numbered over 105 from three of the following five areas (courses used to satisfy the undergraduate core cannot also be counted toward satisfaction of the graduate core). Crosslisted and other courses taught outside the Department of Philosophy do not count towards satisfaction of the core.

    1. Logic and semantics
    2. Philosophy of science and history of science
    3. Ethics, value theory, and moral and political philosophy
    4. Metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language
    5. History of philosophy

200-Level Course Requirement

  1. Each master's candidate must take at least two courses numbered above 200; these cannot be graduate sections of undergraduate courses.


  1. Students must take at least three courses numbered over 105 in one of the five areas.

Special Program in Symbolic Systems

Students should have the equivalent of the Stanford undergraduate major in Symbolic Systems. Students who have a strong major in one of the basic SSP disciplines (philosophy, psychology, linguistics, computer science) may be admitted, but are required to do a substantial part of the undergraduate SSP core in each of the other basic SSP fields. This must include the following philosophy courses:

Course List
PHIL 80 Mind, Matter, and Meaning 5
PHIL 151 Metalogic 4
And one of the following:  
PHIL 181 Philosophy of Language 4
PHIL 184 Epistemology 4
PHIL 186 Philosophy of Mind 4
PHIL 187 Philosophy of Action 4

This work does not count towards the 45-unit requirement.

Course Requirements

  1. Four courses in philosophy at the graduate level (numbered 200 or above), including courses from three of the following five areas:
    1. Philosophy of language
    2. Logic
    3. Philosophy of mind
    4. Metaphysics and epistemology
    5. Philosophy of science

    At most two of the four courses may be graduate sections of undergraduate courses numbered 100 or higher.

  2. Three courses numbered 100 or higher from outside Philosophy, chosen in consultation with an advisor. These courses should be from two of the following four areas:
    1. Psychology
    2. Linguistics
    3. Computer Science
    4. Education

    Remaining courses are chosen in consultation with and approved by an advisor.

Special Program in the Philosophy of Language

Admission is limited to students with substantial preparation in philosophy or linguistics. Those whose primary preparation has been in linguistics may be required to satisfy all or part of the undergraduate core requirements as described in the "General Program" subsection above. Those whose preparation is primarily in philosophy may be required to take additional courses in linguistics.

Course Requirements

  1. Philosophy of language: two approved courses in the philosophy of language numbered 180 or higher.
  2. Syntactic theory and generative grammar: Course List
    PHIL 384 Seminar in Metaphysics and Epistemology 4
    LINGUIST 230A Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics 4
  3. Logic: at least two approved courses numbered PHIL 151 Metalogic or higher.
  4. An approved graduate-level course in mathematical linguistics or automata theory.


For more information about the program and admissions, contact the Student Services Officer.