Department of Philosophy College of Arts and Sciences Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Department of Philosophy College of Arts and Sciences Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Stony Brook, NY
student ratio
Not Reported
total students
average amount to complete degree
January 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
2 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Department of Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy offers programs of study leading to the Master of Arts (M.A.) and to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. Extensive offerings in contemporary European philosophy are a special focus of the doctoral program, together with central topics in Anglo-American philosophy and a major historical component. The graduate program has been innovative since its beginning. The program has always placed an emphasis on interdisciplinary research and the acquisition of skills needed to work with texts in foreign languages, and students are required to develop a broad knowledge of the history of philosophy. There is also an important teaching skills component. Other new directions in the study of philosophy initiated by the department include the availability of Graduate Certificates attesting to a student's intensive course work and qualifying the student to teach at the interface of a related discipline. Currently, the department participates in the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Art and Philosophy, and is affiliated with Graduate Certificate Programs in Cultural Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies. The Department also offers a terminal M.A. program with a special concentration in philosophy and the arts. For the most part, M.A. seminars in this area of concentration take place at Stony Brook Manhattan.

The Doctoral Program

The purpose of the doctoral program is to prepare students for independent research and scholarship in the field and to help them develop the necessary intellectual and pedagogical skills for teaching philosophy. The doctoral program's curriculum is designed so that all seminar and non-seminar work will be completed by the end of the third year, leaving the fourth year for dissertation research and writing. The Program includes seminars from these categories: History of Philosophy, Interface Studies, and Contemporary Philosophy. Each student then selects additional seminars in one category to form a concentration. In addition to twelve seminars (36 credits), there is a Teaching Practicum (3 credits) and several non-seminar units: logic and language requirements, two research papers, and a History of Philosophy Exam.

All doctoral students are required to take a Teaching Practicum course. The Department offers extensive practice in undergraduate teaching in combination with close faculty observation and mentoring. Many doctoral students in the department have won Stony Brook's President's Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student, and we are proud of the outstanding reputation our doctoral students have earned as undergraduate teachers. Advanced doctoral students have opportunities to undertake study abroad programs. Each year, up to three students who are nearing completion of their dissertation proposals are selected to participate in theTransatlantic Collegium of Philosophy. Collegium scholars are supported by fellowships generously provided by the Max Kade Foundation of New York. Kade Fellows of the Transatlantic Collegium spend one year doing dissertation research and attending relevant advanced seminars at a German university. Kade Fellows can look forward to working on their dissertations under the co-directorship of faculty from both Stony Brook and one of the German partner universities. Distinguished international scholars frequently offer intensive seminars at Stony Brook or team-teach with the Department's faculty members. In the past, Noam Chomsky, Jacques Derrida, Angela Davis, Jürgen Habermas and Julia Kristeva have given full-credit seminars at Stony Brook.

The graduate program affords advanced Stony Brook doctoral students the opportunity to take seminars for credit at universities participating in the New York--area Inter-University Doctoral Consortium. Consortium member universities are Columbia, City University of New York, Fordham, New School University, New York University, Princeton, Rutgers, and Stony Brook.

Currently, there are over sixty graduate students enrolled in the Doctoral Program, many from other countries including, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Colombia, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Sweden and from a wide range of liberal arts colleges and universities in the United States. A significant number participate in conferences and publish articles in philosophy journals prior to the completion of their doctoral degrees.

MA in Philosophy, with a Focus on the Arts and Aesthetics

Many of the questions that occasioned Plato's reflection on art are still with us: What is the relationship between art and truth? Is the task of the artist to represent already existing things or to create altogether new things? Is the spectator of art to be regarded as a mere witness or as an active participant?

What is the role of emotion in the experience of art? What are the most salient differences between the various arts?

Other questions have arisen with increasing urgency in more recent times: What does psychoanalysis have to teach us about the place of art in our lives? How are class, race, and gender pertinent to the production and enjoyment of art? Do we need to re-conceive aesthetics in view of a global electronic culture?

Art and philosophy are typically pursued in separation from each other, with only the rare single course considering both at once. Yet philosophical dimensions of art have become of increasing concern to artists, art historians, art critics, and philosophers themselves in the last decade. For example, the question as to what constitutes an artwork -- i.e., what are its material and social conditions and limits -- has been much debated and is an example of a specific theme to be treated in offerings at Stony Brook Manhattan.

No other set of courses with a comparable emphasis exists in the New York area. Thus, artists, who consider philosophical features of their work, the educated public, art collectors and art administrators, and those who seek to earn a master's degree in philosophy, will be interested in this unique opportunity.

The Philosophy Department of Stony Brook University has been internationally recognized for its focus on contemporary European philosophy and its interdisciplinary orientation. To those interested in pursuing a rigorous and rewarding post-graduate degree in Manhattan, a Master of Arts in Philosophy offers courses, resources, and faculty previously accessible only on Stony Brook University's Long Island campus.

While the majority of the courses for this M.A. are offered in Manhattan, at the Stony Brook Manhattan satellite campus on 27th Street and Park Avenue South, students are also required to take at least one graduate course at the Stony Brook campus. The core faculty is the same as the faculty of the Ph.D. program with the regular participation of artists, lecturers, and faculty members from local universities and philosophy programs. The program takes advantage of the incomparably rich museum offerings and cultural life of New York City. Every year, the program holds and sponsors an annual Philosophy and the Arts Conference ( which is organized and run by our graduate students. Stony Brook's M.A. in philosophy is designed to enable students to acquire the skills and philosophical background necessary for admission to Ph.D. programs.

Research Facilities

The philosophy collection is housed in Stony Brook's Melville Library stacks. In addition to the Melville Library holdings, the Department of Philosophy supports its own research library in Harriman Hall with the Jonathan Solzberg Library, which is funded by private donations. The Department's Logic Lab, also located in Harriman Hall, is used for research as well as for teaching philosophy courses.

Student Group

Students offered admission to the graduate program come from a wide variety of universities and liberal arts colleges in the United States and abroad. The size of the doctoral student cohort generally remains at or around 60 students, all of whom are awarded tuition scholarships for the duration of their time in the program. During the first four years of doctoral study, students receive stipends for serving as teaching assistants.

Student Outcomes

Graduates of Stony Brook's doctoral program in philosophy have a long record of doing exceptionally well in job placement. Since 2000, graduates have been appointed to positions at Brooklyn College, California State University at Fullerton, California State University at Los Angeles, Colby-Sawyer College, Dalhousie University, DePaul University, Dickinson College, Duquesne University, Emory University, Emporia State University, Florida International University, Georgetown University, Grinnell College, Hofstra University, Illinois Western University, Kent State University, Long Island University, Lyndon State College, Marian College, Miami University, Michigan State University, Muskingum College, Northern Arizona University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Saint Xavier University, Temple University, University College (Cork, Ireland), the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Colorado at Denver, the University of Guelph (Ontario), the University of Memphis, the University of New Mexico, the University of Oregon, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Redlands, the University of Tennessee, and Wheaton College.

Since 2005, graduates of Stony Brook University's Masters Program in Philosophy and the Arts have been accepted into doctoral programs in philosophy and related disciplines at Boston College, New School University, Queen's College Belfast (Ireland), the University of Guelph (Ontario), the University of Memphis, the University of Oregon, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern Florida, the State University of New York at Binghamton, the State University of New York at Buffalo, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Villanova University, and Yale University.

Graduate Admissions

The University and The Department

The University of Stony Brook is one of North America's premier public research universities. The Department of Philosophy is integral and essential to the University's teaching and research missions, especially in interdisciplinary areas. The Department is strongly represented in University administration.

A State University in the Shadow of New York City

Located on 1,000 acres on the north shore of Long Island, Stony Brook University is just 56 miles east of New York City. Students have access to the rich cultural activities, museums, libraries, and entertainment in New York City via the university's on-campus rail station.

Stony Brook students enjoy various recreational activities throughout the year, particularly outdoor activities at the nearby West Meadow Beach and the campus hiking and biking trails. Stony Brook University features a wide variety of student services and facilities, including a medical center, residence halls, fitness centers, and 8 campus libraries.

Location & Contact

Department of Philosophy

College of Arts and Sciences
Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States

Dr. Eduardo Mendieta


Phone: 631-632-7585
Fax: 631-632-7522

Kathleen-Anna Amella


Phone: 631-632-7580
Fax: 631-632-7522

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Philosophy Advanced Certificate
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Arts (MA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 15
    • Doctoral Degrees 7
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees 2
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


16% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 177
    • Accepted 78
    • Acceptance Rate 16
    • Enrolled 15
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $100
    • Application Fee - International $100
    • Electronic applications accepted? Not Reported
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 15th Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline October 1st Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & Fees$4,685
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Teaching Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students78
    • Female Percentage36%
    • Male Percentage64%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students78
    • Part-time Percentage13%
    • Full-time Percentage87%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino12%
    • Black / African American3%
    • White / Caucasian67%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native2%
    • Asian2%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races3%
    • Unknown11%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty21
    • Full-time Percentage90%
    • Part-time Percentage10%
    • Female Percentage33%
    • Male Percentage67%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchPhilosophy of science, philosophy of language, analytical philosophy, phenomenology, structuralism
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$89,330