Progression requirements and deadlines

Progression requirements and deadlines approved by the Department on November 1, 2004.

In accordance with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office regulations, students entering the Ph.D. program with a Bachelor’s degree are admitted at Ph.D. I, and students entering with a Master’s degree or equivalent are normally admitted at Ph.D. II.

Each student on admission to the program is assigned an advisory committee whose function is to advise the student, at the beginning of each year of course-work, in the selection of courses, and to ensure that this selection satisfies the Departmental requirements specified below. This committee remains in place until the student has chosen a Thesis Advancement Committee, at least four months prior to the deadline for completion of the requirements for advancement to candidacy.

1. General Requirements for the PhD program:

  1. Course-work 
  2. A logic requirement
  3. A language requirement
  4. A candidacy paper
  5. A dissertation

 

1. Course-Work

Admitted to PhD 1

Students will be required to take and complete 13 courses prior to consideration for advancement to candidacy.

Required Courses (4 courses)

  • PHIL607 Pro-Seminar 1
  • PHIL682 Pro-Seminar 3
  • PHIL690 Candidacy paper
  • PHIL685 Fundamentals of Logic

Complementary Courses (9 courses)

  • At least 2 courses must be in the history of philosophy.
  • At least 2 courses must be in ethics or value theory.
  • At least 2 courses must be in metaphysics or epistemology.

Students must complete the course-work requirements and the candidacy paper by 15th December in their second year in the program (PhD 3).

Admitted to PhD 2

Students will be required to take and complete 11 courses prior to consideration for advancement to candidacy.

Required Courses (4 courses)

  • PHIL607 Pro-Seminar 1
  • PHIL682 Pro-Seminar 3
  • PHIL690 Candidacy paper
  • PHIL685 Fundamentals of Logic

Complementary Courses (7 courses)

  • At least 2 courses must be in the history of philosophy.
  • At least 2 courses must be in ethics or value theory.
  • At least 2 courses must be in metaphysics or epistemology.

Students must complete the course-work requirements and the candidacy paper by 15th August in their third year in the program (PhD 3).

General rules governing course selection:

  1. Students may not appeal for course reduction on the basis of work done from their MA degree.
  2. Where the Department judges that, while the formal conditions for admission at either level are satisfied, a student’s background is deficient relative to what would be expected given satisfaction of the formal conditions, the Department may require additional course-work to be completed prior to consideration for advancement to candidacy. Where this is the case, the student will be informed of this fact in writing, in the offer of admission from the Department.
  3. Where a course is designated by the Department as falling into more than one area, a student may elect to count the course towards whichever of these areas s/he chooses. No student may count a particular course towards the satisfaction of area requirements in more than one area, however.
  4. The following may be counted by students in partial fulfilment of the Department’s course work and area requirements:
    • 600 level courses offered by the Department.
    • guided research courses based on 400 level courses offered by the Department, taken under a 700 number, by agreement with the instructor.
    • reading courses taken with a member of the Department, under a 700 number.
    • Graduate-level courses offered by other departments at McGill, or at other universities in Montreal, if approved by the Department. Such courses are taken either under a graduate level number in the relevant department, or via the IUT (Inter University Transfer) credit system if taken at other universities in Montreal.

 

2. Logic Requirement

The Logic requirement is satisfied in one of two ways:

a) By the end of December of the first year, the student sits an examination, equivalent to the final examination of PHIL 210 and passes it with a grade of B+ or better. A student who does not achieve a satisfactory grade will sit a supplementary examination to be held before the end of May of the first year. The examination is graded on the same scale as that applied to undergraduate students in PHIL 210. Students must register for PHIL685 Fundamentals of Logic (3 credits).

b) The student passes a logic course more difficult than PHIL 210 (eg. PHIL 310) with a grade of B+ or higher before the end of the first year of the program. Students must register for PHIL685 Fundamentals of Logic (3 credits).

***A student failing to satisfy the logic requirement will be asked to withdraw from the programme by the Graduate Director.

 

3. Language requirement

Students must satisfy Departmental language requirements, by demonstrating competence at the advanced level in a research language, or at the intermediate level in two research languages. Language exams are administered and graded by the Department. It is strongly advised that students satisfy the language requirements as early as possible in the program, so that they can benefit as much as possible from the relevant linguistic competences in their thesis research.


4. Candidacy Paper

The candidacy paper should manifest the sorts of skills and competencies relevant to the successful prosecution of doctoral research. It may be worked up from a paper written to fulfil the requirements of a graduate course. The paper will normally be of no more than 30 pages in length, double-spaced, and will demonstrate the ability to respond to supervision and to revise work in the light of comments and suggestions made on preliminary and (if necessary) intermediate drafts of the paper. The paper is expected to be in the area in which the student proposes to write their thesis, and may be either a self-contained piece or a piece suitable to be integrated into the larger context of a dissertation.

Students are responsible for contacting members of the Department with whom they wishes to work, and for constituting their Thesis Advancement Committee at least four months prior to the deadline for completion of the requirements for advancement to candidacy. The DGS will advise the student on these matters if requested. The TAC will meet with the student prior to the beginning of work to establish what will be expected in terms of the quality of the work and additional research, and to ensure that the project is realistic given both the student’s background and the departmental deadlines.  The student and the committee will complete a TAC from to be submitted to the DGS.

Deadlines

Admitted at Ph. D. 1:
Students must submit the final draft of their candidacy papers to their Thesis Advancement Committee by 15th December in their third year in the programme (PhD 3).  Students must register for the course PHIL690 Candidacy Paper in the Fall term of PhD3.

Admitted at Ph.D. 2:
Students must submit the final draft of their candidacy papers to their Thesis Advancement Committee by 15th August in their second year in the programme (PhD 3).  Students must register for the course PHIL690 Candidacy Paper in the winter term of PhD3.

 

Departmental Policies:

  • Penalties:  If a student fails to meet the deadlines for the department progression requirements, they will be expelled from the programme. A student who fails to meet the deadlines may apply in writing to the GPD for an extension. Such extensions will be granted only where the department judges that extraordinary circumstances beyond a student’s control have been instrumental in the failure to satisfy the departmental progression requirements.
  • Extensions on course-work: A student who is granted a one-term extension on the work due in a given course receives a grade of K. If an additional extension is granted, a further grade of KE must be submitted. A student is permitted to hold a total of no more than two Ks/KEs at any time during an academic year. In addition, a student may hold only one K/KE at the beginning of an academic year. No student will be admitted to candidacy with any incomplete coursework.
  • Audits: Graduate students are expected to continue to contribute to the intellectual life of the Department after being promoted to candidacy. They can do so by participating in reading and discussion groups and, most of all, by auditing seminars both within and without their areas of specialty. The Department takes this aspect of student life very seriously. At the beginning of every academic year, every student will seek formal advice from the Graduate Director and his/her most immediate thesis supervisor for mapping out a programme of activities and seminar participation. A record of participation in reading or discussion groups will be entered, whenever available, in a student progress report, as well as a record of audited classes stating that a student has satisfactorily completed an auditing, i.e. has attended class sessions throughout, has done the required reading, and has demonstrated leadership in discussion. These records might be used by the student in any future job application dossier.
  • Progress Reports:  Students are required to submit Progress Reports every June to the Graduate Director.

 

Registration Status

The norm is that students enter in PhD2.  There are then 6 mandatory terms of full-time residency, which usually comprise the fall and winter terms of the first three years, i.e: 

Fall year 1: full time; Winter year 1: full time; Summer year 1: continuing

Fall year 2: full time; Winter year 2: full time; Summer year 2: continuing

Fall year 3: full time; Winter year 3: full time; Summer year 3: continuing

After these mandatory years of full time status, it is possible to complete the program.  

So after your third year is complete, registration looks like this:

Fall year 4: additional session*; Winter year 4: additional session; Summer year 4: additional session

Fall year 5: additional session 

*additional session fees are payable every term (ie including summer), whereas you only pay fees for the fall and winter terms during the first three residency terms.  

This continues until the Summer year 6 (PhD 7) term, which is the last permitted term of registration before being in time limitation.  Additional explanation can be found on the student accounts website and in the ecalendar