M.A. in Philosophy for International Students Course Descriptions

Below is a list of the courses that are currently available to students in the M.A. program.



56100 - Reading Philosophy: Skills and Strategies
Academic philosophy demands both the ability to read large amounts of texts fluently, carefully, and closely. Furthermore, the abstract nature of philosophical discourse places a large cognitive demand upon readers. This course prepares non-native English speakers philosophy students for these intensive reading demands. The course has three major learning areas: the language skills that students need to read fluently (i.e., the efficient processing of language for general comprehension of meaning); reading strategies that students can use to improve comprehension and learning; and communication about readings, as the close reading of texts is essential to communicating one's ideas both orally and in writing.

Students are also supported in their regular philosophy courses. This course is linked to one or more 500+ level philosophy seminars that students in this course are enrolled in. Reading materials, writing activities, and projects for the course are designed to complement tasks and projects required in the linked philosophy seminar. (Repeatable twice for a maximum of 9 credits.)

56200 - Reading to Argue
Closely and critically reading philosophical arguments is the first step to composing your own arguments in philosophy. In addition, developing these skills will help you to orally discuss philosophical ideas, both in classroom discussions as well as when giving presentations. This class aims to prepare students for these tasks by developing the skills of close and critical reading in philosophical discourse. All the while, students will continue improving their reading, writing, and speaking skills in the English language through specifically designed language learning components for non-native English speakers.

Students are also supported in their regular philosophy courses. This course is linked to one or more 500+ level philosophy seminars that students in this course are enrolled in. Reading materials, writing activities, and projects for the course are designed to complement tasks and projects required in the linked philosophy seminar. (Repeatable twice for a maximum of 9 credits.)

56400 - Walk-Along Language Lab
This course is a co-requisite, language-focused class linked to a philosophy seminar. Walk-along courses provide opportunities to shift focus from content to language form and use. Activities and projects for the course are designed to complement tasks and projects required for the seminar. Thus, the purpose of the walk-along course is to help you develop linguistic abilities required to succeed in your coursework. In addition, because of the centrality of writing for philosophy, walk-along courses will predominantly focus on developing your writing skills.

57100 - Writing to Learn
Writing on a higher academic level can be especially challenging for non-native English-writers. Thus, this course aims to develop students’ graduate-level skillsets in philosophical practices in an English language environment to help them gain confidence and become productive members of the philosophical community. Students will learn writing processes that will aid their ability to effectively compose in English, including developing a thesis statement, outlining, drafting, formatting, and editing. As all four chief skillsets in second-language proficiency development work in tandem and enhance each other, the course will rely on writing, reading, speaking, listening, and presenting work for learning and further developing these advanced language skills.

Students are also supported in their regular philosophy courses. This course is linked to one or more 500+ level philosophy seminars that students in this course are enrolled in. Reading materials, writing activities, and projects for the course are designed to complement tasks and projects required in the linked philosophy seminar. (Repeatable twice for a maximum of 9 credits.)

57200 - Writing to Argue
Writing is a primary mode of communication in philosophy. This course aims to prepare students for the writing demands of philosophy by having students develop their ability to analyze, interpret, and critique philosophical arguments through written works and, in the process, construct their own philosophical arguments. Students will also learn writing processes that will aid their ability to effectively and clearly compose philosophical arguments, including outlining, drafting, and editing. Finally, the class will also pay attention to genre and rhetorical features of philosophical discourse, such as how philosophers enact criticism and write introductions to research papers. All the while, students will continue improving their writing and speaking skills in the English language through specifically designed language learning components for non-native English speakers. Students can use their course paper as a draft of a writing sample for PhD programs.

Students are also supported in their regular philosophy courses. This course is linked to one or more 500+ level philosophy seminars that students in this course are enrolled in. Reading materials, writing activities, and projects for the course are designed to complement tasks and projects required in the linked philosophy seminar. (Repeatable twice for a maximum of 9 credits.)

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