The Ph.D. program comprises two stages.
During their first two years, students fulfill requirements in four areas:
metaphysics and epistemology;
history of philosophy;
ethics, social and political philosophy, and aesthetics;
logic, language, and science.
Students must also fulfill a language requirement, usually in Ancient Greek, French, German, or Latin.
At the beginning of the third year of graduate studies, students prepare and defend a dissertation prospectus. If the prospectus defense has been successful, students begin working on their dissertation. They are encouraged to complete their dissertation by the end of their fifth year at Purdue.
In addition to the regular graduate program in philosophy, the department also participates in two interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs:
Philosophy and Literature (in conjunction with the Department of English), and
Philosophy and Communication (in conjunction with the Brian Lamb School of Communication).
More detailed information about these programs and the admissions process of each can be obtained by writing to the appropriate graduate director: