PhD in Philosophy
Previous Degree Requirements
PhD Candidates must complete the following:
Requirements are for current students: before July 1, 2012.
Complete six half courses (or the equivalent), with no more than one full course equivalent a reading course and no more than one full course integrated with an undergraduate course. Students with inadequate background in core philosophy may be required to take, in addition to these courses, PHIL 5800 & PHIL 5801 (Core Theoretical Philosophy I & II) and/or PHIL 5802 & PHIL 5803 (Core Practical Philosophy I & II).
This requirement must be met by the end of PhD 2 in order to remain in good standing in the programme.
With the permission of the progamme director, students may take one full graduate course outside the programme, either at York or elsewhere.
Include, among their courses, at least two half courses each of which focuses in depth on a single historically-significant problem or philosopher, and that cover different periods in the history of philosophy. (Students who have taken such courses during their MA may place out of all or part of this requirement).
Either pass a departmental logic exam, or pass an appropriate logic course in the department, or demonstrate that they have passed a similar course at another institution. (At the discretion of the Director and on the recommendation of the supervisor, this requirement can be waived and replaced with a demonstration of proficiency in a foreign language relevant to the student's research.)
Submit a suitable dissertation proposal acceptable to the supervisory committee.
This requirement must be met by the end of PhD 3 in order to remain in good standing in the programme.
|PROPOSAL DEFENCE AND LITERATURE EXAM||
Successfully defend the dissertation proposal and pass an oral examination on literature relevant to the dissertation topic. (The examiners will consist of the student's supervisory committee.)
Write an acceptable dissertation embodying original research and defend it at an oral examination.
It is recommended that Candidates whose field of study necessitates a reading knowledge of a language other than English acquire sufficient knowledge of that language. Candidates may be asked to demonstrate their proficiency to the Examining Committee
|MINIMUM TIME TO COMPLETION||12 - 18 terms
Faculty of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures: http://www.yorku.ca/grads/policies_procedures/faculty_regulations
GUIDELINES FOR THE PREPARATION, SUPERVISION AND
EXAMINATION OF AN M.A. THESIS OR PHD DISSERTATION
The Graduate Programme in Philosophy has been devised with several major objectives. First, we aim to expose you to the major areas of research in contemporary philosophy and to provide you with the opportunity to acquire a broadly based understanding of the discipline.
Our second aim is to allow you the freedom to study with the faculty members who can best assist you in developing your theoretical, practical and research interests. Subject to the general regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the members of your Thesis or Dissertation Supervisory Committee can be drawn from the philosophy graduate faculty as well as from the graduate faculty of other disciplines. In collaboration with the Programme Director you will put together your own Committee according to your own needs and preferences.
Third, we aim to provide you with the necessary feedback on your work to facilitate your intellectual development and to assist you in applying for grants, scholarships, and various funds which are available for supporting your academic activities. Course directors and your Supervisory Committee are the main channels for these objectives outlined above. We therefore strongly recommend that you form your Supervisory Committee as soon as it is feasible.
I. The Supervisory Committee
The Supervisory Committee is the central element in the structure of our Programme. Committee Members advise you to help you plan your course of study, evaluate your academic progress, serve as referees for various grant applications, and approve your completion of certain requirements. Some time will be required for you to discover which faculty members can best support your intellectual interests and style of work.
Although, as a PhD student, it is important that you get to know a number of faculty members and obtain as much information as necessary about potential committee members before making your selection, it is also very much in your interest to choose your Committee early in your studies, preferably by the beginning of your second year. If you delay forming your Committee, the people you want to work with may already have been chosen by other students and will be unable to work with you.
As well, even in your first year or two, while still completing course work, you will need references for grant applications and other forms of financial assistance from your supervisor.
Finally, having a committee in place will help you focus your interest early enough to select your final courses and topics in line with your objectives. An MA student completing a thesis option should form a Supervisory Committee in the first term of Candidacy.
Supervisory Committee: FGS Regulations
1. A supervisor must be recommended by the graduate programme director for approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies no later than the end of the fifth term of study (end of second term of PhD II).
2. A supervisory committee must be recommended by the graduate programme director for approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies no later than the end of the eighth term of study (end of second term of PhD III).
Choosing Styles of Supervision
Supervisory Committees vary in their styles of interaction and supervision depending largely on the approaches of the faculty members. In choosing committee members, it is as important to discover how various faculty members view their role as Supervisor or as a Committee Member as it is to match their intellectual and research interests with your own. By choosing committee members, you will be choosing how you will carry out your work as much as you will be choosing the focus of your work. Some faculty members will insist on regular meetings and establishing an agreed upon timetable, while others will let you work at your own pace, only meeting when necessary. You can therefore select a Committee which will provide you with a great deal of structure, or one that provides very little structure. You need to decide which kind of supervisory approach best suits your own work style and needs.
Responsibilites of Supervisory Committees
Allowing for the range of supervisory styles, the following provides a minimal outline of what you should expect from your Committee. This outline should convince you of the benefits of choosing your Committee as soon as it is feasible. Without a Committee, you will not have dependable and consistent access to faculty members assistance in many of the tasks listed here.
a)You and your Committee are jointly responsible for designing a programme of course work and research which will enable you to meet degree requuirements, and for giving the Graduate Programme Assistant copies of all formal correspondence between you and your Committee about academic matters. While this may seem a chore, it helps the Graduate Director to write better letters of support when these are requested, and to keep statistics on students' progress through the Programme.
b) The members of your Committee should be your referees when you apply to SSHRC, OGS and other grants or scholarship programmes. As well, your Supervisor is required to sign your applications for special York funds such as the Research Cost Fund, the Graduate Development Fund, Fee Bursary Funds, etc.
c) You are responsible for ensuring that the Graduate Programme Assistant has accurate information about the courses you are taking, the names of your Committee members, your current address, phone number, and e-mail address.
d) Your Supervisor is responsible for informing the Graduate Programme Assistant whenever you have completed one of the Programme requirements.
e) Your Committee members are responsible for confirming to the Graduate Director that your Thesis or Dissertation is examinable, before the copies are sent to the External Examiner and the Dean.
Replacing and Changing Supervisors and Committee Members
When one of your Committee members goes on sabbatical, you should seek a (temporary) replacement unless you can be sure of keeping in regular touch. When your Supervisor is on leave, it is very important that a substitute be found.
Other circumstances may arise in which you wish to make a change in the membership of your Committee. There are no clear rules on this; the relationship is voluntary on both sides, and occasional mis-matches will occur. If you choose to change your Committee, it is your responsibility to find a replacement and to notify that person, the other members of your Committee and the Graduate Programme Assistant.
II. The Proposal
The proposal, a short description of the Candidate’s research project, is submitted to the supervisory committee for first approval. Once it has been approved by the committee, the Candidate should submit three copies to the Graduate Programme Assistant, who will then forward them to the thesis/dissertation committee. After the committee members have reviewed the proposal, their comments will be sent to the Candidate and to his or her supervisor. The thesis/dissertation committee may make one of the following three recommendations:
(1) The proposal needs no revision, in which case the Candidate may proceed immediately to the defence.
(2) The thesis/dissertation committee has suggested minor revisions, in which case it is left to the discretion of the Candidate and his or her supervisor to make changes to the proposal or to address the suggestions during the defence. Once this decision has been made, the Candidate may proceed to the defence.
(3) The thesis/dissertation committee requests substantial revisions, in which case the proposal must be resubmitted to the committee.
Once the proposal is ready to be defended, the supervisor should inform the Graduate Programme Assistant of the date and time of the defence.
(In accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies policy passed in Council on February 2, 2001, students doing Major Research Papers, Theses, or Dissertations in which research involving human participants occurs must also submit a copy of the Human Participants Research Form with their proposal when submitting it for approval.)
For Masters students the proposal should be submitted as early in the Fall term as possible. For Doctoral
students before the end of Ph.D. III.
The thesis/dissertation proposal committee is composed of two faculty members, normally drawn from different areas. In cases where a supervisor or second or third reader is on the committee, another member of the department will be asked by the graduate programme director to review the proposal.
The proposal should include:
1. A formal cover sheet, which includes the following information: working-title of the thesis/dissertation; date the thesis/dissertation writing will commence; date of planned completion; and the suggested supervisory committee. The cover sheet is available from the graduate programme assistant.
2. A short description of the project, which briefly summarizes the proposal, how the student proposes to accomplish the task, and how the results would contribute to scholarship in the field. This short description should be one double-spaced page or less.
3. A detailed description of the project, which would permit an accurate assessment of the proposed thesis/dissertation. The detailed description should be a maximum of 3500 words and should cover the following topics:
a) Scope and objectives of the research.
b) An account of the existing state of scholarship on the subject, and an explanation or justification of the undertaking of the project and of its potential contribution to knowledge.
c) Research strategy, hypotheses and methods including a tentative list of the divisions, phases, or chapters into which the dissertation will fall, so far as the student can see them at this early stage of his/her work.
d) Work already completed and scheduled work to be done.
4. A selective bibliography done according to The Chicago Manual of Style: The 13th Edition...Revised and Expanded (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982). For easy reference see: Kate L. Turabian's A manual for writers of term papers, theses, and dissertations, 5th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).
The selective bibliography should list:
i) The primary sources (texts, editions, etc.) on which the dissertation
is to be based; and
ii) The chief secondary sources (critical, biographical, etc.)
which bear most closely on the subject.
Please Note: A growing bank of past proposals is available to view from the Graduate Programme Assistant.
The Proposal defence is one of the requirements of the MA and PhD degrees and should be completed directly after the proposal has been approved by the thesis/dissertation committee and the Candidate’s supervisor. This defence is held with the Candidate and his/her supervisory committee. The duration of the oral is approximately 1 hour.
Usually, this is the first time the Candidate has had the opportunity to get together with his/her supervisory committee as a whole and iron out any “wrinkles” in connection with the Proposal before embarking on the thesis/dissertation. The Supervisor is responsible for informing the programme office in writing of the results. Once the proposal has been successfully defended, a final copy should be given to the Graduate Programme Assistant who will send it to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for Decanal approval.
III. Submission and Examination
When the draft version of the thesis or dissertation has been completed, the Supervisory Committee should meet again with the Candidate in order to discuss revisions. The Candidate should understand that, though every effort will be made by the Committee to make all necessary suggestions about portions submitted, approval of any part must be regarded as tentative. The Supervisory Committee members can give approval for examination only after they have read the whole manuscript.
When the thesis/dissertation has satisfied at least two of the M.A. and three members of the Ph.D. Supervisory Committee, and they have indicated to the Director their satisfaction as to the readiness of the thesis to be examined by signing (i) the Faculty of Graduate Studies Certificate and (ii) the Oral Examination Approval form, the student may proceed to the Oral Examination.
Presentation of Thesis or Dissertation
When a majority of the Supervisory Committee agrees that the student may present the thesis or dissertation for examination, the student must supply one copy of the final draft for each member of his/her Examining Committee. The Dean’s copy and the External Examiner’s copy should be submitted to the Programme Office along with signed copies of (i) the certificate page (3 copies) and (ii) the form entitled Oral
Examination Approval at least three weeks before the oral for an M.A. and four weeks for a Ph.D. At this stage, the thesis/dissertation should not be bound, but must be contained securely in a folder.
Note: students must advise their committee members well in advance of the projected date of their examination to avoid conflicts with committee member’s schedules.
The Examining Committee
The PhD Examining Committee will normally consist of the Supervisory Committee, a graduate faculty member from outside the programme, an external examiner from outside the University, and the Dean or the Dean’s representative. Another member of the programme may be added, or substituted for one of the members of the Supervisory Committee (subject to the Programme Director’s approval) in case a member waives his/her right to sit on the Examining Committee. The MA Examining Committee is the same but without an external examiner.
If the thesis/dissertation is found to be unexaminable by a majority of the Examining Committee members, the Oral Examination shall be postponed for a period not to exceed one year. However, the student has the right to insist that the Oral proceed as planned.
The Oral Examination
Arrangements for the Oral Examination are made by the Director of the Graduate Programme in Philosophy. They are then confirmed and approved in writing by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Copies of the thesis/dissertation are circulated to the Examining Committee at least three weeks prior to the Oral Examination for an MA, or four weeks for a PhD Candidate. At least two weeks notice is customarily given to the Candidate before the Oral Examination is held. The Oral Examination will focus on the thesis/dissertation, although it may also cover aspects of the general field in which the study is written.
(a) The External Examiner
An External Examiner is someone who is a specialist in the area of the dissertation or some important aspect of it. For the doctoral dissertation, the External Examiner will be asked to prepare for the Programme Director and the Dean, normally one week before the scheduled date of examination, a brief written critique of the dissertation, clearly indicating whether or not the dissertation is acceptable for examination. The critique is circulated to the Examining Committee before the oral Examination and given to the Candidate afterwards, if the External Examiner is willing.
(b) Chair of the Oral Examination
Normally, the second reader from the Programme will be asked to Chair the Oral Examination. The Supervisor shall not chair the Oral Examination. The Chair is a voting member of the Committee, and participates in the questioning of the Candidate.
(c) Conduct of the Examination
Examinations will be conducted in accordance with current regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Both MA and PhD Oral Examinations are open to all Faculty members and graduate students.
Results of Oral Examinations
The result of the oral examination is reported to the Faculty on the Oral Examination Report Form which is taken to the examination by the Dean or the Dean’s representative.
The result of the oral examination is reported by the Dean's Representative on the Oral Examination Report
Form provided. All members vote (with the exception of any members attending in an ex-officio capacity). Abstentions are not allowed.
This form is completed and signed by the Chair and the Examining Committee. Where applicable, brief details of revisions required should be included under the Comments heading. A copy of this form is transmitted to the student by the Thesis Office.
The signed certificate pages are also returned to the Thesis Office after the examination. If major revisions are required, the Committee will postpone signing the certificate pages until the revisions are completed.
The certificate pages are subsequently forwarded to the Thesis Office.
Accepted With No Revisions
The oral examination requirement is met if the Committee accepts the thesis/dissertation with no revisions.
Accepted Pending Specified Revisions
The oral examination requirement is met if the Committee accepts the thesis/dissertation with specified revisions. These specified revisions could range from typographical errors or changes of a minor editorial nature, to specified insertions or deletions which do not radically modify the development/argument of the thesis or dissertation. The Committee must specify such changes with precision. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that all such changes are made and the Dean's Representative will confirm that this is the case.
MASTERS: In cases where there is one vote for major revision, then specified revisions are expected.
DOCTORATE: In cases where there are no more than two votes for major revision or one vote for failure, then specified revisions are expected.
Referred Pending Major Revisions
MASTERS: A thesis is referred for major revisions if any of the following conditions exist:
* the Committee agrees that the thesis requires substantive changes in order to be
* there are a minimum of two votes for major revisions; or
* there is one vote for failure.
DOCTORATE: A dissertation is referred for major revisions if any of the following conditions exist:
* the Committee agrees that the dissertation requires substantive changes in order to be
* there are two votes for failure; or
* there is one vote for failure plus a minimum of one vote for major revisions; or
* there are at least three votes for major revisions.
In this situation, one of the following procedures, agreed upon by the Committee before the examination is adjourned, must be used to finalize the oral results:
a) the Committee will reconvene within twelve months to continue the oral examination;
b) the revised thesis or dissertation will be circulated within twelve months to all members,
who will inform the Chair and the Dean's Representative whether they feel the stipulated
requirements have been met.
Detailed reasons for referring pending major revision must be supplied in writing by the Chair to the Dean, the Programme Director and the candidate concerned within two weeks.
After an adjournment and when the major revisions have been completed, the thesis or dissertation is failed if there are two or more votes for failure. A thesis or dissertation cannot be referred for major revisions more
than once and no further adjournment is permitted. In the event of failure, detailed reasons must be supplied in writing by the Chair to the Dean, Program Director and candidate within two weeks.
A thesis is failed if there are a minimum of two votes for failure
A dissertation is failed if there are a minimum of three votes for failure.
Approval of Revisions
When handing in the three final copies to the Thesis Office (230 York Lanes), you must submit a memorandum from the Programme Office stating the revisions have been completed and approved. For specified revisions, both the Supervisor and the Dean’s Representative must sign.
Note: The Faculty of Graduate Studies has available a comprehensive guideline for the preparation of theses and dissertations. Be sure to pick up a copy from the Graduate Studies Office, Suite 230 York Lanes, or you may retrieve it from this website: http://yorku.ca/grads.
CHECKLIST OF DOCTORAL DISSERTATION PROCESSES AND TIMELINES
By beginning of PhD III (or equivalent for PT students)
Establish Dissertation Supervisory Committee and
recommend the committee for approval to the GPD and
Supervisory committee must have the following
No later than 6 months prior to the oral exam
Supervisory Committee must submit proposal to GPD
No later than 4 weeks (20 working days) prior to oral exam
Recommend Dissertation Examination Committee for
approval to GPD and Dean. Dissertation Examination
Committees usually consist of the membership of the
Supervisory Committee but the supervisor cannot be the
chair of Examining Committee.
Committee Composition Checklist
No later than 4 weeks (20 working days) prior to oral exam
The Programme Office ensures that ALL members of the
Examination Committee have received a copy of the
dissertation and forwards the copy of the thesis for the
Dean’s Representative to the Faculty of Graduate