A Master of Arts in Philosophy at CGU gives you the rigorous reasoning and analytical skills that are the hallmark of all philosophical activity.

The MA program is ideal for students seeking to enhance their prospects of being accepted into competitive PhD programs in philosophy as well as for those who wish to pursue careers with high demand for strong reasoning and analytical skills, including law, business, journalism, and more. Highly flexible curriculum accommodates your individual needs and goals, and you need not have majored in undergraduate philosophy to thrive in our program. We emphasize graduate-level research through our capstone writing project, which provides a solid foundation for a highly polished writing sample that may be used by those wishing to apply to PhD programs.

Program Highlights
  • Our program is MA only, so our students receive more personalized attention than those at schools featuring PhD programs.
  • The abundant resources of The Claremont Colleges and other CGU departments mean that our curriculum rivals that of much larger philosophy departments.
  • Transdisciplinarity is a hallmark of CGU. Students are encouraged to enrich their curriculum by taking courses outside the Philosophy Department.
  • Our seminar-style classes rarely have more than 12 students.
  • We award merit-based fellowships funding up to the full cost of tuition for entering students. In addition, we offer a select number of research assistantship positions that allow students to collaborate with faculty and receive a departmental stipend each semester.

Program at a Glance

36 units, including 4 units for capstone preparation

2 years

Fall | Spring


MA in Philosophy

Featured Courses

PHIL 300
Philosophical Greek

Introduces the ancient Greek language, the ideal foundation for the study of the beginnings of Western Philosophy.

Greek Readings

Explores readings in Plato and Aristotle to maintain and improve your command of ancient Greek.

PHIL 452
Seminar in Ethics

Explores the place of ethics in contemporary philosophy through this study of recent work in so-called virtue ethics.

PHIL 309
Topics in Early Modern: Hume, Treatise of Human Nature

Examines Hume’s epistemological writings in A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40) and the Enquiries (1748).

PHIL 348
Experimental Philosophy

Analyzes influential works in experimental philosophy, its methodology, and the challenges it presents to traditional philosophy.

PHIL 350
Topics in Contemporary: Early Analytic Philosophy

Surveys the analytic tradition in the works by Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, and Carnap to provide a deeper understanding of its historical intellectual context.

Faculty & Research
Masahiro Yamada profile image

Masahiro Yamada

Associate Professor of Philosophy
Chair, Philosophy Department

Research Interests

Epistemology, Action Theory, Philosophy of Mind

Patricia Easton profile image

Patricia Easton

Executive Vice President and Provost
Professor of Philosophy

Research Interests

Philosophy, History of modern philosophy, Philosophy of mind, History of science

Charles Young profile image

Charles Young

Professor of Philosophy

Research Interests

Ancient philosophy, Aristotle, Plato


Extended Faculty

In addition CGU’s core philosophy faculty, you may take courses with the 25 tenured or tenure-track philosophy faculty throughout The Claremont Colleges. Faculty may also serve as advisors and mentors, providing a wide variety of areas of expertise—including philosophy of mind, epistemology, philosophy of science, history of philosophy, ethics, political philosophy, among others.

Ahmed Alwishah

Pitzer College

Yuval Avnur

Scripps College

Philip Clayton

Claremont School of Theology

Stephen T. Davis

Claremont McKenna College

Roland Faber

Claremont School of Theology

Michael Green

Pomona College

Paul Hurley

Claremont McKenna College

Brian Keeley

Pitzer College

Amy Kind

Claremont McKenna College

James Kreines

Claremont McKenna College

Richard McKirahan

Pomona College

Dion Scott-Kakures

Scripps College

Julie Tannenbaum

Pomona College

Peter Thielke

Pomona College

Rivka Weinberg

Scripps College

Darryl Wright

Harvey Mudd College



  • Eight courses plus one capstone prep course (36 units total).
  • Mandatory proseminar for first-year students; all other courses will be determined in consultation with advisor early in the first semester at CGU.

Research Tool Requirement
Proficiency in logic (either passing a test or course).

Capstone Paper
One substantive research paper. Capstone paper is designed to give students experience in a large independent project as well as a strong basis for writing sample.

Curriculum Details

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Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

As a student in the School of Arts & Humanities, you have the option of completing one of six interdisciplinary concentrations.

American Studies

The American Studies concentration takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of United States culture, society, civilization, and identity through the curricular lenses of history, literature, critical theory, and more.

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Early Modern Studies

The Early Modern Studies concentration undertakes interdisciplinary examination of history, culture, politics, and society within the transitional and transformative period that stretched between Medieval and modern societies, marked especially by the advent of print, Christian confessional war, and the rise of the modern state.

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Hemispheric & Transnational Studies

A comparative analysis of culture in the Americas, the concentration in Hemispheric & Transnational Studies explores how scholarship on the Atlantic, borderlands, and diaspora have reshaped U.S. American Studies, Caribbean Studies, and Latin American Studies, emphasizing the topics of empire, race, religion, and revolution.

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Media Studies

Situated at the bustling intersection of cultural studies, new media, critical theory, and popular culture, the burgeoning field of Media Studies examines the creative and critical practices of media consumers, producers, artists, and scholars, focusing on questions of representation, power, technology, politics, and economy.

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Museum Studies

The Museum Studies concentration investigates the history and political role of museums in society, the interpretation and display of a wide variety of cultural productions, and topics of special concern to museums as cultural organizations, using a multidisciplinary, practice-based approach to understand the historical development of this evolving field.

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These concentrations are available for students pursuing the following degree programs:

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David Altman

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-1706 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)
E: david.altman@cgu.edu