Graduate Program

Graduate Program

The Department of Philosophy at UC San Diego boasts a highly distinguished faculty and an excellent PhD program, with roughly 42 full-time students in residence, in

  • Philosophy
  • Science Studies (along with History, Communications, and Sociology), and
  • Cognitive Science (along with Cognitive Science).

The faculty engage in research throughout a broad range of traditional and interdisciplinary topics, with special strengths in

  • moral and political philosophy (metaethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law)
  • history of philosophy (ancient, early modern, Kant)
  • philosophy of mind and language (perception, cognitive science) and
  • philosophy of science (physics, biology, ecology).

We take seriously our obligation to help produce the next generation of researchers and teachers in philosophy. Prospective students are encouraged to look over the information on faculty research and publications included under Areas of Study.

The Setting

UC San Diego is a nationally acclaimed research university spread out over 1,200 of the most scenic acres in America, much of it on bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. UC San Diego ranks as among the top 20 best universities in the world (U.S. News & World Report, 2016 Academic Ranking of Wold Universities released by the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong, and The Center for the World University Rankings). Graduate programs at UC San Diego continue to rank highly as noted in the 2016 “America’s Best Graduate Schools” guidebook. UC San Diego boasts an extraordinary array of Nobel laureates, MacArthur Fellows, and national academy members.

Diversity Statement

Our department seeks to do all it can to make philosophy an inclusive discipline. We understand the value that diversity brings to philosophical inquiry, and that the health of our profession depends on greater inclusion of under-represented groups. As a leading Ph.D. program, we play an important role in training and cultivating a diverse philosophical community. One of our most important goals is thus to recruit and sustain a diverse graduate student body.

To realize this goal, we

  • encourage a full range of applicants with diverse backgrounds, for instance from two-year community colleges (especially in California), from colleges with traditionally underrepresented minorities, and from “non-elite” undergraduate institutions;
  • provide financial support, academic assistance, and mentoring that reflects the diverse needs of a diverse population;
  • strive for a curriculum that illustrates that a diverse group of philosophers have contributed in the past, and should contribute in the future to the richness of philosophy;
  • continuously strive toward an environment of greater inclusion and respect through critical self-examination, paying due attention both to overt forms of prejudice or exclusion and to its subtler manifestations.

Graduate Class Size

In any given year, there are usually between 35 to 45 philosophy graduate students in residence, almost all of whom are full-time students.

TA Handbook

Staff Contact

Anna Shonle
Graduate Program Coordinator
Phone: (858) 534-3076
Email: ashonle@ucsd.edu

Faculty Contact

Eric Watkins
Director of Graduate Studies
Phone: (858) 822-0082
Email: ewatkins@ucsd.edu