PhD in Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy offers a Doctoral Program in a variety of areas, for instance Metaphysics and Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, History of Philosophy, and Moral and Political Philosophy. For more information on possible areas of research, please consult the profiles of individual faculty members and our list of research areas.

Philosophy Doctoral students can also enrol to the Political Theory Track.

Program Objectives

The program provides top-level up-to-date training in different areas in philosophy in order to prepare students for academic life (attending conferences, participating in research projects, and publishing in professional journals), to enable them to teach philosophy at university level, and to do independent research in different fields of philosophy.

Program Structure

For entry requirements, please visit the PhD Application page.

In their first year, doctoral students have the status of Probationary Doctoral Candidates. They participate in the life of the department, attend courses offered by the department and write a first year paper. At the end of the first year of their studies, probationary doctoral candidates take the oral comprehensive examination. In the examination, they present their thesis plan and answer questions concerning their plan and first year paper.

Students who successfully complete their course work and pass the comprehensive examination receive the status of Doctoral Candidates. Doctoral candidates have a supervisor with whom they regularly meet and who supervises their work. During their second and third year, students are primarily engaged in independent research under the guidance of their supervisor. Doctoral candidates participate in the academic life of the department and attend seminars, lectures and programs, including the annual in-house graduate conference and the biennial international graduate conference, which they organise. In the second and third years, students attend the Doctoral Seminar, which provides a forum to acquire professional skills and receive continuous feedback on their work. Students can submit their dissertation at the end of the third year of their studies and not later than six years after the date of their original enrolment.

Summary of credits to be earned

First year


Second & third years


Dep. Colloquium

2 credits

Dep. Colloquium

4 credits


8 credits

Doctoral Seminar

8 credits

First Year Paper

4 credits

Teaching Assistantship

 2 credits

In the second and third years, students are also required to take a number of optional research-specific courses for which no credit need to be earned.

Doctoral Thesis and Defence

At the end of their studies, students submit a doctoral dissertation, which provides either an original contribution to the deeper understanding of one or more philosophical problems or a defensible attempt to solve them. A defence takes place after the receipt of a sufficient number of positive examiners’ reports.