LSU is one of a few universities in the U.S. that offers the MA, but not the PhD, in philosophy. The department has built its program to fit this unique niche. No single philosophical orientation is dominant; rather, faculty and graduate courses represent various traditions. Whether students go on to a PhD program or pursue only the terminal MA, they receive a broadly based philosophical education. Philosophy graduates have had good success in subsequent graduate education, whether in philosophy, law, or religion. The philosophy master’s program has particular appeal for students who:
- Desire to pursue a PhD in philosophy but whose undergraduate background in philosophy is limited.
- Majored or minored in philosophy but are uncertain about pursuing a PhD, often because of an undergraduate record that needs bolstering if the student is to enter a first-rate doctoral program.
- Desire to receive an MA in philosophy in combination with an advanced degree in some other field of study.
Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: Graduate Student Services, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.
Application deadlines are May 15 for the fall semester and October 15 for the spring semester. Decisions on recipients of financial aid for the fall semester are made as early as April 1. Completed applications for financial assistance in the form of a graduate assistantship are due by January 25. The official application must be supported by three letters of reference and, preferably, by a writing sample, all of which may be loaded with the application for admission.
The department has seven full-time graduate assistantships that are awarded to applicants on a competitive basis. These awards are valued at $12,500 per year and include an exemption of tuition. Graduate assistants are required to work 20 hours a week in grading and assisting freshman- and sophomore-level philosophy courses.
Graduate Faculty in Philosophy
(check current listings by department by clicking this link)
Jon Cogburn (M) • Metaphysics
Deborah Goldgaber (6A) • Contemporary Continental philosophy; feminist philosophy; 19th and 20th century European philosophy
Rachel G. Parsons (6A) • Ancient Greek Philosophy
Charles Pence (6A) • Philosophy and history of biology and ethics of contemporary technology
John Protevi (M) • Contemporary French philosophy
Francois Raffoul (M) • Contemporary French philosophy
Maria Rethelyi (6A) • Jewish studies with a research focus in Central and Eastern European Judaism
Jeffrey W. Roland (M) • Philosophy of mathematics, epistemology, logic
Husain F. Sarkar (M) • Philosophy of science, Descartes, Kierkegaard, metaphysics
Gregory J. Schufreider (M) • Modern European philosophy, Anselm, philosophy of art
Mary J. Sirridge (7M) • Philosophy of art, ancient and medieval philosophy, philosophy of language
Recent Faculty Publications
A representative sample of recent faculty publications includes the following:
Jon Cogburn, Garcian Meditations: The Dialectics of Persistence in Form and Object (Edinburgh, 2017)
Charles Pence, “A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness” (with Grant Ramsey). British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64/4 (2013): 851-81.
Francois Raffoul, Heidegger and the Subject. “Being and the Other: Ethics and Ontology in Heidegger and Levinas,” in Addressing Levinas.
Jeffrey Roland, “Kitcher and the Obsessive Unifier,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2008), 493-506. “Kitcher, Mathematics, and Naturalism,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2008), 481-497. “Maddy and Mathematics: Naturalism or Not,” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2007), 423-450.
Husain A. Sarkar, The Toils of Understanding.”Empirical Equivalence and Underdetermination.” “Anti-Realism Against Methodology.” “Descartes’ Cogito: Saved from the Great Shipwreck.”
Gregory J. Schufreider, Confessions of a Rational Mystic: Anselm’s Early Writings.”Heidegger’s Hole”
Mary J. Sirridge, “Language and Linguistic Knowledge in Medieval Grammatical Theory.” “Literature and Life Experience.” “Seeing and Saying in Augustine’s De Trinitate.”
ProgramsMaster of Arts