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Master of Arts (MA)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Students accepted into the competitive Master of Arts program will join one of Canada's most respected philosophy departments, with a strong placement record for both MA and PhD recipients.

Students may choose to deepen their understanding of the history and philosophy of science through a specialization offered in collaboration with the History department; a second specialization in philosophy of religion provides advanced inquiry into the connections between philosophical and religious thought.

Students will engage with an active philosophical community that hosts a visiting speaker series and convenes regular research group meetings. All full-time students have office space in the department and access to computer facilities.

Completing this program

  • Core Course: Graduate Proseminar, usually taken in the first year.

  • Thesis: Students are required to submit and defend an original thesis.

  • Additional Courses: Topics may include philosophy of science, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of language, epistemology, logic, philosophy of mind and more.

  • Professional skills: Students take the required Research and Professional Development seminar in their second year.


  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Religion

For students in these specializations courses taken in History or Religious Studies, respectively, may, with departmental approval, count as fulfilling course requirements for the degree.


Academia, law, public policy, research analysis, consulting, publishing.

A master’s degree in philosophy will give you the pre-requisite for a PhD.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Two years full time; four years maximum


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

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Admission Requirements


A minimum of 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

A four-year undergraduate degree with honours or a major in philosophy. Applicants with a degree in a related academic field will be considered.

Work samples

A sample of written work, such as a recent essay, written in English. 

The sample should be 10-15 pages including bibliography, prepared for anonymous review.



Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For Admission September 1:

January 6

Canadians and permanent residents are strongly urged to apply for SSHRC scholarships in the Fall prior to application.

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Philosophy

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Advisor

Visit the departmental website


Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website