Graduate Program

The Philosophy Department offers two graduate programs: an M.A. program and a Certificate in Applied Philosophy. Please review the following information to find out which one is right for you.

The department offers over 40 graduate courses that cover a broad variety of topics. For full information on the faculty’s areas of particular strength see the Faculty Page.

The M.A. Program

Many students have found the Department’s M.A. program invaluable preparation for seeking admission to a Ph.D. program. The department offers a wide range of courses, a supportive academic community, and a cutting-edge teacher-preparation program. Others who decide not to pursue the Ph.D. find the program satisfying and valuable for a range of further endeavors, including law, teaching, and business.

There are three distinct tracks leading to the M.A. in philosophy: the traditional track, the Neurophilosophy track, and the J.D./M.A. track. The traditional track is designed for those who plan to seek the Ph.D. in philosophy or have a general interest in philosophy. The Neurophilosophy track is designed for students who are interested in empirically-informed philosophy of mind and plan to seek the Ph.D. in philosophy (or in some cases a related field such as neuroscience, psychology, or cognitive science). The J.D./M.A. track, offered in conjunction with the College of Law at Georgia State University, allows students to receive the M.A. in philosophy and the J.D. in four years instead of the five which would normally be required.

Certificate in Applied Philosophy

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Philosophy is ideal for three groups of people:

* graduate students already enrolled in a graduate degree program at Georgia State who wish to obtain an additional credential to improve their attractiveness to employers both inside and outside the academy,
* higher education instructors who wish to teach philosophy classes and therefore want a formal credential and, as required by accrediting agencies, at least 18 credit hours of graduate level coursework in philosophy, and
* those who wish to pursue graduate-level study in philosophy for personal enrichment.

Student Life

Georgia State University is a public institution with more than 30,000 students. Its graduate student population of over 8,000 is one of the largest in the Southeast. Students come from throughout the United States and a number of other countries. The Department’s 60 graduate students come from across the U.S. and from many different countries. They are encouraged to take an active role in the Department. Some develop joint research projects with faculty members. Many work closely with faculty members as research assistants.

The Department (along with the Center for Ethics and the Brains & Behavior Program) regularly attracts top-notch philosophers to give talks. Since 2002, our visitors have included people such as David Chalmers, Paul Churchland, John Cooper, Steven Darwall, Cora Diamond, Jerry Fodor, Lydia Goehr, Frances Kamm, Brian Leiter, Jeff McMahan, Martha Nussbaum, Onora O’Neill, and Nicholas Sturgeon.


The University is located in the central business district of Atlanta. The city is a rapidly growing metropolitan area characterized by modern buildings and a diverse population. Atlanta is the distribution and airline center of the South and has recently become a gateway to Europe. It is located in the foothills of the southern Appalachian range and is close to the Great Smoky Mountains and the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

The High Museum of Art, the Woodruff Memorial Arts Center, the Atlanta Symphony, the Atlanta Ballet, and numerous other groups continue to make Atlanta the cultural center of the South. Atlanta also has several professional sports teams.


Georgia State University’s campus is located in downtown Atlanta at the center of a network of highways and rapid-transit services extending throughout the greater metropolitan area. This transportation network makes it possible to live anywhere in the metropolitan area and get to Georgia State easily. The cost of living in Atlanta is moderate compared with that in other urban centers in the United States.

The Department has put together some tips on finding housing for incoming graduate students.