Master's and Doctoral Programs

Graduate opportunities

By pursuing a graduate degree in Philosophy at the University of North Texas, you’ll join an internationally recognized program known for its focus on environmental philosophy and ethics.

The Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies offers course work leading to a Master of Arts or a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Philosophy. We also offer two graduate certificates in environmental philosophy.

The master’s degree prepares you to pursue a doctoral degree in philosophy or a related field. Our doctoral program is one of the world’s leading doctoral programs and provides a basis for specializations in environmental policy, environmental justice, philosophy of ecology, eco-phenomenology, eco-feminism and environmental education.

We’re also an emerging leader in the philosophy of science and technology studies with more than seven faculty members publishing in the field. Our combination of environmental philosophy and science/technology studies makes us unique.

We house several research centers, manage various research programs and publish the field’s leading philosophy journal.

Outstanding faculty and student support

You’ll learn from professors and researchers who are nationally and internationally known in their field and have strong backgrounds in the discipline with specialties such as:

  • Environmental aesthetics
  • Land ethics
  • Environmental education
  • Environmental policy
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental restoration
  • Philosophy of science and technology
  • Philosophy of environmental and social sustainability
  • Philosophy of water
  • Religion and ecology
  • Traditional ecological knowledge
  • Eco-feminism
  • Eco-phenomenology

UNT offers a number of resources exclusively to graduate students. The Graduate Student Writing Support office can help you with writing. The Toulouse Graduate School offers a wide variety of professional development workshops each semester, including Thesis and Dissertation Boot Camps. Many of the workshops are available online for your convenience.

Research programs, centers and projects

Center for Environmental Philosophy

This renowned center furthers research, publication and education in environmental philosophy and ethics. Its primary activities are publishing the journal Environmental Ethics, reprinting significant books on environmental ethics under its own imprint and sponsoring various workshops and conferences.

Climate Change Project

This project assesses impacts of climate change on women farmers in the global South, with particular attention to food security issues, and tracks their adaptation responses. Focusing on the impact of global climate change, this project collects data on food supply, immigration patterns and political shifts resulting from climate change. Analyses of the data contribute to the United Nations FCCC negotiations. Emphases are on gender impact and food scarcity in African nations.

The Environmental Justice Project

Housed in the Center for Environmental Philosophy, the EJP oversees networks, scholarship and actions focusing on environmental justice. It includes avenues to relevant environmental research that respects grassroots struggles around the globe.

The Philosophy of Food Project

This project disseminates information about the philosophical investigation of food; increases the visibility of food as a topic for philosophical research; serves as a resource for researchers, teachers, students and the public; galvanizes a community of philosophers working on food issues; and helps raise the level of discourse about food, agriculture, animals and eating.

The Philosophy of Water Project

This research project promotes water education, research and outreach activities with local and international organizations. It provides intellectual analysis, hands-on learning experiences, collaborative connections and academic conferences. Research explores the growing problems of water scarcity, quality and quantity of reserves, restoration of riparian areas, and cultural perceptions of water.

Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program

Utilizing the first field station in environmental philosophy, science and policy at Cape Horn, Chile, UNT coordinates this program with the University of Magallanes and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity in Chile. It links biological and cultural conservation with social well-being. As a long-term socio-ecological research, education and conservation program, it develops innovative ways to address intertwined environmental and social problems, such as global ecological change, invasive exotic species, cultural homogenization and sustainable development.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

You’ll need to meet the admission requirements for the graduate school outlined in our catalog. In addition, you’ll need to meet the following program requirements:

  • Acceptable GRE scores on the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections (Verbal score may be replaced by completion of the Graduate Preparation Course. The GMAT or LSAT may substitute for the GRE.)
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Writing sample

Degree requirements

Master’s degree

Thesis option

The student takes a total of 24 semester credit hours of approved course work and a thesis carrying six hours of credit (for a total of 30 credit hours). The student will normally take a minimum of six courses (18 credit hours) in philosophy. Up to six semester credit hours in supporting fields may be selected by the student with the consent of the department. An oral examination is scheduled after the completion of the thesis.

Non-thesis option

The student takes a total of 36 semester credit hours. At least seven courses (21 credit hours) are to be in the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies. An additional three courses (9 credit hours) are to be in a minor field outside of the department. An additional two courses (6 credit hours) may be used to satisfy further philosophical specialization, further study in supporting fields, and/or internship opportunities that enhance the practice of philosophy.

A non-thesis oral comprehensive examination is conducted during the final semester of the student's coursework towards the Non-Thesis Option. Effectively satisfying the student's degree plan will be part of the evaluation for the non-thesis oral comprehensive examination, which may involve more than one faculty from the department or the student’s minor field.

Doctoral degree

Students must successfully complete a minimum of 42 semester credit hours (SCH) beyond the Master’s degree. Departmental requirements for the Ph.D. operate in conjunction with the Toulouse Graduate School Ph.D. degree requirements. Each Ph.D. student is also required to complete a qualifying exam paper, and complete a doctoral dissertation.

Detailed information about degree requirements is available at our website.

Financial assistance

Our department offers several financial assistance programs to help you pursue your graduate degree. Among them are graduate teaching fellowships, as well as teaching and research assistantships, all of which qualify students for in-state tuition rates. Tuition remission is limited and highly competitive.

In addition, the Richardson Environmental Action League awards a $500 fellowship each semester to an outstanding student. The Gene Hargrove Graduate Fellowship offers one or more $1,000 awards per year. A limited number of $1,000 awards are offered by the graduate school.

Students attending professional conferences may receive support from the department and other offices at the university.

For more information about departmental financial assistance programs, visit our website.