Graduate opportunities

When you pursue a graduate degree in Philosophy at the University of North Texas, you'll join an internationally recognized program that is known for its focus on environmental ethics and philosophy.

The Department of Philosophy and Religion offers course work leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree or a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy.

Our world-renowned doctoral program offers specializations in ethics and philosophy. Faculty have expertise in philosophy and public policy, philosophy in science and technology, and religion and ecology. We encourage both traditional scholarship and more practical, engaged and collaborative approaches in philosophy, as well as interdisciplinarity and work that addresses public concerns.

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

Outstanding faculty and student support

You'll study with nationally and internationally recognized professors and researchers. Our program was founded by emeritus professors Eugene C. Hargrove and Pete A.Y. Gunter. Our faculty members work in the field as well as the classroom, teaching courses in:

  • Eco-feminism
  • Eco-phenomenology
  • Environmental aesthetics
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental policy
  • Environmental justice
  • Hinduism and Jainism
  • Land ethics
  • Philosophy of animals
  • Philosophy of biocultural conservation
  • Philosophy of ecology
  • Philosophy of food
  • Philosophy of science and technology
  • Philosophy of water
  • Religion and ecology

UNT offers graduate students a number of exclusive resources. The Graduate Writing Support Center provides professional development workshops on topics such as time management and writing your thesis or dissertation proposal. You'll also find librarians dedicated to our discipline who can offer writing and statistical support. More information is available the Toulouse Graduate School support services website.

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.

Environmental Philosophy for Children

The department recently began to develop an initiative in teaching environmental philosophy to children. It combines philosophy for children with hands-on environmental education activities. Students are collaborating with local schools to develop an environmental philosophy curriculum for children.

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. We provide 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.

The Rural Sustainability Project

In many parts of the world, villagers are departing from ecologically degraded rural environments for overcrowded urban centers, thus leaving these ecosystems vulnerable to further exploitation and degradation. UNT welcomes leaders of local non-governmental organizations in these regions to communicative engagements to share their strategies for empowering villagers toward self-reliance, discussing challenges they face, and contributing their insights with specialists working in anthropology and environmental philosophy.

Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program

Using the first field station in environmental philosophy, science and policy at Cape Horn, Chile, we coordinate this program with the University of Magallanes and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity in Chile. The program 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.

Philosophy Impact

Fields such as environmental philosophy that seek to address practical issues and to have real world outcomes need a theory of impact: impact does not happen either naturally or inevitably. UNT Philosophy has the country's only research group on the philosophy of impact. Contact Adam Briggle about details and about how to get involved. Visit our site for additional information.

More information about our research programs, centers and projects is available on our website.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

You'll need to meet the admissions requirements for the Toulouse Graduate School® outlined at In addition, you'll need to meet the following program requirements:

  • Acceptable GRE scores on the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections
  • Statement of purpose explaining why you want an advanced degree from UNT
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Writing samples

Degree requirements

Master's degree

Thesis option

This option requires 24 credit hours of approved course work, including six hours that may be taken in other departments, and a thesis of six credit hours. A minimum of 18 credit hours in philosophy is required. An oral exam is scheduled after completing the thesis.

Non-thesis option

This option requires 36 credit hours with at least 21 credit hours within the Department of Philosophy and Religion. An additional nine credit hours will be in a minor field outside the department. Another six credit hours may be used to complete further philosophical specialization or further study in supporting fields or internship opportunities that enhance the practice of philosophy.

Students will take a written comprehensive exam in the history of philosophy following completion of course work.

Doctoral degree

You must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours beyond a master's degree in conjunction with the graduate school degree requirements, or 72 credit hours if you only have a bachelor's degree. Up to 15 hours may be taken outside of the department. Department course requirements include environmental philosophy and the history of philosophy. Students will take written qualifying exams in the history of philosophy following completion of course work, and also write a doctoral dissertation and give a brief public presentation followed by a public oral defense of the work.

Detailed information about degree requirements is available at the Philosophy and Religion 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 UNT.

For more information about departmental financial assistance programs, visit the Fellowship and Funding Opportunities page.


Adam Briggle, Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Colorado. Bioethics; environmental studies; ethics and culture of new media; ethics and policy of science and technology; philosophy of technology.

Kim De Wolff, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of California at San Diego. Science and technology studies; feminist theory; philosophy in the Anthropocene; environmental justice; materiality.

George A. James, Professor; Ph.D., Columbia University. Asian philosophy; comparative philosophy; comparative environmental ethics; environmental issues and movements; history and phenomenology of religion.

David M. Kaplan, Department Chair, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies; Ph.D., Fordham University. Hermeneutics; philosophy of technology; philosophy of food and food ethics; social-political philosophy; aesthetics.

Irene Klaver, Professor; Ph.D., Stony Brook University. Philosophy of water; aesthetics; feminist theory; philosophy of science; ancient Greek philosophy.

Samantha Langsdale, Lecturer; Ph.D. SOAS, University of London. Feminist philosophy; embodiment; visual culture; study of religions.

Terra Schwerin Rowe, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Drew University. Capitalism and environmental degradation; critical animal theory; ecofeminism; posthumanism; Protestantism; religious responses to climate change.

Ricardo Rozzi, Professor; Ph.D., University of Connecticut. Environmental ethics; Latin American philosophy; philosophy of biology; biocultural conservation.

Michael Thompson, Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies; Ph.D., University of South Florida. Kant; modern philosophy; philosophy of mind; metaphysics; epistemology; logic; philosophy of literature; ancient Greek philosophy; climate philosophy.

Martin Yaffe, Professor; Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University. Social-political philosophy; Jewish philosophy; ancient philosophy; medieval philosophy; modern philosophy; metaphysics.