Chairperson: Ted Di Maria
Director of the Philosophy Graduate Program: David Calhoun
Professors: M. Alfino, B. Henning, T. Jeannot, D. Kries, R. McClelland, W. Pomerleau, T. Rukavina (Emeritus), M. Tkacz, R.M. Volbrecht
Associate Professors: K. Besmer, D. Calhoun, J. Ciaffa, T. Clancy, S.J., B. Clayton, T. Di MariaQ. Liu, E. Maccarone, W. Ryan, S.J. (Emeritus), E. Schmidt, J. Wagner
Assistant Professors: D. Bradley

Master of Arts in Philosophy

The Master of Arts program in Philosophy builds on the central place of philosophical study in Gonzaga's Jesuit, Catholic, humanistic identity.  Through coursework, supervised study, examinations, and a thesis, the program stresses understanding of the main problems of philosophy as they emerge in the history of philosophy, knowledge of the major figures and movements of the history of philosophy, and attention to contemporary philosophy and social and applied ethics.   The program's focus on fundamental questions of reality, knowledge, and the good promotes skills of reflection and self-examination, and prepares students for critical engagement with and across human cultures.  These goals reflect the mission of the Philosophy Department and the mission and identity of Gonzaga University, particularly the goals of intellectual inquiry, development and discipline of the faculties of intelligence and moral judgment, and intelligent and morally informed leadership.  The program provides students with resources to make use of philosophical concepts and skills in a variety of career contexts, including Ph.D. studies in philosophy and related disciplines, such as theology, law, and politics, and philosophy teaching at the introductory university or community college level.
The Master’s degree is offered on a full-time or part-time basis during the regular session. While many courses offered in the Gonzaga Master of Arts program are cross-listed with undergraduate courses, a Graduate Seminar restricted to graduate students only is offered each fall and spring semester. A limited set of graduate-level philosophy courses is also available during summer.


Each applicant must submit the following materials:

  1. 1. A completed application form and a non-refundable application fee.
  2. 2. Two official transcripts from each college or university attended (international applicants must submit foreign transcripts in the original language and an English copy).  Only degrees and courses from a regionally accredited institution will be accepted.
  3. 3. Three letters of recommendation sent directly from the recommending individual.
  4. 4. The official score from the GRE general aptitude test or MAT (must be less than five years old), a requirement which may be waived if the applicant has an advanced degree.
  5. 5. Submission of an official TOEFL score of at least 100 ibt or 250 cbt or 600 pbt by each international applicant who has graduated from a foreign college or university and whose native language is not English.
  6. 6. Submission of a financial declaration form and supporting documentation by each international applicant.
  7. 7. Personal statement of philosophical background and interest.
  8. 8. A sample of philosophical writing (no more than 3500 words).

B.A. with major (or acceptable background) in Philosophy from a  regionally  accredited college or university.


Completion of the Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from Gonzaga University requires:

  1. 1. 30 credit-hours of philosophy: 24 hours of graduate level course work, six hours for the thesis (PHIL 699).
  2. 2. Registration in the Graduate Seminar each semester in which the student is taking course work.
  3. 3. Successful completion of a comprehensive examination (including written and oral components)(PHIL 697).
  4. 4. Successful completion of a logic exam, testing skills up to and including the predicate calculus (PHIL 695).
  5. 5. The M.A. program has no foreign language requirement, but a thesis director may require a student to have competency in translating texts from a foreign language into English depending on the student’s thesis topic.