Honorary degrees, news and appointments

April 30, 2018

Congratulations to faculty, former faculty and alumni this month.

Professor Emeritus Steven Davis is being awarded an honorary degree, a Doctor of Law honoris causa, by Carelton University. The award will be granted on June 15, 2018.

Rosemary Twomey, who has been with the department as assistant professor for the past three years has accepted a tenure-track position with CUNY-Queens College. 

Former MA grads, Lauren Lauren Kopajtic (MA, 2011), and Carissa Phillips-Garrett (MA, 2011), who will begin jobs at Fordham University and Loyola Marymount University, after completing PhDs at Harvard and Rice respectively.

Learn more about our MA program

The Philosophy Department at SFU offers a course-based, two-year program geared towards students who have decided to pursue a PhD in philosophy, and who would benefit from establishing a strong philosophical foundation in an exciting and supportive North American program. Students who join our program may have limited coursework in Philosophy; they may be coming from non-North American departments or philosophical traditions; and they may have a hot and cold transcript for which clear evidence of great graduate work can be helpful.

We aim to put our students in the best position for them to apply to a PhD program that fits their interests and needs. We also support students who are not yet completely sure that academic philosophy is for them, and want to explore it is a more focused setting.

We are an MA-only program. This puts our faculty in a great position to focus on the unique needs and opportunities of philosophical work at the mater’s level.

We have a long and successful history of preparing students for top PhD programs. Our students have been accepted at Arizona, Cambridge, Columbia, Cornell, CUNY, Duke, Edinburgh, Harvard, Indiana, Maryland, McGill, MIT, Oxford, Pittsburgh HPS, Princeton, Rutgers, St. Andrews, Stanford, UCLA, UCSD, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Southern California, University of Toronto, Washington University PNP, Western, Wisconsin, and many other fine departments.

See our placement record for our MA graduates in PhD programs.

The Department also supports career choices that take students from this terminal MA to fields outside of academia. We have had recent success is helping students find career paths in endeavours like tech companies and policy analysis. We have a Co-op program for eligible students, where one term of work is done in a paid internship setting. This is a great chance to test out your skills outside of academia and to get great job training from SFU Co-op staff.

Our MA program is geared towards students who have decided to pursue a PhD in philosophy, yet currently lack the background or academic record required for entry into the world’s best philosophy departments. 

We carefully prepare each student for graduate applications by:

  • Tailoring course requirements to each individual’s background, thereby ensuring that every student graduates with a broad basis for the PhD.
  • Offering the option of a ‘Professional Paper’ (in addition to the more common thesis option), designed to be used as the writing sample for PhD applications.
  • Providing individual attention to MA students through a ‘Professional Seminar’ for all incoming students, small graduate level seminars each term, and an individual study course that develops the student’s Professional Paper.
Our MA program is highly selective, yet accepts applicants who have shown intellectual promise in areas other than philosophy.  See our admissions criteria.