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Philosophy (MA)

Philosophy (MA)

waterloo  waterloo

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Explore metaphysical, epistemological, moral and political questions about selves, agency and communities. Our Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophy is the only program of its kind in Canada to have a thematic focus that explores questions about the nature of the self, its relation to others, and the nature and significance of human agency.

A Thematic Program

Philosophical questions about the self and human agency cut across traditional core areas of philosophy. So, while our program is distinctive in its special thematic focus, our small graduate seminars and student research projects span a broad range of the traditional philosophical fields. Our program draws students who want to work within metaphysics, epistemology or philosophy of mind (for example, on narrative theories of self, epistemic agency, or free will) as well as students who want to work within political philosophy and ethics (for example, on multiculturalism, climate ethics, or moral psychology). The thematic focus means that students working in diverse fields, and from different philosophical perspectives, can productively engage in discussion and learn from one another’s work.

An Innovative Research Seminar with Experiential Learning

The synergy of our thematic program is evident in the MA Research Seminar, where students share their work in progress while developing their major research papers. Discussion of student projects and research questions in the early stages enables more rapid development of research skills. Peer interaction and philosophical exchange fosters a vibrant graduate community, culminating in our annual MA Conference, where students present their work to a broader audience.

A Collegial Department

Our small department is noted for its friendliness and the approachability of faculty. Our students get to know our faculty and work closely with them, both in seminars and beyond. Each MA student works particularly closely with a faculty mentor on the major research paper. Our program is welcoming to persons who have often experienced marginalization in the traditions of philosophy, such as women, LGBTQ+, and visible minorities. Moreover, our faculty are supportive of philosophical projects investigating identity and difference in society and in the practices of philosophy itself. Come for a visit and see for yourself.


More information can be found on the International Applicants page.

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Contact Us:

Neil Campbell, Graduate Officer

T: 519.884.0710 x2937

General Inquiries

T: 519.884.0710 x3459


  • Winners of major external awards (OGS, QEII and Tri-Council) may be eligible for top-up funding which includes the Dean’s Graduate Scholarship (total value exceeds $10,000). 
  • Eligible domestic students admitted to study on a full-time basis are entitled to one year of funding totalling, on average, $14,500. This support may be made up of teaching assistantships, internal/external scholarships, and/or faculty-funded studentships or research assistantships.
  • A list of all funding opportunities available to Laurier graduate students, including information about OGS, QEII and Tri-Council, is available on our graduate funding page.

Research Focus

Our faculty are active scholars and have a number of ongoing research projects, including:

  • ancient Greek ethics and rhetoric
  • historical and contemporary constructions of sex, gender and sexuality
  • gay, lesbian and queer politics
  • theories of individual and collective identity
  • feminist theory
  • narrative views of the self
  • personal identity
  • climate ethics


  • A Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree (honours) or equivalent.
  • A minimum B+ average in your final year of undergraduate studies and a B+ cumulative average in all philosophy courses.
  • Applications are reviewed by the graduate program committee, which considers all prior university grades, a statement of interests, a writing sample and letters of reference.


Our graduates have gone on to work in business, law and academia. Examples of types of jobs held by our graduates include:

  • entrepreneur
  • lawyer
  • diplomat
  • professor
  • writer

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