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PLA-PMN - Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts (PhD Minor)

Program Overview

The PhD minor in Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts offers rigorous, structured training for students interested in the interdisciplinary intersection of philosophy with criticism in literature and the arts.

Free Form Requisites

Application and Admission

Students declare the minor after admission to candidacy and before attaining TGR status by submitting an Application for Ph.D. Minor form.

Requirements for the Ph.D. Minor in Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts 

All students in the Ph.D. Minor in Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts take:

  1. course/course Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts Core Seminar, team-taught by faculty from philosophy and a literature or arts department.

  2. Two additional courses at the 200 level or above deemed by the Committee in Charge to include material of substantial special relevance to the domain of philosophy, literature, and the arts. A list of approved courses may be found each year at At least one of these courses should be offered in a participating department other than the student’s major department (e.g., a philosophy course for students in literature and arts departments, a literature or arts course for philosophy students).

  3. All students take two graduate-level courses providing a structured program of coursework in the student’s minor field (such as philosophy for literature and arts students or literary or arts criticism for philosophy students): 

    • Graduate students in Philosophy take two graduate-level courses in a single literature or one of the arts.

    • Graduate students in literature or arts departments, including Classics, take two graduate-level courses in Philosophy, at least one of which must be in metaphysics, epistemology, or the philosophies of language, mind, or action (the PHIL 280s series and related upper-level seminars), and at least one of which must be in value theory (understood to include ethics, aesthetics, and political philosophy, the PHIL 270s series and related upper-level seminars)

    • Graduate students in other departments submit a plan of study for approval by the Faculty Director reflecting graduate-level coursework that provides a background both within philosophy and within the study of literature or the arts that is substantially equivalent to that achieved by philosophy, literature, or arts students in their minor field. Students are advised that this study plan may involve more coursework than would be needed for students whose major field is in literature, arts, or philosophy departments.

  4. If the five required courses do not total 20 units, students may satisfy the 20-unit requirement by taking units of course Philosophy and Literature or by taking additional graduate-level courses of special relevance at their discretion and with the agreement of their minor advisor. 


  • Students are encouraged to include a member from the minor field on the University Oral Committee or another of the general examination committees if that is judged more appropriate by the student’s departmental and minor advisors. Students in departments that deploy the University Oral as a dissertation defense are advised that a member from the student’s minor field should be involved on the dissertation committee throughout the dissertation writing period.

  • Currently-enrolled students (as of August 31, 2017) in the old PhD minor in the Humanities or its Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts subplan have the option to continue under the current PhD minor name or to change to the new PhD minor in Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts. Students were required to make this election by the end of autumn quarter 2017-18. New students (as of September 1, 2017) would enroll in the PhD minor in Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts. The subplan is no longer available for student enrollment as of September 1, 2017.