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Switching Disciplines//Funded MA Continental Philosophy Programs?


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Hi all,

I have recently decided to apply to MA programs in philosophy. Although applications are far away (I will be applying for fall 2013), I am now researching on what programs offer funding for the MA. I understand that there are probably very few programs that fit into "funded" and "continental," especially in the US (though Canadian and UK universities are on the list too). There are some threads on here that discuss one or the other but not their intersection.

Secondly, I want to ask about the very necessity of obtaining an MA degree for my circumstance. I am switching disciplines into philosophy from anthropology. My UG university's philosophy program was strictly in the analytic tradition (so no Hegel, Heidegger, Marx, etc.). However I managed to read a significant deal of philosophical texts in my other courses. Should I only apply to MA programs to get a "philosophy" degree, or should I take the risk of applying to continental-based PhD programs and explain this situation? It seems that a great deal of PhD students at continental programs came from the same continental-based universities, so I wonder how easy it is to break into the discipline given the circumstances. If it makes a difference, I attended a very highly-ranked UG university and obtained a near-perfect GPA (of course, in non-"philosophy" courses).


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I think this depends on what you want to do and where you want to work. For example I know that it is more typical in the US to go to a PhD directly after a BA if you intend to enter academia, while here in Canada doing an MA is not typically seen as terminal and many students go on to PhDs after (it is, in my experience, quite rare to see a philosophy student go straight from BA to PhD up here). So that's something to take into consideration.

If your philosophical texts were read in more philosophical courses (political science, comp lit, rhetoric?), I think it won't be a major problem, but if they were less formally embedded you might be asked to do a 'qualifying year' of upper-level philosophy courses to solidify things.

FWIW, I am currently funded at a Canadian university and my research is on the continental side, with some intersections with analytic tradition, so it's not impossible - though I am a Canadian citizen so that likely affects funding.

Hope this helps a bit!

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