All first- and second-year students are required to take two two-quarter courses taught by a tenured or tenure-track member of the Department of Philosophy, one during their first year (Philosophy 401, Proseminar), the other during their second year (Philosophy 402, Proseminar). Philosophy 401 is limited to first-year students. Philosophy 402 is mandatory for second-year graduate students, but the first quarter is open as a regular graduate seminar to students in other years.

The topics of these courses will be of wide interest and are selected by the instructor in consultation with the Chair and the Graduate Advisory Committee

For all students in Philosophy 401 and second-year students in Philosophy 402, the major research assignment of the course will be a long paper (up to 8,000 words) submitted at the end of the second term; the topic for the paper will be chosen by the end of the first term. Other students taking Philosophy 402 will ordinarily be expected to submit a seminar-length paper at the end of the first term. During the second term, students will meet regularly with the instructor, either individually or collectively, and submit several drafts of their work. First drafts are normally due no later than the middle of the second term.

Proseminars may be used to satisfy the Department’s distribution requirements, if the topic of the seminar falls within the scope of one of them. (When it is unclear whether a proseminar topic qualifies for one of the distribution requirements, the Graduate Advisory Committee will be asked to make this determination.) Proseminars cannot be used to satisfy a distribution requirement if the grade received is a C or lower.