The graduate program educates students to teach and pursue research in the main areas of department concentration: Moral Philosophy and Philosophy of Mind and Related Areas.

Faculty member specializations:

Moral Philosophy - ethics, social and political philosophy, moral psychology, and the history of moral, social, and political philosophy

  • Gwen Bradford - Value Theory, Normative Ethics, Well-Being
  • Elizabeth Brake - Ethics, Applied Ethics, Political Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, Philosophy of Sex and Love, LGBT Philosophy
  • Donald Morrison - Ancient Philosophy, History of Political Philosophy, Political Philosophy
  • George Sher - Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Moral Psychology
  • Timothy Schroeder - Moral Psychology, Action Theory, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology, Cognitive Science
  • Vida Yao - Ethics, Moral Psychology, History of Ethics, Feminist Philosophy

Philosophy of Mind and Related Areas

The faculty and staff also take proactive roles in supporting our graduate students in their pursuit of academic positions. We conduct regular workshops and other activities to help students at all stages of the program develop their professional skills, and work closely with graduating students to ensure they are in the best position possible when they enter the job market.

Degree Requirements:

  • Complete 42 hours of course work
  • Demonstrate competence in logic
  • Pass a qualifying examination
  • Perform satisfactorily on an oral defense of a thesis proposal
  • Complete a written thesis on a subject approved by the department
  • Perform satisfactorily on a final oral defense of the written thesis

Rice University aspires to excellence in research and teaching, and to making the world a better place. To accomplish these goals, we believe that we must cultivate a diverse community of learning and discovery. The Philosophy Department strongly encourages applications from women and members of other groups underrepresented in philosophy. For information on the Philosophy Department's workshop on diversity ("Why So Few"), visit, and for information on Rice University's diversity commitment for graduate students, visit