To remain in good standing, a student in the five-year PhD program must demonstrate competence in at least six areas of philosophy, including:
- each of the following three areas in Problems of Philosophy:
- contemporary issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science;
- contemporary issues in values (ethics, politics, aesthetics, and philosophy of religion);
- contemporary issues in mind, language, and logic.
- The remaining three required areas must reflect philosophical traditions from different geographical regions (e.g., South Asian or East Asian philosophy) and/or distinct historical periods (e.g., medieval or twentieth-century philosophy)
In some cases, with the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies, competence in a given area can be established by having successfully completed a term-length graduate course in a previous graduate program.