Students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.A. in philosophy will normally be required to take 9 single-semester courses at the 500 level (with at least five of those in the first two terms) and to complete three comprehensive examinations, chosen from seventeen areas of philosophy, within the first twenty-four months of the program. Before beginning work on the dissertation, students must submit a thesis proposal and then pass an oral candidacy examination, demonstrating the capacity to carry out the proposed research. Work on the dissertation itself usually lasts up to two years.
Outstanding students with an honors BA, or its equivalent, in philosophy may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program, but they will be required to take up to 12 courses before proceeding to the comprehensives. The other requirements remain the same.
All graduate students at the University of Alberta are required to complete eight hours of Graduate Ethics Training. Graduate students that have entered in Fall 2016 (or later) must also complete a Professional Development Requirement, which includes eight hours of professional development activities.