Villanova University offers a doctoral program in Philosophy specializing in Continental Philosophy and the History of Philosophy. Qualified students are eligible for six years of guaranteed funding, with financial awards (including tuition remission and a stipend) for the first four years and the guaranteed teaching of two courses per semester in years five and six, with compensation at the Ph.D. adjunct faculty rate. In addition to its regular awards, the University also offers one special assistantship each year to a student who has an interdisciplinary interest in the intersections of philosophy and theology.
Graduate students have the opportunity to study at other area graduate programs through affiliation with the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium. Students also participate in a highly-touted teacher training program.
The Doctoral Philosophy Program offers courses that emphasize Continental Philosophy and the History of Philosophy. It is especially strong in the tradition of Western thought, and we have specialists in ancient Greek philosophy and late antiquity, as well as in early modern and modern philosophy. Our strengths in Continental Philosophy range from its beginnings in Kant, Hegel, Schelling, and Nietzsche, through the classic texts of Adorno, Beauvoir, Benjamin, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre, and up to the contemporary treatments of hermeneutics, deconstruction, genealogy, psychoanalysis and critical and feminist theories found in writers such as Agamben, Badiou, Baudrillard, Butler, Castoriadis, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Irigaray, Kristeva, Nancy and Rancière.
The Department prides itself on its pluralism. Students are exposed to both the continental and the analytic traditions, and we have particular strengths in the philosophy of mind, epistemology, analytic aesthetics and social and political philosophy. Students also have the opportunity to study environmental philosophy and develop a competence in bioethics. Finally, there is wide concern with questions of social justice, ranging from issues of gender, race and class, to questions of sexual and cultural politics.
In general, the doctoral program at Villanova leads students to ask questions about the relation between modernity and post-modernity, the very idea of a tradition, the possible relation between art and truth, the varieties of feminist theories, classical and contemporary political theory, humanism and post-humanism, and the character of religion in the postmodern situation.