Graduate students working in the Writing Center


The doctoral program offers six years of guaranteed funding, including graduate assistantships with tuition remission and a stipend for the first four years, and assured teaching for two more years.

Research Opportunities

Various research opportunities are available to students in the program. Students are eligible for up to two conference travel stipends per academic year to present their work ($1,000 for North American conferences, $1,200 for international conferences). During the summers, students can apply once for funding to participate in the Collegium Phaenomenologicum in Italy. They are also able to apply for the Graduate Summer Research Fellowship ($4,500), which is granted by the Graduate Studies Office on a competitive basis. Students who have defended their proposal have access to additional departmental research funds.

Language Workshops

Students must pass an examination in one natural language other than English related to the student’s scholarly interests. The exam must be taken before the end of the second year of study. The Office of Graduate Studies sponsors intensive language training during the summer to assist students in preparing for reading proficiency examinations. Typically, one-to-two workshops will be offered annually (French, German, Spanish, Biblical Hebrew or Koine Greek) on a rotating basis.

Teacher Training Program

Developing as an educator is an integral part of graduate work in philosophy and a special strength of our department. Graduate students complete a carefully designed Teacher Training Program and are supported and encouraged as they develop as teachers. Graduate assistantships involve students in a progressive series of assignments, culminating in the assumption of full teaching responsibilities in the fifth year. The Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) is a resource for graduate assistants; it offers workshops, consultations, and services such as course evaluation and class videotaping.

Professionalization Series

The department convenes a regular series of faculty-led workshops in order to prepare doctoral students for careers in philosophy. These are intended to provide the skills of professional practice essential for early-career philosophers as they navigate and advance within the field. Common topics include academic planning, CV maintenance, journal submissions, conferencing, research methods, grant writing, and job market preparation. Workshops are typically conducted with input from several faculty members in order to provide students with a breadth of perspectives, styles, tools, and techniques.

Annual Philosophy Conference at Villanova

The annual philosophy conference at Villanova University has been a tradition since 1996. Sponsored by the Philosophy Graduate Student Union (PGSU), it began as one of the first graduate philosophy conferences in continental philosophy. Now open for faculty as well as graduate students, the conference has drawn participants from all areas of philosophy, as well as from around the world. Learn more about the conference.


Ready for the Next Step?

Department of Philosophy
Villanova University, SAC 108
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Julie Klein, PhD, Graduate Program Director
Terry DiMartino, Graduate Program Coordinator



January 8, 2024: For admission to the PhD program with or without assistantship

Students are admitted for the fall term, only.

Please contact the program director, Dr. Julie Klein, with questions about your application.

Begin your application.




Philosophy doctoral student presents her research at a symposium at Villanova

Opportunities Abound to Present Scholarly Work

From the annual Graduate Student Research Symposium to the international Three-minute Thesis (3MT) competition, Villanova University offers many opportunities for graduate students to develop and showcase their research communication skills. This year, Philosophy doctoral student Katherine Kurtz advanced to the national round of the 3MT competition, after winning the University event and placing second at regionals. Her presentation, "Deviant Bodies: Toward an Aesthetics of Feminine Monstrosity," is based on her dissertation work.