PhD in Indian Philosophy

Program Details


1. PhD students admitted to the Department of South Asian Studies and the Department of Philosophy are eligible to apply to the program in the spring of their G2 year.

2. Applications, which must be submitted to the Department of South Asian Studies or the Department of Philosophy, will be based on (i) coursework, which must include at least 3 upper level courses in Philosophy,  with grades of A- or better, and evidence of proficiency in either Sanskrit or Tibetan, ordinarily 2 courses at the intermediate or advanced level; (ii) the support of at least one, and preferably two, faculty members in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of South Asian Studies; (iii) a writing sample—which may be developed into a “second year paper” in the Department of Philosophy; and (iv) a course of study and a rationale for it.  *See the “Application Checklist” below.


1. Course Work  (9 courses)

Distribution Requirements

M&E (3)

M&P (2)

History (3)

Logic (1)

*Note: With the approval of the director of graduate studies, students in Indian Philosophy may be permitted to count one course in advanced Sanskrit or Tibetan toward the distribution requirement in metaphysics or epistemology and one towards the requirement in history of philosophy.

Advanced Sanskrit/Tibetan

Sanskrit/Tibetan (4)

Additional Courses

Consult the home department’s graduate student guidelines for general course requirements.

2. 2nd year Paper/Exams/Prospectus

Consult the relevant Department’s graduate student guidelines.

3. Language Requirements

Candidates who plan to write a dissertation in Indian Philosophy are expected to have learned at least one of the relevant classical languages (Sanskrit or Tibetan) before they are admitted to the program. Depending upon the level of fluency they have reached before entering the program, they may be asked to take additional language or reading courses. In addition, candidates will be expected to have satisfied their home Department’s language or language and tools requirement.

4. Thesis

Thesis committee, which must be approved by both Departments,  must have at least 2 members approved by the Department of Philosophy (for students in South Asian Studies) or the  Department of South Asian Studies (for students in Philosophy). For further details, consult the relevant Department’s description of their graduate program.

Application Checklist

1. Transcript

a. List of courses taken in the Department of Philosophy, 3 of which must be at the intermediate level with a grade of A- or better.

b. Evidence of proficiency in Sanskrit and/or Tibetan, ordinarily two courses at the Intermediate or Advanced Level.  List relevant courses and the grades earned.

2. One, and preferably two letters of support from relevant member(s) of the faculty.

3. Writing Sample/Seminar Paper

4. Sample Plan of Study and Rationale

*Applications should be submitted to the relevant Department by April 1.