Philosophy at Chapel Hill
UNC has been ranked overall as among the top ten philosophy departments in the U.S. and is also ranked in the top ten in the English-speaking world for many areas of specialization. The philosophy department maintains a congenial, cooperative, and vital atmosphere. Faculty and graduate students alike have offices in Caldwell Hall and the vast majority spend a great deal of time working and talking in the department. With a graduate enrollment of about forty students and twenty-five regular faculty (plus visitors), the philosophical community is substantial, yet seminars are small and close faculty-student association is common. To complement the course offerings, people regularly organize informal discussion groups on various topics. The department provides an extensive program of speakers throughout the year, with an average of one talk every two weeks. Last year's speakers, for instance, included Elizabeth Anderson, Thomas Christiano, David Estlund, Gerald Gaus, Rebecca Goldstein, Richard Holton, Yitzhak Melamed, Calvin Normore, Peter Railton, Susanna Siegel, John Simmons, Ernest Sosa, Sharon Street, Michael Strevens, Michael Thompson, and Jessica Wilson, among others. Every fall, the Chapel Hill Colloquium brings together a large number of philosophers for three days of papers and discussion. In addition to the regular Speaker Series and Colloquium, every year there are many additional talks given in the Department by philosophers passing through Chapel Hill. And the National Humanities Center brings several distinguished philosophers to the area for the year, while Duke, North Carolina State, and UNC/Greensboro each sponsor active speakers' programs and specialized conferences.
The Graduate Program
The department offers a large number of seminars each year along with extensive opportunities for intensive work on individual research projects. The graduate program is designed to take five years to complete. In the first year everyone takes an advanced logic course and then an intensive proto-seminar (taught by two faculty members). In the second semester of the second year students work closely with a small committee on their M.A. theses. The department does not set comprehensive exams; instead, students take, in their third year, an exam on their chosen area of specialization. There is no program-wide language requirement; there are, however, various distribution requirements. A synopsis of the graduate program requirements is available HERE.
Chartered in 1789 and formally opened in 1795, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first state university to admit students. Located in the Research Triangle, the university enjoys not only the resources of a first-rate university, but also the benefits of having both Duke University and North Carolina State University, as well as the National Humanities Center, close by. The result is an unusually rich intellectual and cultural environment, in a part of the country that is stunningly beautiful and exceptionally hospitable.