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Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is an advanced graduate degree designed for individuals who want to demonstrate scholarship beyond a master’s degree but who are not ready to, or may not wish to, apply for a doctoral program.  The Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts can serve as an important step in future PhD study preparation, or simply as a way to deepen engagement with the topics studied in a previous master’s degree.

If you already hold a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, or hold an equivalent degree from another institution, the Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts offers a way to earn an additional master’s degree six course units.

Master of Philosophy degree requirements

The Master of Philosophy is open to holders of earned graduate degrees with previous interdisciplinary academic training. Your MPhil program will include five courses (up to four in a single discipline) and an Independent Study, during which you will write the MPhil degree thesis.

When you join the Master of Philosophy program, you’ll select an advisory committee of two of Penn’s acclaimed faculty who will help you establish guidelines for your thesis and specify whether your project requires a defense, an examination or a language proficiency. Your Master of Philosophy committee also reviews and approves the written project as part of your successful completion of the Master of Philosophy Liberal Arts degree.

We encourage you to schedule an appointment with the Program Director to review your current research and explore your options for pursuing a Master of Philosophy Liberal Arts degree.

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Members of the MLA program team are here to answer your questions face-to-face on the first Wednesday of each month.

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