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Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is an advanced graduate degree designed for individuals with a passion for academic pursuits. As an MPhil candidate, you can demonstrate scholarship beyond a master’s degree for professional advancement, personal interest or preparation for a doctoral program with our personalized and flexible offerings. The Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts can serve as an important step in future PhD studies, or simply as a way to deepen engagement with the topics that challenge and excite you.

Advance your studies at Penn

If you already hold a graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania with an interdisciplinary background, earned a Penn MLA, or hold an equivalent graduate degree from another institution, the Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts offers a way to earn an additional master’s degree in just six course units (c.u.).* Your MPhil program includes five courses (up to four in a single discipline) and an Independent Study, during which you write the MPhil degree thesis.

When you join the Master of Philosophy program, you select an advisory committee of two of Penn’s acclaimed faculty to help you establish guidelines for your thesis including whether your project requires a defense, an examination or a language proficiency. Your advisors also review and approve 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 our Program Director to review your current research and explore your options for pursuing a Master of Philosophy Liberal Arts degree at Penn.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

Walk-In Wednesday

Walk-In Wednesday

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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Financial Aid

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Featured courses

Featured Courses

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Penn LPS

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326
(215) 573-2053

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