Why Choose Villanova?

We are a pluralistic department that combines special strengths in continental philosophy and the history of philosophy, with important perspectives from the analytic tradition. We promote work that draws on the strengths of each of these theoretical orientations and is able to navigate easily between them.

Our dynamic Ph.D. program situates students at the cutting edge of current research in philosophy. Students are exposed to the most recent hermeneutic, historiographical and philosophic methodologies and debates regarding their research topics. Our program offers innovative courses in phenomenology, deconstruction and critical theory while at the same time engaging students with the work of living thinkers such as Butler, Badiou, Nancy, Rancière and West.

Our program provides thorough training in the history of philosophy, which includes the careful consideration of classical texts in their original language. Far from collapsing the history of philosophy into contemporary modes of thinking, we seek to draw on current research in order to diligently come to terms with the immense historical distance that often separates us from the philosophic practices of the past.

Our doctoral program understands the value that diversity brings to philosophical inquiry, and that the health of our profession depends on greater inclusion of underrepresented groups and approaches in our discipline. As a doctoral program, we play an important role in cultivating a diverse and inclusive philosophical community. Our goal is to recruit and sustain a diverse graduate student body and aid all students to develop as thinkers who practice philosophy with a commitment to these values of diversity and inclusiveness.

In order to realize this goal, we will

encourage a full range of applicants with diverse backgrounds, including those from “non-elite” undergraduate institutions;

strive for collecting and sharing data concerning the demographic makeup of graduate students, along with career outcomes such as time to degree and job placement;

strive for providing financial support, academic assistance, and advisement that reflects the diverse needs of a diverse population;

strive for a curriculum that incorporates and highlights the contributions of marginalized groups and approaches to the richness of philosophy;

continuously strive toward an environment of greater inclusion and respect through critical self-examination and collaborative community work, paying due attention not only to overt forms of prejudice or exclusion but also to its subtler manifestations.

Students study with internationally recognized faculty who have extensive experience and contacts abroad (most notably in France, Germany, Italy and Austria but also in Poland, Hungary, Australia, South Africa and Latin America). The Department houses the Critical Theory Workshop in Paris, France, and it provides funding for its students to do research in this unique setting.  It also supports students who want to participate in the Collegium Phaenomenologicum. Finally, students receive departmental support to attend national and international conferences, and we regularly assist students in applying for funding and establishing contacts for longer periods of research abroad.

We offer 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.

Villanova is part of the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium (GPPC), which allows students to take courses at other doctoral granting GPPC schools. Currently, these include the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.

Villanova sponsors a regular program of speakers and visiting professors. Previous speakers include Linda Alcoff, Seyla Benhabib, Robert Bernasconi, Rémi Brague, Jacques Derrida, Mladen Dolar, Thomas Flynn, Nancy Fraser, Shaun Gallagher, Rodolphe Gasché, David Krell, Catherine Malabou, Jean-Luc Marion, Bernard Stiegler, and Slavoj Žižek. The department has hosted the Heidegger Circle, Ancient Philosophy Society, the Society of Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy and many other professional groups.

We have a dynamic and open-minded cohort of graduate students, who are very supportive of one another. The Philosophy Graduate Student Union (PGSU) is a vibrant part of our department. PGSU sponsors the Philosophy in Progress Series, an annual graduate student conference, and a variety of reading groups.


Students have opportunities to improve their knowledge of foreign languages by taking classes at Villanova and/or participating in philosophy translation seminars that are regularly run by the graduate faculty in German, French, Greek and Latin. Students have access to travel funds when they present papers at conferences.  Villanova also has a generous program for summer research grants.

Villanova is situated on the outskirts of Philadelphia and is readily accessible by public transportation or car. Philadlephia is a city with a rich historical heritage, an active cultural scene and numerous intellectual opportunities. Situated on the Northeast Corridor, Philadelphia is also conveniently connected by public transportation to New York City and Boston, as well as to Baltimore and Washington D.C.




Philosophy Doctoral Program


Villanova University, SAC 108
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.8997
Fax: 610.519.4639

Director:  Yannik Thiem
Coordinator:  Terry DiMartino


Villanova Quick Facts

For more than a decade, Villanova University has been ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report in the Best Universities – Master’s category in the northern region.

Villanova's Graduate Program is strongly recommended in the category of Continental Philosophy and recommended in Feminist Philosophy by the Pluralist's Guide to Philosophy Programs.

Special tuition rates are available for secondary school teachers in all liberal arts and sciences courses.

Villanova’s campus is located in suburban Philadelphia and is easily accessible by car or public transportation.