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    University of North Texas
    Jul 16, 2024  
2011-2012 Graduate Catalog 
2011-2012 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies

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Main Departmental Office
Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building, Room 225

Mailing address:
1155 Union Circle #310920
Denton, TX 76203-5017

Web site:

Patricia Glazebrook, Chair



The Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies is the leading graduate program nationally and internationally in environmental ethics and environmental philosophy. The department offers the following degrees:

The master’s degree is appropriate for students wishing to develop master’s-level expertise in philosophy before pursuing doctoral studies in philosophy or related fields. It also provides an excellent background for students planning careers in law, policy, environmental science, public and private sector environmental firms and non-governmental organizations. A non-thesis option is available for students pursuing non-academic career opportunities. Because this option can be completed in slightly more than a year, it provides professionals with the opportunity to develop expertise in philosophy during one-year leaves of absence from their jobs.

The Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies oversees one of the world’s leading doctoral programs in environmental philosophy and ethics. Foundational training in the history of western philosophy and religion provides the basis for specializations such as environmental policy, environmental justice, philosophy of ecology, eco-phenomenology, eco-feminism and environmental education while fostering interdisciplinary experiences.

Graduate courses in philosophy may also be taken as part of the Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies through the Center for Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies of the Toulouse Graduate School. This program permits students, in close consultation with a faculty advisor, to create their own degree plans, which involve study in three or more related areas. This degree can be completed in one year including summer.

Career opportunities for students who successfully complete the UNT PhD in philosophy and religion are diverse. Students interested in specializing in environmental philosophy and ethics will be well positioned to find jobs in academe as demand for specialists in this exciting and expanding new subfield of philosophy increases. We expect that job-seeking students completing a more traditional course of study in philosophy and religion studies can find either academic or non-academic employment commensurate with their qualifications; those who are already employed in, for example, the religion industry may enhance their skills and education.

For detailed information about the graduate program, visit

Because of its high concentration of specialists in the field of environmental ethics, the department offers humanists, scientists and professionals unique opportunities for postdoctoral work and professional development either through independent study and research or organized course work.

Philosophy courses also may be taken as a minor on the master’s degree in other disciplines and as a minor or supporting work on the doctorate. Philosophy department faculty participate in the Faculty of Environmental Ethics, a university wide group within the Center for Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies. See the Toulouse Graduate School  section for more information about this faculty and its research and instructional activities.


Research in the department includes methods and philosophical implications of the social and natural sciences, phenomenology, literature, philosophy of science and technology, aesthetics, feminist philosophy, philosophy of religion and biblical studies, philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology, philosophy of education, philosophy of water, environmental justice, philosophy of ecology, philosophy of law and political philosophy, philosophy of food and history of philosophy. The primary specialization of the department is environmental ethics and environmental philosophy.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Graduate teaching assistantships and fellowships and research assistantships are available from the department. To be eligible, students must have the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in philosophy. Students interested in teaching assistantships and fellowships must mention their interest in their statements of purpose. All teaching assistants, teaching fellows, and research assistants are eligible to enroll on an in-state basis.

Because the graduate degree program in the department is recognized as a unique program by the Academic Common Market, students from 14 southern states may enroll on an in-state tuition basis.

A $500 fellowship is provided to one student each term/semester by the Richardson Environmental Action League, a nonprofit recycling organization in Richardson, Texas. To be eligible a student must have completed 15 semester credit hours.

Two $1,000 graduate support awards are available normally to students applying for graduate support.

Admission Requirements

Application for admission to the Toulouse Graduate School is made through the graduate school. At the same time, a statement of purpose should be sent directly to the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies along with a writing sample and letters of recommendation (at least two for the MA program and at least three for the PhD program). The statement of purpose should indicate the degree program being applied for and briefly summarize the applicant’s background and specific interests as these relate to future career plans. The department offers admission to its graduate programs for fall term/semester only. Complete application materials must be received by January 1 each year for admission to the following fall term/semester.

Master’s applicants normally should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, while PhD applicants should have a master’s degree in philosophy or a related field. Exceptions will be evaluated on an individual basis. All students seeking admission to the graduate philosophy program are required to take a standardized admission test (e.g., GRE, GMAT or LSAT). For standardized admission test and additional admission requirements, contact the academic program or the Toulouse Graduate School .

The Center for Environmental Philosophy

Eugene C. Hargrove, Director

The Center for Environmental Philosophy encourages and supports workshops, conferences and other special projects, including postdoctoral research in the field of environmental ethics. Activities currently include the publication of Environmental Ethics: An Interdisciplinary Journal Dedicated to the Philosophical Aspects of Environmental Problems, which is now in its fourth decade of publication; Environmental Ethics Books, a reprint series of important books dealing with environmental ethics and philosophy; and annual workshops on college and university curricula development and on nature interpretation. National research conferences focusing on selected topics in environmental ethics are held on an irregular basis.

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