Philosophy and Psychology Combined Ph.D. Program

The Philosophy and Psychology Combined PhD Program is a program offered by the Departments of Philosophy and Psychology at Yale. Students enrolled in the program complete a series of courses in each discipline as well as an interdisciplinary dissertation that falls at the intersection of the two. On completing these requirements, students are awarded a PhD either in Philosophy and Psychology, or in Psychology and Philosophy.


Students can be admitted into the combined program through either Psychology or through Philosophy. Students must be accepted into one of these departments (the ‘home department’) through the standard admissions process, and both departments must then agree to accept the student into the combined program.

Students can be accepted into the combined program either (a) at the time they initially apply for admission to their home department or (b) after having already completed some coursework within the home department. In either case, students must be accepted into the combined program by each department, with procedures for acceptance determined by the department’s faculty.


(I) Courses

(i) Eight philosophy courses: a suitable course in logic (unless the logic requirement is satisfied in some other way), the First Year Seminar, and two courses in each of the following areas (1) metaphysics, theory of knowledge, philosophy of science; (2) ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and theory of value; (3) history of philosophy

(ii) Three psychology courses: one in statistics, one in the student’s primary research area and one outside of the student’s primary research area

(II) Empirical research

(i) A first-year research paper in psychology, due in the second semester

(ii) A pre-dissertation research project in psychology, due in the fourth semester

(III) Qualifying papers, due in the fifth semester

(i) One qualifying paper in the history of philosophy

(ii) One thematic paper that involves work in both philosophy and psychology (and would be approved by a faculty member in each department)

(IV) A dissertation prospectus, by the end of the sixth semester

(V) A single interdisciplinary dissertation, conducted under the supervision of faculty both in philosophy and in psychology