Ph.D. Programs

Institute of Philosophic Studies

The Ph.D. granting division of the University of Dallas is the Institute of Philosophic Studies. The IPS attempts to correct the tendency in higher education at the Ph.D. level toward increasing specialization at the expense of utility, ever more barbarous and repugnant technical jargon at the expense of intelligibility, and indifference to the need human beings have to make good choices in life. Yet the primary aim of education, so we assert, is to supply useful knowledge, expressed with clarity, and ordered in accordance with a notion of the good. This is the aim of the University's undergraduate program, and it is the aim of the IPS to produce teachers who can promote this aim in classrooms of their own at institutions of higher learning throughout the country.

IPS Classroom

Core Curriculum

The IPS attempts to fulfill this aim by offering a coherent and unified graduate program that finds its chief expression in its Core Curriculum, a curriculum that summons the IPS faculty and students to the task of recovery and renewal of the tradition of Western liberal education and the Christian intellectual life. Recovery says that there is wisdom in the past. It insists that those who went before have much yet to teach those who come after. It holds that in the search for wisdom about the most important things, the ingenious, formative minds of the past should be chief companions in the inquiry. Moreover, it implies that any grasp of present realities and any serious projects for the future are intimately bound up with the principles of the tradition. Renewal reminds us that history always puts a new face on the difficulties that beset those who endeavor to seek truth and justice in their own time.

The IPS faculty accepts the challenge to think critically and creatively about the most significant issues. Indeed, it is the compelling force of our questions today that gives direction and purpose to our study of the tradition. It is with this sense of purpose that our doctoral students are asked to examine at their deepest level the principles of Western liberal learning.

Earn your Ph.D. in Philosophy, Politics or Literature.

Philosophy, Politics and Literature are the three concentrations offered by the Institute. Although they are distinct ways of knowing, each engages fundamental questions that concern the whole context of existence. Philosophy and Politics represent the fundamental speculative and practical modes of inquiry respectively, while Literature presents the lived through possibilities embodying philosophy in a whole life. These three disciplines together are cut across and penetrated by the dialogue between faith and reason rooted in revelation and sustained by theology. The Core Curriculum and its interdisciplinary character enable students to participate in a common quest for wisdom through the differing and complementary disciplines.

Consider First Things. 

The primary vehicle of instruction is the close study of great texts that are distinguished by their power to illumine reflective minds across generations and cultures. Although each of these works presents a face of the human soul and its deepest moral and metaphysical concerns in concrete, particular historical contexts, they also possess the genius to lead reflective thinkers into a consideration of first things.

News

Professors Awarded NEH Grant to Support Writing Programs

Chair and Assistant Professor of English Debra Romanick Baldwin, Ph.D., and Professor of Physics and recent Interim Dean of Constantin College Sally Hicks, Ph.D., have secured a $299,078 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support writing instruction at UD for the fall 2020 semester.

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You Can Do What with a (Spanish) Degree?

His first step was to enroll in physician’s assistant school at Baylor’s College of Medicine, a career trajectory to which he had aspired since his early childhood. Nowadays, Jonathan Cunningham, BA ’17, is dedicated to the vocational pursuit of comfort and healing at MD Anderson in Houston, among the largest cancer treatment centers in the U.S., where he was once a chemotherapy patient himself.

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History Alumnus Heads National Catholic Bioethics Center

During his Rome semester in 1991, Joseph Meaney, BA '93, with his friends (now Father) Kevin Cook, BA '94, and (now Texas State Representative and UD Trustee) Tan Parker, BA '93, attended a private Mass with Pope St. John Paul II. Several weeks earlier, they had hand-delivered a letter to the Swiss Guards outside St. Peter's requesting the Mass and including their contact information; at last, they'd received the phone call instructing them to be at the Bronze Gates at 5 a.m.

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