Individualized, MPhil

The Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts (MPhil) is an advanced interdisciplinary graduate degree designed for individuals with a passion for academic pursuits. Only six graduate-level courses are required to earn the MPhil, including one that serves an Independent Study for your thesis project.  Available on a full- or part-time basis, you elect the courses most relevant to your interests, and based on your schedule. The Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts can serve as an important step to future PhD studies, or as a way to deepen engagement with the topics that challenge and excite you.

Curriculum

Individualized curriculum

If you already hold a master’s, you can earn an additional graduate degree by completing just six additional courses.  Your MPhil program includes five courses (up to four in a single discipline) and an independent study dedicated to completing the final thesis project. We strongly encourage MPhil candidates to take advantage of the many disciplines and departments available across the University during their course selection process. 

Independent Study

When you join the MPhil program, you select an advisory committee of two members of Penn’s acclaimed faculty. It is likely that you will work with professors from your coursework or with faculty who are performing research in your area of interest.  The advisory committee helps you establish guidelines for your thesis and approves the written project as part of your successful completion of the Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts degree. The rigorous MPhil thesis exemplifies dedication to your chosen field and serves as an ideal tool for demonstrating the quality of your research and writing skills to employers, PhD programs, and peers.  


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.