The master of philosophy (M.Phil.) degree is offered by the faculties of certain Ph.D. programs to students who achieve records of distinction during the predissertation phase of those programs. Doctoral programs in which the master of philosophy degree may be conferred are indicated in the Programs, Faculty, and Courses chapter. Because the master of philosophy is not designed as a terminal degree, its requirements are integrated with the requirements for the doctor of philosophy degree. The Graduate School-New Brunswick does not admit potential candidates for the master of philosophy degree to graduate study unless they are clearly qualified to pursue the doctorate, and prospective students interested in the degree are advised to apply for admission to doctoral programs.
This degree, introduced by the University of Toronto in 1962 and established by Yale University in 1966, requires a minimum of two years of advanced study beyond the baccalaureate degree. Placed between the master of arts or the master of science degree and the doctor of philosophy, the master of philosophy marks a student's successful completion of all requirements for the doctorate except the final phase of research and the dissertation. The regulations governing the master of philosophy degree at the university are designed to encourage students in their progress toward the doctorate. The degree is intended to provide recognition that a prospective doctoral candidate has successfully and expeditiously completed a major phase of graduate study and has achieved a comprehensive mastery of the general field of concentration. Recipients of the degree automatically proceed toward the Ph.D. degree.
Programs leading to the master of philosophy degree are substantially similar to the predissertation phase of doctoral programs. They differ primarily in their stipulations on minimum grade requirements, completion of all work within the specified time limit, and the requirement that either a thesis or essay must be completed. Eligible students who intend to proceed toward the doctorate and who wish to acquire a master's degree in the course of their doctoral studies are advised to seek the master of philosophy degree instead of (or in addition to) the degree of master of arts or master of science.