The PhD program is intended for junior members (students) whose principal vocation is the life of scholarship and teaching. Graduates of the doctoral program are well-equipped to enter research or teaching positions. Admission requirements include a master's degree with a thesis component, a background in philosophy, and prior work in a related area of study.
ICS is authorized to grant PhD degrees by the Province of Ontario and also offers a conjoint PhD degree with the Free University of Amsterdam. In the conjoint degree, course work and exams are completed at ICS while the dissertation defence and degree granting takes place in Amsterdam.
Prior to writing the dissertation, junior members complete seven courses on-campus, develop a guided
reading that results in a dissertation proposal, demonstrate competence in two relevant foreign languages, and pass a pre-dissertation examination. Three of the seven courses are compulsory, consisting of two foundational courses and one interdisciplinary seminar. The other four courses occur in one of the following six interdisciplinary clusters:
Two of the four courses may be completed at another approved institution such as the Toronto School of Theology.
The pre-dissertation examination, conducted by a panel of internal and external examiners, tests candidates’ mastery of relevant works from their study at ICS. The exam includes both written and oral components. Candidates should expect to spend at least two additional years completing the dissertation, which is defended orally in Amsterdam or Toronto (depending upon enrolment in the conjoint or stand-alone degree program).
Please note that the PhD program involves a two-year coursework residency. The PhD program is not a distance education program.