In the brief section of the PGR on MA programs, in addition to listing terminal MA programs with unusually strong faculties, the PGR has also included the following remarks about MA programs in PhD-granting departments:
Many Ph.D. programs also admit M.A. students. Students should be more wary of the M.A. programs at schools in roughly the top 25 that grant the PhD: often M.A. students take a back seat to the Ph.D. students (in terms of faculty attention), and students with weak philosophy backgrounds may find the pace and level of seminars geared to Ph.D. students daunting. Students considering M.A. programs in top-ranked Ph.D.-granting institutions should investigate the situation of M.A. students at the school carefully before enrolling. However, some PhD programs that are less highly ranked, but still have strong faculties, may in fact turn out to be very good choices for the MA.
So, for example, Prof. Piers Rawling, Chair of the Department at Florida State University, recently wrote to me:
The philosophy department at Florida State University offers (as it has for some years) the opportunity for well-qualified students to pursue a terminal MA with full TA funding for up to three years. MA students take the same courses as entering PhD students, and are in no way considered to be “second-class citizens.” We are particularly interested in good students who do not want (initially at least) to commit to a PhD program, or who are interested in studying philosophy but did not major in the subject, and thus lack the background to pursue a PhD right off the bat.
Prof. Rawling also confirms that they make financial aid (basically TAships) available to MA students, as they do with PhD students. I invite Chairs or Graduate Program Directors at other PhD programs that also admit MA students to post here with information about their MA programs and especially about how they fund the MA students. (Because I am on the road, comments may take awhile to appear, so plesae be patient.) All comments must be signed and include a valid e-mail address.