Programs of Studies

Undergraduate Program

Requirements for the BA

Total credit hours required for a Bachelor of Arts degree at Chulalongkorn University are 144. Sixty-two hours are devoted to satisfaction of the university-wide requirement for general education (24), foundational courses for the arts discliplines (32) and free elective courses (6), which the student can take from any courses in the university. The remaining 82 hours of the 144 hours required are for the concentration disciplines, and the student must take 18 hours of required courses in History of Western Philosophy, Symbolic Logic, Ethics, Indian Philosophy, Metaphysics and Epistemology, and Buddhist Philosophy. The student is also required to take no less than 27 hours of courses in philosophy in addition to the 18 hours of required courses. Furthermore, 15 hours of courses in the English Department are also required as part of the concentration requirement. Students can choose any courses in any disciplines or combination thereof, subject to approval by the academic advisor, to satisfy the remaining 22 hours. Thus, the program in philosophy is flexible and can accommodate the diverse needs of students.


Admission to Chulalongkorn University at the undergraduate level is granted to high school graduates who earn enough marks in the yearly nationwide entrance examination administered by the Ministry of University Affairs. This system of highly centralized and depersonalized method is admission is seen to be the most objective and just way of selecting students. Applicants choosing to study at the Faculty of Arts who score within the range of marks starting from the highest scoring applicant down to the one scoring the lowest admission score are admitted. First year students study foundational courses and choose their concentration disciplines at the end of the first year of study.

Graduate Program

Requirements for the MA

Students are required to take the total of 48 credit hours, consisting of 36 hours of coursework. A thesis is also required for 12 hours. The 36 hours of courwork are divided into 21 hours of required courses, consisting of a proseminar, logic, and seminars in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, social philosophy, philosophy of religion and Indian philosophy. The remaining 15 hours may be taken from any graduate courses, which may contain not more than 6 hours of courses other than philosophy.

Students not majoring in philosophy at the undergraduate level are required to take one five-credit course on critical history of western philosophy. Credits from this course are not counted in the credits required for graduation.

Normally a typical student finishes his or her course work in four semesters. A thesis prospectus is required to be approved by the Department by the end of the second year of study. Failure to have a thesis prospectus approved will result in termination of the student's program. After the prospectus is approved, the student commences working on the MA thesis, which must be completed by the end of the fourth year of the student's program. Failure to finish the thesis by that time will also result in the student being dropped from the program.


Any bachelor degree's holder is eligible to apply for admission to the program. Admission procedure proceeds from a request of application package from the Graduate School toward the end of each year. Entrance examinations are conducted around the end of March and admitted students are announced in April. Details on admission and examinations can be obtained from the Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, or from the Department of Philosophy.

Requirements for the PhD

The PhD program in philosophy at Chulalongkorn University is the first and only such program in Thailand. The rigorous and demanding program aims at producing graduates who will become effective scholars and teachers. The total credit hours required for the PhD are 72, of which no less than 48 hours are for the PhD dissertation. The remaining 24 hours consist of 12 hours of required courses in current researches in epistemology, social philosophy, and philosophy of religion, and 12 hours of elective courses, of which the student can elect no more than 6 hours in other areas than philosophy.

A qualifying examination has to be completed within two years after the start of the program. Such examination consists of one or two research papers written over the course of one semester on topics or questions specified by the student's examination committee. These papers are to show that the student has the ability required to undertake individual research for the PhD. At the beginning of the semester in which the student declares his or her intention to undertake the qualifying examination, a committee is formed and gives out questions in the three main areas of philosophy--metaphysics and epistemology; ethics and social philosophy; and philosophy of religion or Buddhist philosophy. The student chooses one or two areas she thinks will cover the area of her research for the dissertation, and at the end of the semester produces one or two papers answering the questions. Papers have to show genuine promise as a philosopher, and shows that the student is qualified to undertake independent, individual research with no excessive need for supervision.

The student is also required to take and pass a foreign language examination, normally in English, within three years from the start of his or her program. Apart from English, the student may wish to take an examination in language needed for his or her intended research topic. Failure to pass the examination by the third year will result in termination from the program. Examinations are normally administered by the Department together with representatives from the language department involved. Foreign language examinations are given once every semester, and can be taken and retaken as often as needed by a student, but she or he has to pass it by the third year of the program.

The total length of the program is five years. This leaves the student, after passing the research proposal, three years for research and writing up the dissertation. While three years may look a long time at first, in reality it is very short, and if the student does not concentrate all her effort on researching and writing, chances of not being able to finish in time increases dramatically. Thus it is advised that the student devotes full time to writing the dissertation as soon as the proposal is approved. It is best, therefore, that the student has an area of her interest in mind as soon as possible after start of the program.


An MA in philosophy is required for admission to the doctoral program. Applicants desiring to take the entrance examination to the doctora program are required to prepare by reading a recent philosophical book in English specified by the admission committee. Applicants learn about which book to prepare and to be examined by the time he or she asks for the aplication package, can copies of the book can be obtained from the Graduate Office of the Faculty of Arts. Questions derived from the book form one part of the entrance examination. The other part is in symbolic logic, covering first-order propositional and predicate logics with identity. A textbook in logic is also available for the applicant to prepare. Prospective PhD students sit for the entrance examination at the same time as those seeking to enter the MA program, and the results are announced at the same time. Details on admission and examinations can be obtained from the Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, or from the Department of Philosophy.

[Department of Philosophy]