The Institute of Philosophic Studies

Share in the search for wisdom and understanding. 

What is now the Institute of Philosophic Studies developed from an integrated program in Literature and Politics conceived by Louise Cowan and Willmoore Kendall. Their founding conviction was that Politics and Literature, in their search for wisdom and understanding about the most important things, shared a common focus on human discourse and its reflection of the human soul. Graduate education in the liberal arts at the University of Dallas found its object of study in the concrete, personal human experience expressed in the canon of great literature of the West and subjected its various images of man to philosophic reflection. From its beginning, therefore, graduate education in the liberal arts has centered its focus on the textual tradition stretching from the ancient Greeks and Hebrews to contemporary classics. Supported by the generous philanthropy of the Blakley-Braniff Foundation, the program began in 1966.

IPS History

Return to the philosophic foundations of doctoral study. 

In 1972, the Politics-Literature program, initially named the Willmoore Kendall Program, became the Institute of Philosophic Studies. Its aim was to revitalize various cognate humanistic disciplines by returning them to the question of their philosophic foundations, thus making the Ph.D. the title of a genuine Philosophiae Doctor, a doctor in philosophy. A program in anthropological psychology was added at that time. Subsequently, a philosophy program was undertaken in 1973 and a theology program in 1976.

As a result of a rigorous self-study begun in 1982, the Institute of Philosophic Studies reached its current configuration in 1985. It now offers a single Ph.D. in Philosophic Studies with concentrations in the disciplines of Literature, Philosophy, and Politics. The study of classic texts was adopted as the primary mode of instruction in the Institute as a whole. In order to bring the concentration disciplines into dialogue with each other, a common core of course work was established. Occupying twenty-one hours in the doctoral curriculum, it requires courses that engage fundamental texts, principles, and issues that are formative of the theological, literary, philosophical, and political strains in the moral and intellectual tradition of the West. The remaining course work is devoted to mastery of the questions, canon, and mode of inquiry particular to one of the three concentration disciplines.

News

Meet the Class of 2023: Incoming Drama Major Will Direct, Write

Aspiring drama (and perhaps also English) major Klemens Raab, BA '23, has been hanging around UD his whole life, since he only lives about a mile away from the university's Irving campus, and his parents (Klemens, BA '00 MA '06, and Gina (LeBaron), BA '99) are both alumni. He's already experienced the Rome campus, too, having participated in the summer High School Rome Program Shakespeare in Italy last year.

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Alumna Joins UD Board of Trustees

The University of Dallas Board of Trustees has added another alumna to its ranks: Mary Devlin Capizzi, BA '88 MBA '89, a one-time Spanish major who is now a partner at Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP, a national, full-service law firm founded in Philadelphia in 1849.

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Capstone Professor Celebrates Half a Century

"I ended up at UD by accident," said Professor of Management Bruce Evans, who has taught at UD for 50 years now. Half a century ago, he and his brother were heading home to the East Coast from a camping trip and stopped by UD on a whim; Bob Lynch, dean of the newly formed Graduate School of Management (now the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business), hired Professor Bruce, as he is known by students, on the spot.

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