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General Information about the MLS in Philosophy

As they are about to finish the Young India Fellowship, the YIF, YIF graduates can apply to stay on for another year to work towards a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (Hons.) degree – the MLS. 

Students pursuing a MLS serve as graduate assistants to the faculty member who has agreed to work with them and work on a MLS Thesis in Philosophy under the faculty member’s guidance. As graduate assistants, they may be employed as Teaching Assistants in Philosophy courses and assist with the faculty member’s research. The MLS Thesis in Philosophy is organized just like a Capstone Thesis in Philosophy and is the centerpiece of the MLS in Philosophy. The requirements of the former thus broadly correspond with those of the latter and are listed below.


The following are requirements in the sense of what is required for you to start on the MLS Thesis in Philosophy:           

  • you need a philosophical topic that you are interested in enough that you can imagine working on it for up to a full year;
  • you need to have secured the approval of an advisor from the Ashoka Philosophy Department who is willing to support you through this project – choose someone who works in the area you want to work in, whom you like and respect, who will be available and willing to give you (tough) feedback (if needed), and from whom you can take such feedback;
  • MLS Thesis is often situated between departments, so you may have two or more advisors from different departments who are involved in your supervision.

The following are requirements in the sense of what is required for you to successfully complete the MLS Thesis in Philosophy:

  • You must successfully complete both
    • the departmental Capstone Research Seminar (worth 4 credits) that meets in the Monsoon semester and culminates in the creation of
      • prospectus document (5-10 pages) and
      • an annotated bibliography, by the end of the Monsoon semester (or as per the departmental deadline), 
    • the supervised Capstone Thesis Seminar, which basically functions like an ISM (4 credits) in the Spring and culminates in the public defense of your MLS Thesis in Philosophy and the subsequent submission of the thesis.
  • You must submit a defense draft of your thesis to your advisor(s) at least one week prior to the scheduled defense date (or as per the departmental deadline), and submit a revised draft (if required) after the defense, by a date determined by the department(s).
  • You must arrange a defense date that works for your advisors and adhere to all deadlines related to the MLS Thesis in Philosophy
  • You must defend your thesis orally before the end of the Spring semester. (Note: If the MLS graduation date is significantly later than that of ASP students, the defense and submission deadlines might differ slightly from those of the ASP students and be shifted a bit later. This must be approved both by the advisor(s) and the MLS coordinator.) 
    • These defenses are open for Ashoka students to attend and must be attended (in person or, if necessary, via Skype) by the advisor(s).
    • At least two Ashoka Philosophy faculty members must be present.
Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka