Program in Logic and Foundations of Mathematics

The Departments of Philosophy and of Mathematics together offer a joint Ph.D. degree in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics. Students in this program submit a single dissertation prepared under the supervision of members of both departments. Students enrolled in the Philosophy PhD program at Notre Dame can apply to the joint-degree program (typically during their third year of study). The joint-degree program does not accept applications from students outside of Notre Dame or admit students to the University. 

The joint PhD. program continues a long tradition of the advanced study of formal logic at the University of Notre Dame.


Tim Bays (Philosophy)
Patricia Blanchette (Philosophy)
Peter Cholak (Mathematics)
Michael Detlefsen (Philosophy)
Curtis Franks (Philosophy)
Julia Knight (Mathematics)
Anand Pillay (Mathematics)
Sergei Starchenko (Mathematics)


Philosophy students interested in the joint program begin preparing to apply immediately upon beginning their studies at Notre Dame. In addition to philosophy coursework, they take at least the two semester logic sequence, and sometimes other courses, in the Mathematics Department in their first year. They also take part in the Mathematics Department's research seminars. By the second year, they have taken several courses in the Mathematics Department and become integrated into the research group of a Mathematics faculty member whom they intend to be their mathematics supervisor.

Most students will then choose to apply to the Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Mathematics (MSIM). This application describes a list of courses and a research project that the student and his or her mathematics supervisor propose. While working towards the MSIM, the student decides either to complete the degree as initially described or to expand the project into a joint program dissertation. In the latter case, the student applies to the joint-degree program.


Students in the joint program are required to take only 27 credits in Philosophy. While the requirements for seminars in the history of philosophy are the same as for the regular Philosophy PhD. program, the 3 credit seminar "Intermediate Logic" is not required and the area distribution requirements are adjusted according to the student's needs. Students are required to take the two course logic sequence, the two course algebra sequence, and 9 additional credits in the Mathematics Department.

Joint program students take the Mathematics Department's oral candidacy exam instead of the Philosophy Department's oral exam. This consists of both the basic and advanced exams in logic and the basic exam in one other area.

Students in the joint program take only one of the Philosophy Department's two comprehensive history exams.



Graham Leach-Krouse, "Conceptions of Absolute Provability" (T. Bays, M. Detlefsen, P. Larson). Current placement: Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Kansas State University.

Chris Porter, "Mathematical and Philosophical Perspectives on Algorithmic Randomness" (P. Cholak, M. Detlefsen, C. Franks). Current placement: Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Drake University.

Sean Walsh, "Arithmetical Knowledge and Arithmetical Definability: Four Studies" (P. Cholak, M. Detlefsen). Current placement: Associate Professor, Logic and Philosophy of Science, UC Irvine.

Andy Arana, "Arithmetical Investigations: A Study of Models of Arithmetic and Purity of Methods"  (M. Detlefsen, J. Knight). Current placement: Associate Professor of Philosophy, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.