The faculty follows the semester pattern.

  • There are two semesters per year and 90 class days per semester.
  • The first and the third semesters commence in June and end in the fourth week of October.
  • The second and the fourth semesters commence in the first week of November and end in the last week of March.
The faculty follows a grading system to evaluate the performance of the students as follows:

Distinction 80 & above

First Class 60-79

Second Class 50-59

Pass Mark 50

The courses offered at this faculty cover the following areas: Person and Nature; Person and Society; Person and the Ultimate; Classical and Contemporary Trends in Philosophy (in India and in other parts of the world).

The curriculum of the faculty covers three successive cycles, leading to three different degrees. It also offers diplomas to those who do not or cannot work for a Degree.

The First Cycle (B.Ph. programme)

As per the recent directives of the Holy See in-charge of Catholic Education, the Faculty has re-worked the programme of studies of the First Cycle. Accordingly, the first cycle is basically a three-year programme. It introduces the students to the methods of scientific research. Apart from dealing with the problems and methods of philosophy, it offers a systematic exposition to the various philosophies of God, human and the world. It also acquaints them with the main trends in cultural life and thought.

The courses offered in the first cycle as per the recent directives from the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education are divided into various categories: Basic Obligatory, Supplementary Obligatory, Additional Obligatory, and Optional Additional. The Basic Obligatory forms the essential framework of the syllabus. Besides there are courses that touch upon a variety of topics of current interest and value and they bear certain interdisciplinary relevance and formative significance within the national context of South Asia. The syllabus is updated from time to time keeping in mind the demands of the mission.

Besides these courses, philosophical seminars and workshops are conducted as part of the academic curriculum. These are designed to augment collective reflection on issues of national and international importance and to foster scientific approach and team-work.

Accordingly, a student has to take a total of 180 credits of which 110 credits are assigned for the Basic Obligatory Courses, 40 credits for the Supplementary Obligatory Courses, and 30 credits for the Optional Additional Courses. The weightage of project work & comprehensive (viva) will be 50:50. In case a student fails either in project work or in viva, he/she has to repeat it separately.
The importance and use of English language in the whole of South Asia is becoming more significant in the recent years. Moreover, the Society of Jesus at the South Asian Assistancy makes use of English as the link language for all its formative and communicative purposes. Hence Satya Nilayam conducts an Entrance Test for all its new comers with the help of competent persons or institutes. Accordingly, Satya Nilayam is offering a suitable and intense remedial programme for some of the deserving students during the First Semester.
Keeping in view the changing scenario of the Church at large and of the growing demand for Indian priests and religious, the Faculty has designed a set of programmes for learning one or two foreign languages by the students during their stay at Satya Nilayam. At present French, and Spanish are taught for 60 class hours. At the end of the course an evaluation is done and the certificates are issued to the participants and the meritorious learners of the above mentioned languages.
In order to equip and enable the students in the art of philosophizing, and applying of philosophical insights in their living context, and a few sessions are organized with regular intervals during the academic year.
The faculty has decided that all special lectures delivered by invited scholars in various fields to be named after the late professors who have taught philosophy at Sacred Heart College - Satya Nilayam.

Following are the Professors in whose happy memory these memorial lectures are instituted:

Rev. Fr. E. Ugarte, SJ (Madurai Province)
Rev. Fr. P. Savarimuthu, SJ (Madurai Province)
Rev. Fr. S. Thomas Mannumel, SJ (Madurai Province)
Rev. Fr. X. Muthupackiam, SJ (Madurai Province)

Using the deposit created by the parents, Satya Nilayam has also instituted a memorial lecture for Sch. Loy Fernandes of Karnataka Province who expired accidentally in August 2006.
Regular attendance at lectures is required from all students. Leave to be absent from lectures is to be taken from the Rector and the information must be passed on to the principal and the professor(s). Inadequate attendance will make the student ineligible for completing the course.
At the end of the fourth semester each student submits a dissertation of about 5000 words. The dissertation is written under the guidance of a professor on any philosopher/philosophical theme offered in the first cycle. In order to integrate and deepen the subject of their choice, the students are expected to expose the theme of their choice and their findings in two expositions before the class before submitting their dissertation. A manual containing the guidelines for the dissertation are given to each student well in advance.
A student has to pass the evaluations on each subject. In case of failure he has to repeat the evaluation.

To enable the students to prepare and sit for the examinations, four to six working days are free from classes at the middle or end of each semester.

The examinations for individual courses are held normally at the time set aside for examinations in the middle or at the end of the semester.
There is a comprehensive oral examination conducted at the presence of two teaching faculty members, at the end of the third year, with adequate preparation by the student. Every student who qualifies with attendance will appear for comprehensive.

It lasts 30 minutes covering all the major areas of philosophy and it is conducted in one of the patterns prescribed by the Faculty.

Those who fail are given a chance of reappearing for the examination to be conducted on the date to be fixed with the principal. Evaluation of this examination is done by two members of the teaching staff.
For those who opt for a diploma, instead of the degree, the final examination is for half an hour before a board of three examiners. The matter for this examination consists of the main courses done in the second year.
In order to assure quality in curriculum, teaching, and evaluation an Annual Academic Audit is done with the external experts in the field. A semester-wise Students Assessment of the Teaching Staff is done through the Loyola Online Evaluation for the subjects offered. Moreover, an ambience to offer legitimate feedback to the Teaching Staff, an Open Forum is given every semester where the Students and the Staff can listen to one another.

The Second Cycle - (MPh Programme)

The second cycle introduces the students to scientific research through an in-depth study of the theories of outstanding Indian and Western thinkers by means of seminars and tutorials.
This cycle consists of four semesters. MPh students are to write six philosophical papers within the first three semesters, and in the fourth semester they are to write a dissertation of 75-100 pages. The dissertation should demonstrate a satisfactory grasp of the tools of research and reflection.

The Principal will be the general coordinator of the cycle. He will suggest names of professors to guide the student in each paper. All the papers should be of a quality that is suitable for exposition. Exposition of some of these papers is a requirement and the Principal is to decide how many of the papers are to be publicly exposed. Preparation of an exhaustive bibliography is to be part of the programme. MPh students may attend any of the classes in addition to their reading and writing assignments. The areas to be studied are divided into two parts: obligatory and optional. Obligatory topics are: Study of a Western Philosopher, an Indian Philosopher, and one work of Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine. In addition, a student is to choose three philosophical problems out of the following areas, choosing not more than one problem from an area:

(1) Philosophy of God/Religion;
(2) Ethics;
(3) Social Issues;
(4) Epistemology/ Hermeneutics;
(5) Philosophical Anthropology

There will be a comprehensive examination at the end of the course which will last one hour before a board of three. It will be based on a statement submitted by the student, covering all major aspects of philosophy.


The Third Cycle - (PhD Programme)

The Third Cycle, leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ecclesiastical) will promote philosophical maturity in the candidate through a specialized study of one or two outstanding Indian or Western thinkers. The doctoral thesis will be written under the direction of a guide in the Faculty, who must be approved by the principal and the Academic Council. The theme or the area of research is to be likewise approved by the guide chosen, and by the Principal and the Academic Council. The approved guide will supervise the preparation and composition of the thesis, especially its final draft.

The minimum period required for the completion of the doctoral research as a full time student is two years. Normally, residence in Chennai during the entire period of research will be required, unless the academic council grants leave of absence for part of the time.

The Thesis will be read by the supervisor and two other experts from other approved faculties. At least two of the readers must approve the thesis for defense and the defense will take place before the supervisor and the two readers. The positive votes of all the three are required for passing the defense.