May 25, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 [Archived Catalog]

Philosophy - MA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study by Academic Unit

Degree Title and Name:  Master of Arts in Philosophy

Program Name and Number:  Philosophy – MA5241

Department/Unit:  Philosophy

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus

Term(s) of Entry: Fall, Spring, Summer.

Program Overview: We welcome students with a broad range of interests and backgrounds and offer a program leading to a Master of Arts in philosophy. Our students get strong grounding in various fields of philosophy and write a master’s thesis.

Our faculty have research and teaching interests in the following areas:

  • History and philosophy of science, including philosophy of biology, philosophy of physics, philosophy of mind and cognitive science
  • Logic and philosophy of mathematics
  • History of philosophy, including ancient, medieval, and early modern philosophy
  • Ethics, including metaethics, normative and applied ethics, and the history of ethics
  • Social and political philosophy
  • Epistemology and philosophy of language
  • Philosophy of religion

We admit four to six students into the M.A. program each year. So the students will be able to have substantial personal interaction with the faculty. In addition, our annual Philosophy Forum gives students the opportunity to study recent work of leading philosophers. Every spring term, the graduate students take a seminar on the recent work of the year’s Forum speaker, and later in the term, the students meet the speaker for three days, attending a public lecture and three intensive seminars led by the speaker.

This is a full-time program. Normal time to completion is two academic years.

Program Learning Outcomes: Philosophy M.A. graduates will be able to

  1. Demonstrate historical and technical knowledge that is central to the discipline of philosophy, including knowledge of important concepts, distinctions, theories, argumentative techniques, movements, and influential figures, within the core fields of aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, and social & political philosophy.
  2. Reason clearly and carefully, employing the principles of logic to construct cogent arguments in both speech and writing.
  3. Speak and write clearly and cogently.
  4. Think creatively and independently, exploring possibilities beyond those entrenched in prevailing opinion and practice.
  5. Conceive, research, and write substantial philosophical essays of the sort published in professional philosophy journals.
  6. Present clearly the results of their research in presentations of the sort that occur at professional philosophical conferences and colloquia.

Opportunities for Graduates:  The M.A. program in philosophy provides students with the foundation for doctoral studies in philosophy or other careers—such as law—where critical reasoning, writing, reading, and speaking skills are prized.

Link to Program:

Graduation Requirements:  

  1. Completion of at least 33 semester hours of graduate level philosophy in addition to any course(s) taken to compensate for deficiencies in undergraduate preparation. Eighteen of these hours must derive from classroom courses at the 5000 level. PHIL 6850, 6950, 6901, and 6903 are additionally required as indicated in (2) and (3) below. The 33 hours must include at least one selection from each of the groups (a-e) indicated below. Other course offerings may also count toward requirements at the discretion of the graduate chair.
    • Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics (5020 or 5170 or 5200 or 5270)
    • Ancient Philosophy (5180 or 5190)
    • Modern Philosophy (5280 or 5290 or 5380)
    • Value Theory (5300 or 5320 or 5340 or 5400 or 5420)
    • Epistemology, Science, and Metaphysics (5140 or 5160 or 5170 or 5500 or 5510)
  2. Enrollment in 6903 Seminar, 6850 Forum, and 6901 Supervised Teaching, in each semester they are offered while the student is in residence.
  3. Enrollment in an appropriate number of hours of 6950 Thesis.
  4. Submission of an acceptable thesis on an approved topic, and an acceptable defense of it during an oral thesis examination. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, a student may attempt a thesis defense no more than twice during his or her maximal six-year term of admission.

Culminating Experience:  All students will complete a thesis under the oversight of a three-member faculty committee. Students will also defend this thesis in an oral examination conducted by the same faculty committee.

Admission Requirements:  Only students who have earned at least a 3.0 (B) GPA in their undergraduate courses will be admitted unconditionally into the graduate program in philosophy. It is expected that students have taken at least 21 semester hours in philosophy. Students who have not had a course each in value theory, symbolic (predicate) logic, ancient philosophy, and modern philosophy are strongly encouraged to take courses in these areas during the first year in residence. Applications, which should be submitted to the Graduate College, must include the following: official transcript(s), GRE scores, at least three letters of reference, a sample of original philosophical writing, and a statement of purpose. All application materials must be received by March 1 to receive full consideration for fall admission with departmental financial aid. Transfer credit is possible, but is only granted after a full administrative review.

International Students:  This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study by Academic Unit