Jun 24, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2021-22 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2021-22 [Archived Catalog]

Philosophy - MA

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Master of Arts in Philosophy

Philosophy – MA5241

Department of Philosophy
Ohio University
Ellis 201
Athens, OH 45701-2979

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus

Terms of Entry: Fall, Spring, Summer

Program Overview

The Philosophy Department welcomes students with a broad range of interests and backgrounds and offers 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.

Philosophy 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 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

The department enrolls four to six students into the M.A. program each year. Consequently each student has the chance for substantial 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 several 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 evaluate arguments and 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.

Further Information

Link to Program: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/philosophy/graduate

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), 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.

Graduation Requirements

The M.A. in Philosophy requires a minimum of 33 credit hours. Of those, at least 18 hours must be in 5000-level PHIL courses. The following requirements must be met for graduation:

Core Areas

Complete a minimum of one course from each of the five categories below. Other course offerings may also count toward these requirements at the discretion of the Graduate Chair.

Other Requirements

The following repeatable courses are required each semester they are offered while a student is in residence. PHIL 6901 and PHIL 6903 are normally offered in fall; PHIL 6850 is normally offered in spring.


Complete a minimum of 1 hour of thesis research. A maximum of 12 thesis hours may count toward degree requirements.

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. 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.

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