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Philosophy Graduate Degree M.A.

"After all, a philosopher must have a keen eye for the suspicious premise, the questionable inference, and the fallacious conclusion. I now realize that the pain of re-reading, reconsidering, and rewriting was a part of the process of developing into a philosopher,” says Eric Smaw ‘98M.A.

See "Smaw Says Philosopher Must Have Keen Eye for the Suspicious Premise." (Photo by Scott Cook, Rollins College)

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Courses & Resources

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. 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:

  • Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
  • Early Modern Philosophy, including Kant
  • Epistemology
  • Ethics, Metaethics, and Applied Ethics
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Biology
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Social and Political Philosophy

The department admits 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, the 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.

Career Opportunities

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.

Recent Ph.D. Placements 

The program recently placed students into the following Ph.D. programs in philosophy:

  • Bowling Green State University
  • Florida State University
  • Indiana University Bloomington (HPS)
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • Saint Louis University
  • Tulane University
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Utah

Not all students seek placement into Ph.D. programs in philosophy. Recently, one student went into a Ph.D. program in business, and secured jobs as college instructors and professional writers.

Regardless of your career plan, you can expect extensive support from faculty. For specific data on recent placements intro Ph.D. programs, please email Graduate Chair in philosophy, Dr. Scott Carson.

Minorities and Philosophy (MAP)

Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) is a collection of graduate students in philosophy departments that aims to address issues of minority participation in academic philosophy. MAP focuses on (a) minority issues in the profession, (b) theoretical issues regarding philosophy of gender, race, sexual orientation, class, disability, native language, etc. and (c) philosophy done from minority perspectives.
The Ohio University MAP Chapter seeks to contribute to these aims by organizing speaking events where philosophers who are leaders in these subfields come to share their expertise and teach us to incorporate their knowledge in our own work. In addition to speaking events, the Ohio University MAP Chapter hosts reading groups, undergraduate information sessions, and other events to help members of OU's philosophy department connect with others as professionals and community members.

Academic Events and Guest Speakers

Program Mission

The M.A. program in philosophy is designed to assist those with undergraduate training in philosophy to begin the transition to becoming professionals in the field. The program aims to produce promising candidates for either a) doctoral programs in philosophy or b) careers in which professional philosophical skills are valued.

Program Learning Objectives

The M.A. program is designed to insure that candidates for the degree will have an opportunity to develop

  1. An historical perspective on the discipline
  2. An understanding of many of the current issues in several key subfields
  3. The skills associated with critical thinking, writing and reading
  4. The ability to conduct original research in philosophy