Ohio University

Philosophy Graduate Degree M.A.

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"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)

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:

  • 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

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.

Ph.D. Placements 

Recent graduates have gone on to doctoral study in philosophy, law, and professional study in institutions such as Baylor University, Boston University, Harvard University, Indiana University Bloomington, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University, Ohio State University, Princeton University, Purdue University, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, University of Hawaii, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Maryland, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Rochester, University of Tennessee, University of Toronto, University of Utah, and Yale University.

For specific data on recent placements intro Ph.D. programs, please email Graduate Chair in philosophy, Dr. Yoichi Ishida.

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