Master of Arts Program
Entering M.A. students must have a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. They should have a solid background in philosophy (ordinarily an undergraduate minor or its equivalent).
The Terminal M.A. Degree in Philosophy
The department offers various terminal master's degrees in philosophy, one of which is the generic philosophy M.A. Although the requirements for this degree are basically the same as those for the non-terminal master’s degree that is the first stage of doctoral studies, students pursuing the generic M.A. in philosophy are usually motivated by either the desire for self-development or the hope of laying down an intellectual foundation for graduate work in other areas such as history or theology.
In exceptional cases, a very well qualified student in this or another terminal M.A. program may be considered for admission into the Ph.D. program, but such students compete with other Ph.D. program applicants for admission and must complete all Ph.D. program requirements, including some M.A. requirements not required for the terminal M.A.
30 hours of graduate coursework (10 courses) are required for all M.A. programs in the Philosophy Department. The requirement for the generic M.A. in philosophy is that the 10 courses taken must include at least one 3-hour course in each of the following five areas:
classical modern philosophy
These courses also satisfy the Ph.D. distribution requirements in the five designated areas. The remainder must be graduate courses (400 or 500-level).
There is no language requirement or other research tool requirement for an M.A. degree in the Philosophy Department.
Toward the end of the generic M.A. course of studies, the student must pass an oral examination on a research paper he or she has written. The focus of the examination is on the argument and analysis of the paper, as well as on the background thought that the argument and analysis presuppose.