College of Humanities and Social Sciences


The concentration in ethics and public affairs is designed for professionals who want to combine the study of ethics and the analysis of social and public policies in a variety of settings, including business, health care, biomedical technology, law, or government.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2014-2015)

Students pursuing this concentration must successfully complete 31 credits, which may include a thesis. Students need to identify an advisor on entering the program and meet regularly with that advisor during their course of study.


One course (1 credit) of Proseminar

This course should be completed in the first fall semester in which the student is enrolled in the MA program.

PHIL 600 - Proseminar in Philosophy Credits: 1

Two courses (6 credits) in the history of philosophy

One required course (3 credits)

PHIL 640 - History of Ethical Theory Credits: 3

One elective course (3 credits) in the history of philosophy chosen from:

Depending on the topic, PHIL 681, 682, 691 or 692 may be applied to this concentration with prior written permission of the graduate director.

PHIL 602 - Plato: Selected Dialogues Credits: 3
PHIL 603 - Aristotle: Selected Works Credits: 3
PHIL 604 - Augustine and Aquinas Credits: 3
PHIL 605 - Mind-Body Problem in Early Modern Philosophy Credits: 3
PHIL 608 - Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit Credits: 3

One course (3 credits) in public administration

PUAD 540 - Public Policy Process Credits: 3

Three courses (9 credits) in ethics chosen from:

Other courses may be used to fulfill this requirement where appropriate and with prior written approval of the student’s academic advisor.

PHIL 642 - Biomedical Ethics Credits: 3
PHIL 643 - Environmental Ethics Credits: 3
PHIL 644 - Business and Organizational Ethics Credits: 3
PHIL 645 - Research Ethics Credits: 3

Two to four elective courses (6- 12 credits)

Students who choose to write a thesis (3 or 6 credits) will take correspondingly fewer electives. Students are encouraged to use courses from around the university in disciplines relevant to their areas of interest, subject to the prior written approval of their academic advisor. A small sample of possible electives outside the Department of Philosophy:

PUAD 700 - Ethics and Public Administration Credits: 3
HAP 714 - Ethical Issues in Health Administration and Policy Credits: 3
EVPP 635 - Environment and Society Credits: 3

Thesis (3 or 6 credits) (optional):

Students must follow the thesis enrollment policy of the university and once enrolled in PHIL 799, maintain continuous enrollment as specified in the Academic Policies chapter of the catalog.

PHIL 799 - Thesis Credits: 1-6

Total: 31 Credits

Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

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