Philosophy

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Requirements

The master’s degree in philosophy is designed for students who intend to pursue a doctorate in philosophy as well as for those who seek the master’s as a terminal degree, either in pursuit of their intellectual interests or to further their professional expertise. Students choose a master’s degree with a focus on traditional and contemporary philosophy or one of three concentrations; ethics and public affairs, philosophy and cultural theory, or philosophy and public affairs. The concentration in philosophy and public affairs allows students in the graduate program in philosophy at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics to also earn a degree from George Mason. All offerings provide grounding in the history of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, contemporary continental thought, contemporary analytic philosophy, and philosophy of science.

An accelerated master’s option is available to students in the bachelor’s program. See Philosophy, BA/Philosophy, Accelerated MA for specific requirements.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2013-2014)

In addition to meeting the following requirements for this degree, students must meet the university requirements for all master's degrees.

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 31 credits, which may include a thesis. They may choose a course of study that focuses on traditional and contemporary philosophy (below) or choose to complete one of three concentrations (to the right). Students need to identify an advisor on entering the program and meet regularly with that advisor during their course of study.

MA with a Focus on Traditional and Contemporary Philosophy

The focus in traditional and contemporary philosophy is for students who want to deepen their understanding of philosophical issues and for students who are preparing to pursue doctoral studies in philosophy or related fields, e.g. political theory, gender studies. The concentration in philosophy and cultural theory is especially for students interested in pursuing a doctorate in cultural studies. 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.

Students may apply up to 9 credits from other departments toward the degree with focus on traditional and contemporary philosophy with prior written approval of their advisor.

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: 3

Four core courses (12 credits) in philosophy

One course (3 credits) in ancient or medieval philosophy chosen from:

PHIL 602 - Plato: Selected Dialogues Credits: 3
PHIL 603 - Aristotle: Selected Works Credits: 3
PHIL 604 - Augustine and Aquinas Credits: 3
PHIL 681 - Ancient Philosophical Figures Credits: 3
PHIL 691 - Special Topics in Ancient Philosophy Credits: 3
PHIL 721 - Advanced Seminar in Philosophy Credits: 3 (May be taken when the topic is relevant and with approval of their advisor.)

One course (3 credits) in modern philosophy chosen from:

PHIL 605 - Mind-Body Problem in Early Modern Philosophy Credits: 3
PHIL 608 - Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit Credits: 3
PHIL 682 - Early Modern Philosophical Figures Credits: 3
PHIL 692 - Special Topics in Early Modern Philosophy Credits: 3
PHIL 721 - Advanced Seminar in Philosophy Credits: 3 (May be taken when the topic is relevant and with approval of their advisor.)

One course (3 credits) in contemporary philosophy chosen from:

PHIL 615 - Postmodernist Thought Credits: 3
PHIL 616 - Phenomenology Credits: 3
PHIL 618 - Contemporary French Feminism Credits: 3
PHIL 683 - Contemporary Philosophical Figures Credits: 3
PHIL 694 - Special Topics in Contemporary Philosophy Credits: 3
PHIL 721 - Advanced Seminar in Philosophy Credits: 3 (May be taken when the topic is relevant and with approval of their advisor.)

One advanced seminar (3 credits) chosen from:

PHIL 720 - Nietzsche and his Readers Credits: 3
PHIL 721 - Advanced Seminar in Philosophy Credits: 3
PHIL 733 - Current Issues in Cognitive Science Credits: 3

Four to six elective courses (12-18 credits) in philosophy

Students who choose to write a thesis (3 or 6 credits) will take correspondingly fewer electives.

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 University 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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