Ethics and Public Affairs Concentration

Catalog Year: 2024-2025

Banner Code: LA-MA-PHIL-ETPA

Students in the Master of Arts in Philosophy program can choose a master's degree with a focus on traditional and contemporary philosophy or choose to complete the concentration in ethics and public affairs. Course offerings provide grounding in the history of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, contemporary continental thought, contemporary analytic philosophy, and philosophy of science. Students pursue the degree to satisfy intellectual interest and to further professional expertise.  Graduates of the program move on to careers in law, technology, health care, education, and public service, or use the program to prepare for doctoral studies in philosophy.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

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.

 

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 31

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 or choose to complete the concentration in ethics and public affairs. Students need to identify an advisor on entering the program and meet regularly with that advisor during their course of study.

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

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.

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.

Proseminar
PHIL 600 Proseminar in Philosophy 1 1
Ancient or Medieval Philosophy
Select one course from the following: 3
Aristotle: Selected Works
Figures and Topics in Ancient Philosophy
Advanced Seminar in Philosophy 2
Modern Philosophy
Select one course from the following: 3
Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit
Figures and Topics in Early Modern Philosophy
Advanced Seminar in Philosophy 2
Contemporary Philosophy
Select one course from the following: 3
Postmodernist Thought
Phenomenology
Contemporary Philosophical Figures
Special Topics in Contemporary Philosophy
Advanced Seminar in Philosophy 2
Advanced Seminar
PHIL 721 Advanced Seminar in Philosophy 3
Electives in Philosophy
Select four to six electives in philosophy 3 12-18
Optional Thesis
Three or six credits of
Thesis 4
Total Credits 31
1

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

2

May be taken when the topic is relevant and with approval of advisor.

3

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

4

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

Concentration in Ethics and Public Affairs (ETPA)

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.

Proseminar
PHIL 600 Proseminar in Philosophy 1 1
History of Philosophy 2
PHIL 640 History of Ethical Theory 3
PHIL 603 Aristotle: Selected Works 3
or PHIL 608 Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit
Public Administration
PUAD 540 Public Policy Process 3
Ethics
Select three courses from the following: 3 9
Biomedical Ethics
Environmental Ethics
Business and Organizational Ethics
Research Ethics
Electives
Select two to four electives from the following or from other relevant courses: 4 6-12
PUAD 700
Ethics and Public Administration
Environment and Society
Optional Thesis
Three or six credits of
Thesis 5
Total Credits 31
1

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

2

Depending on the topic, PHIL 681 Figures and Topics in Ancient Philosophy, PHIL 682 Figures and Topics in Early Modern Philosophy, or PHIL 721 Advanced Seminar in Philosophy may be applied to this concentration with prior written permission of the graduate director.

3

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

4

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.

5

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

Students interested in pursuing a dual master's program linking philosophy or interdisciplinary studies (women and gender studies concentration) and a discipline other than that listed below should discuss their interest with the graduate program directors of both programs and review the university policies in AP.6.9.6.

Philosophy, MA and Interdisciplinary Studies, MAIS (Concentration in women and gender studies) Dual Degree

The Department of Philosophy and the School of Integrative Studies offer a dual master's degree program where students can earn both the MA and the MAIS (concentration in women and gender studies) in 55 credits rather than 67 credits. This program is governed by university policy AP.6.9.6.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to this dual master's degree see Application Requirements and Deadlines.

Requirements

Students pursuing dual master's study linking the Philosophy MA and the Interdisciplinary Studies MAIS with a concentration in women and gender studies will complete WMST 630 Feminist Theories / PHIL 658 Feminist Theory  and 3 additional credits of WMST courses approved by the Department of Philosophy to apply to the philosophy degree as elective credit. Six credits of approved PHIL credits will apply to the MAIS degree as elective credit.