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Fully Funded Master's Degree in Philosophy

Graduate study within the Department of Philosophy offers a broad range of specialization. As a Master's of Philosophy student, you will work in small, discussion-heavy seminar classes with leading scholars in their respective fields. In consultation with your advisory committee—made up of nationally and internationally recognized faculty members—you will devise an individualized curriculum that reflects your own intellectual interests and prepares you either to enter a Ph.D. program, or to meet other professional goals.


Admitted students typically serve as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs).
  • GTAs currently receive a $17,210 stipend per year for two years, in addition to a full tuition waiver.
  • GTAs have teaching responsibilities, which include grading and leading discussion sections (1 course per semester).
  • GTAs have access to a personal computer and private space in a shared office.
  • Financial assistance is available for PhD program application fees (typically 5 applications are covered per student).
  • There are also opportunities for conference travel funding.

Program Strengths

The Department of Philosophy at OSU can supervise M.A. research in most areas of philosophy. However, we are particularly strong in the following areas:
  • Continental Philosophy
  • Ethics and Applied Ethics (esp. Bioethics, Digital Ethics and Legal Ethics)­­­­
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • History of Philosophy (esp. Ancient and Modern)
  • Metaphysics and Epistemology (incl. Social Metaphysics and Social Epistemology)
  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
  • Philosophy of Religion
Learn more about our faculty and our areas of expertise

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M.A. Admission and Degree Requirements

Admission Requirements

  • Transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Sample of written work (philosophy paper preferred)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • GRE optional

Application Deadline

February 28 (fall admission, full consideration for assistantship)

Application Fee Waiver

  • The Graduate College charges an application fee for all applications to graduate programs at OSU.
  • The Philosophy Department provides a limited number of fee waivers for applicants who consider themselves to be in financial need.
  • To be eligible for consideration for the fee waiver, please send a writing sample to with the subject heading ‘MA Fee Waiver’ by January 1.
  • If there are more requests for waivers than funds permit, waivers will be allocated on the basis of writing sample quality.
  • Acceptance to the program is independent of the fee waiver. All applicants must submit a full application (by February 28, see above), regardless of the success of their waiver request.
  • Note. The Graduate College has a fee waiver program for OSU Students/Alumni and military personnel.

Program Information

  • The M.A. is typically awarded by thesis: 30 credit hours, consisting of 24 hours of course work and six hours of research.
  • In some circumstances, students may also earn the M.A. degree by report, or with a creative component.
    • Report. 32 credit hours, consisting of 30 hours of course work and two hours of research. In addition, students who complete the degree with a report must give a public presentation of their work.
    • Creative Component. 32 credit hours of work including the creative component. The creative component may be a special report, an annotated bibliography, a project in research or design or other creative activity as designated by the advisory committee. In addition, students who complete the degree with a creative component must give a public presentation of their work

Degree Requirements

  1. Symbolic Logic (can test out).
  2. A seminar in Ancient or Medieval Philosophy.
  3. A seminar in the history of Modern Philosophy.
  4. Another graduate‐level class in the history of philosophy (pre‐twentieth century).
  5. At least one class in Contemporary Ethical Theory or Topics in Ethical Theory.
Seminars in a major philosopher or in a field of philosophy can satisfy different requirements depending on topics covered. A seminar on Rawls could satisfy requirement five. A seminar on Aquinas could satisfy requirement two. Independent studies (PHIL 4990 or PHIL 5910) normally cannot be used to satisfy these requirements.
Graduate Courses (scroll to 5000 level)

Contact Us for More Information

Richard Neels

Director of Graduate Studies
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