Master of Arts in Philosophy

In addition to its BA/MA and JD/MA programs, the department offers a program of study terminating in the MA. Candidates for the MA must successfully complete various requirements, as well as a master’s thesis. Coursework shall consist of eight courses, at least five of which must be in philosophy. Considerable flexibility in the program of study is permitted so that the MA can serve as a vehicle for combining various interests (for example, aesthetics with training in a fine art; political philosophy with training in law). For detailed information regarding MA program requirements please see our Regulae.

Concentration in the Philosophy of Science

Within its Masters Degree program, the Philosophy Department offers a concentration in the philosophy of science.  This curriculum is designed for those who are seeking to understand the conceptual foundations of the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, earth sciences), cognitive sciences, mathematics, medicine, psychology, economics, and other social sciences. While philosophy of science usually focuses on contemporary science, in this program students are also afforded the opportunity to study the history of science, as well as issues at the interface of science and religion.

Students must fulfill the general Master of Arts Degree requirements of the Department of Philosophy. Students should consult with their advisors when selecting courses to fulfill the additional following requirements:

  1. the core survey course in philosophy of science: PH 687 (“topics in the philosophy of science”).
  2. two courses in the philosophy of a particular science, e.g., philosophy of physics (PH 670), philosophy of biology (PH 672), philosophy of social science (PH 677), philosophy of cognitive science (PH 665), gender, race, and science (PH 636).
  3. an elective in the philosophy of science, philosophy of math, logic, epistemology, metaphysics, or history of the philosophy of science.  The elective should be drawn from the following list or be approved by the advisor:  philosophy of mind (PH 643), ethics of health care (PH 652), epistemology (PH 660), metaphysics (PH 640), mathematical logic (PH 661), foundations of mathematics (PH 662), philosophical problems of logic & mathematics (PH 668), ecology in philosophy and literature (PH671), inductive logic and scientific methodology (PH 674), Frege, Moore, & Russell (PH 621), history of Vienna Circle (PH 623), seminar in the philosophy of science (advanced topics) (PH 870), philosophy of science (advanced topics) (PH871).

The student specializing in the philosophy of science will take the same total number of courses as will any other philosophy MA student.

Joint degrees

The Department of Philosophy also offers a joint MA/PhD program with the Department of Classical Studies as well as a joint JD/MA program with the Boston University School of Law.