The School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies offers an MA degree program in traditional and contemporary philosophy. General areas of research include ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of law, philosophy of science, feminist philosophy, philosophy of language, experimental philosophy and the history of philosophy. Members of the faculty are involved in interdisciplinary work in a variety of fields and enjoy close ties with the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, and a number of other graduate programs at ASU. The philosophy program sponsors an active colloquium series and regular philosophical conferences on diverse topics. The Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics also sponsors a wide range of activities, including large-scale conferences, distinguished visitors and support for graduate study.
The master's degree program in philosophy is designed to prepare students to:
- enter doctoral programs
- teach philosophy at the community college level
- work in any area that requires critical, analytical thinking, such as medicine, law, government or publishing
The program seeks to maintain a balance between course offerings in the traditional areas of philosophy and opportunities for study of current philosophical developments.
Required Core Areas (12 credit hours)
history of philosophy (3)
value theory (3)
Electives and Research (12 or 18 credit hours)
Culminating Experience (0 or 6 credit hours)
PHI 599 Thesis (6) or
Additional Curriculum Information
There are two culminating experience options for the master's degree program in philosophy: the thesis option and the nonthesis portfolio option.
For electives, thesis students take 12 credit hours of electives. Portfolio students take 18 credit hours of electives, which must include PHI 592 Research for three credit hours.
Students should see the academic unit for the list of courses approved for each core area in epistemology, history of philosophy, metaphysics and value theory.
Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.
Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.
All applicants must submit:
- graduate admission application and application fee
- official transcripts
- statement of purpose
- curriculum vitae
- writing sample
- three letters of recommendation
- proof of English proficiency
Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency as well as a copy of an article or research paper in their native or principal research language in addition to the English writing sample required of all students. The philosophy program requires a TOEFL score of at least 600 (PBT) or 90 (iBT).
The statement of purpose should explain the applicant's specific intent and be no more than 600 words in length.
The writing sample must be a piece of philosophical writing, preferably a seminar paper or published article (no more than 20 pages) and not a thesis or dissertation.
Accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs are designed for high-achieving undergraduate students who want the opportunity to combine undergraduate coursework with graduate coursework to accelerate completion of their master’s degree. These programs, featuring the same high-quality curriculum taught by ASU's world-renowned faculty, allow students to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree in as little as five years.
Accelerated bachelor’s degree programs allow students to choose either a 2.5- or a 3-year path while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students can opt to fast-track their studies after acceptance into a participating program by connecting with their academic advisor.