OSU’s Masters in Applied Ethics program is designed to develop your moral reasoning and critical thinking skills in the service of an engaged life. Through coursework, a real-world practicum, and a supervised research project, you’ll learn how to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical issues, mentored by faculty who are actively involved in ethics research across a wide array of disciplines.

(45 credits minimum required)

OSU StudentsAll students must take PHL 599: Graduate Orientation (1 credit)
during the Fall Quarter following admission.

A. Philosophy Core (9 credits).  
Each of these courses is required:

PHL 525 Philosophical Methodology (3)
PHL 541 Classical Moral Theories (3)
PHL 542 Contemporary Moral Theories (3)

B. Applied Ethics (15 required w/maximum of 6 credits from PHL 502 and 505).
(Other 500-level PHL courses, not listed here, can qualify. Please consult with the Director of Graduate Studies or your Major professor.)

PHL 502 Independent Study (1-16)
PHL 505 Reading and Conference (1-16)
PHL 507 Seminar (1-16)
PHL 511 Great Figures (4)
PHL 517 Feminist Philosophies (3)
PHL 536 Philosophy and Religion (4)
PHL 540 Environmental Ethics (3)
PHL 543 World Views and Environmental Values (3)
PHL 544 Biomedical Ethics (4)
PHL 547 Research Ethics (3)
PHL 555 Death and Dying (3)
PHL 556 Philosophy of the Mind (4)
PHL 561 Art and Morality (3)
PHL 570 Philosophy of Science (3)
PHL 574 Philosophy of Biology (4)
PHL 599 Special Topics (3)

C. PHL 510 Practicum (3 credits required, 6 allowed)

Students must formally propose and complete, a practicum project associated with an organization either on or off-campus. The Practicum Proposal Form can be found on-line under “Student Resources".

D. Supervised Research Project (6-9 credits from one of these)

PHL 503 Thesis (for students doing a thesis project)
PHL 501 Research (for students doing a non-thesis project)

E. Disciplinary or Integrated Minor (15 credits required)

  • 15 of the total 45 credits required for the degree must come from courses in a minor area
  • “integrated minors’ are made up of philosophy courses covering topics other than ethics, “disciplinary minors” are made up of courses offered outside of philosophy (e.g., History, Religion, Sociology, Psychology or Political Science)

Total 45 credits minimum required

The Philosophy program also mandates that the student submit a Program of Study form before 36 credits are completed (the Program of Study Form is available here, under “General Masters” https://gradschool.oregonstate.edu/forms#program.) The Form must be signed by the student’s major professor (usually a philosophy faculty member), and the student’s minor area professor.

Students must also formally propose, complete, and defend either a thesis or a non–thesis project (the proposal at a scheduled meeting with the student’s major professor, and the student’s minor area professor; the defense at a scheduled meeting with the student’s major professor, another professor from philosophy, and the student’s minor area professor. If the student has chosen the thesis option, then a Graduate Council Representative must also be present at the defense.

If the student chooses a non-thesis project, the details of what it should look like are up to the student and their major professor, in consultation with their minor professor. Examples of non-thesis projects include the production of a website, video, or video game, with the proviso that the hours required to produce the project need to be commensurate with the hours required to write a thesis (students writing a thesis must complete 6-9 thesis credit hours, and 1 cr. = approx 30 hrs of work);

Finally both the thesis and non-thesis project  are expected to involve a written comprehensive literature review of essays and books, by way of showing mastery of the relevant area of applied ethics on which the thesis or non-thesis project is focused.