There are two application deadlines:

January 15: This deadline pertains to students seeking financial support during the first year of graduate study. The department will aggressively seek funding for qualified students who apply by this date, but cannot guarantee funding.

March 15: This later application deadline pertains to students who seek admission but are not seeking funding for their first year of study. Both the January 15 and March 15 application deadlines are for admission and enrollment for the following fall term.

Your completed application packet, in ADDITION to the standard University Graduate School Admission Application (including letters of recommendation, etc.), should contain:

Writing Sample

Applicants should submit an approximately 7-10 page essay on any topic, arguing in support of a thesis (so not just a descriptive/exegetical analysis of a particular text). The essay should include reference to source material appropriate to the topic. The Applied Ethics admissions committee uses this sample to evaluate persuasive writing skills, analytic abilities, and research abilities. We do not use this sample to evaluate the applicant’s background in philosophy, religion, or even ethics more particularly.


Transcripts give us a good understanding of your academic background, but should not be viewed as a limiting factor. Applicants do not need an undergraduate degree in Philosophy to be successful as a MA Graduate student. If key elements are missing from the applicant’s transcripts, we might still accept the applicant into the program, but simply require some catch-up in the form of basic course work in, for example, ethics, epistemology, and logic.

Cover Letter

Applicants should explain in a cover letter why they are interested in the program and what kinds of things they hope to do with it. Who do you hope to work with?  What attracts you to their research? What skills and background do you bring to the table and how will it help you to be successful in the program?  Etc. These questions are as important for you as they are for us.


Important note:

     1.  After submitting an application, applicants are now able to directly upload unofficial documents, including unofficial transcripts, resumes, etc.

Applicant uploads of unofficial documents will greatly speed processing and availability of files for review. Uploaded documents can be viewed immediately in the existing graduate admissions self-service application. 

      2.  An electronic letter of reference system is now available

The electronic reference letter system will send requests to three reference writers indicated by the applicant on their admission application.

For more information about the Graduate School, please visit their website.

 We ask that new applications take advantage of these two new systems!

For More Information:

For further information about the Applied Ethics degree contact:

Prof. Allen Thompson or 541-737-5654
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
322 Milam Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331


Important Links to Additional Information