The Masters Degree in Applied Ethics

Don't Just PREPARE for the World as it is.....Prepare to CHANGE it!


The MA in Applied Ethics

There is a great need for people who can make wise decisions about the moral and ethical issues facing the workplace, the community, and the larger world.   YOU can be one of those people. 

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 thesis, 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. 

Engaged ethics at OSU begins with transforming our discipline.  We take seriously our responsibilities to create a diverse and welcoming philosophical community, dedicated to social justice. Members of historically under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

There are five primary areas of research specialty in our department.  
Click the images below to learn more!

Environmental Ethics

Environmental Ethics

Ethics and Religion

Ethics & Religion

Social Justice

Social Justice

Biomedical Ethics

Biomedical Ethics

Global Justice - Peace & War

Global Justice
Peace & War

Examples include:

Biodiversity
Conservation
Future Generations
Climate Change
Wildness
Value of Nature

Examples include:

Moral Conscience
Compassion
Buddhism
Satyagraha
Mindfulness
Yoga


Examples include:

Gender, Feminism, and Racism
Disability & Access
Collective Bargining
Civil Disobedience
Personhood
Art as Activism

Examples include:

Playing God
Death with Dignity
Stem Cells
Rationing
Triage
Organ Donation

Examples include:

Immigration
Terrorism
Human Rights
Poverty & Inequality
Non-violence
Citizenship

AE: Course of Study

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 501, 502 and 505).

PHL 501 Research (1-16)
PHL 502 Independent Study (1-16)
PHL 505 Reading and Conference (1-16)
PHL 507 Seminar (1-16)
PHL 512 Great Figures (4)
PHL 517 Feminist Philosophies (3)
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 561 Art and Morality (3)
PHL 570 Philosophy of Science (3)
PHL 591 Sustainable Forestry (3)
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” (http://oregonstate.edu/cla/shpr/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)

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” http://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.

AE: Student Practica

More Than Just Classes

Students in our MA program learn just as much out of the classroom as they do inside.   Our practica program is designed to get students into the community and gaining experience working with real-world issues.  

Some examples of recent practica include:

 

Student/Year: Mentor: Practicum:
Sean Creighton,
2013
Jonathan Kaplan

Oregon State Dept of Education (Salem) analysis of Oregon K-12 sci. ed. standards

Phronesis Lab co-founder

Matt Gaddis, 2013 Sharyn Clough

College Hill High School
Alternative Education Program

Phronesis Lab co-founder

Chris Lenn,
2012
Lani Roberts Linn-Benton Mediation Services victim/offender mediation training
DeeDee Overholser,
2011
Courtney Campbell Established Human Services Resource Center at OSU
Jessica Cox,
2011
Courtney Campbell Benton Hospice Service
Masayuki Sugie,
2010
Sharyn Clough CH2M Hill (Corvallis) – analysis of engineers and their ethical decision-making
Mark Fillmore, 2008 Joseph Orosco Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis
Roni Sue, 
2006
Lani Roberts Linn Benton Mediation Services
Christian Matheis,
2004
Lani Roberts Providence Health System (Portland)
diversity training for employees

 

Practica proposal form is available here.

AE: How to Apply

How to apply for the MA program in Applied Ethics

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 a 10-15 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

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.

FAQ

Still have questions?   Read our FAQ!

 

Important note:

The Graduate School announced two major admissions processing improvements that became available on October 26, 2012:

     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.

Additional details and screen views are available on the Graduate School web site: gradschool.oregonstate.edu/support/admissions-application

 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
Director of Graduate Studies
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
306D Milam Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: 541-737-5654
Fax: 541-737-1257

email: allen.thompson@oregonstate.edu

 



Important Links to Additional Information

 

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AE: Graduate Research

Graduate students in Applied Ethics also undertake a supervised research project leading to a thesis.  

Below is a list of recent student graduates and their thesis topic/advisor.

 

Student Year Advisor Topic
Matt Gaddis 2013    
Adam Hughes 2013  Flo Leibowitz
Sean Creighton 2013 Jonathan Kaplan

Justifications for K-12 education standards, goals, and curriculum

Christopher Lenn

2012

Joseph A. Orosco


The cage has two sides:
an ethical perspective of prison abolition

Natalie Laine Rich

(Undergrad
Honor's Thesis)

2012

Courtney Campbell


Intersections and Implications Between Medical, Philosophical and Moral Understandings of the Body and the Self

Jessica Cox
2011
Courtney Campbell Hospice nurses as "midwives to the dying" : guiding life's important journeys
Luke Sugie
2010
 Sharyn Clough

Toward a more ethical
engineering : four habits of highly ethical engineering practice

 Mark Fillmore  2008  Joseph Orosco
Cool Hunting: 
The Commodification of Creative Expression & the Alienation of Youth
  Aaron Hougham  2005   An Obroni's Observations:
Essays on the Roles of Physicians in Ghana
  Christian Matheis  2004
 Lani Roberts
Creating and Sustaining a Whole Community in Hierarchical Institutions
       
       

AE: Environmental Ethics

Environmental Ethics

 

Applied Ethics @ OSU:
Environmental Ethics

 

Biodiversity
Conservation
Future Generations
Climate Change
Wildness

Value of Nature
Etc.

Philosophical interventions in the values and
politics of environmental science and technology

 



Faculty:

Supporting Programs:                                        

Students:

AE: Ethics & Religion

Ethics and Religion

 

Applied Ethics @ OSU:
Ethics & Religion

 

 Moral Conscience
Compassion
Buddhism
Satyagraha
Mindfulness
Yoga

 

Philosophical interventions in the
values and politics of religions




Faculty:

Supporting Programs:                                        

Students:

AE: Biomedical Ethics



Biomedical Ethics


Applied Ethics @ OSU:
Biomedical Ethics

 

 Playing God
Death with Dignity
Stem Cells
Rationing
Triage
Organ Donation
Etc.

 

Philosophical interventions in the values
and politics of bioscience and technology




Faculty:

Supporting Programs:                                        

Students:

AE: Peace & War



Global Justice - Peace & War


Applied Ethics @ OSU:
Global Justice - Peace & War

 

 Immigration
Terrorism
Human Rights
Poverty & Inequality
Non-violence
Citizenship
Etc.

 

Philosophical interventions in the values and
geopolitics of borders, identities,
conflicts, and cooperation




Faculty:

Supporting Programs:                                        

Students: