Master of Arts in Philosophy

The one-year master's program gives a unique focus to graduate work in philosophy while preparing students for doctoral study or for careers in government or the private sector. The program focuses on contemporary and historical perspectives on persons, and their relationships to themselves and others in moral, political and cultural settings. Students will explore metaphysical, epistemological, moral, and political questions about selves, agency and communities in five graduate level courses and will write a major research paper.

Graduate students are trained to do advanced research in traditional and contemporary areas of philosophical scholarship.

The program offers one field of specialized study: Self, Agency, and Community. The field will be explored from the perspectives of both (1) metaphysics and epistemology and (2) social and political philosophy, and ethics.

Additional Information
Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the master's program, a student must meet all the general requirements of the university. Applicants are expected to have an honours BA with a major in philosophy or an equivalent degree. A final year average of B+ is usually required, along with a cumulative average of at least B+ in all philosophy courses.

Proficiency in English usage, both written and oral, is essential to pursue graduate studies at Laurier. Applicants whose language of instruction during the undergraduate degree was other than English must furnish evidence of proficiency in English, prior to admission.

Program Requirements

Students must develop their programs in consultation with the graduate co-ordinator. Not all elective courses may be available each year. The graduate co-ordinator must approve the student's program in all cases. To qualify for the degree a student must successfully complete the following:

  • 5 approved graduate courses
  • PP688 - MA Research Seminar
  • PP695* - Major Research Paper

Grades for all courses will be assigned in accordance with the course requirements specified in the WLU Graduate Calendar.

With the approval of the graduate officer, students may take a maximum of 0.5 credits from outside the program. In addition to this, students may also arrange to take one of their courses as a directed studies course under the supervision of an individual professor in the philosophy department.

The normal sequence of registration is illustrated in the following table:

Fall Term
Winter Term
Spring Term
3 courses

2 courses


Major Research Paper

Under the supervision of a faculty member, students will complete a paper (PP695* - Major Research Paper) in which they engage in original research on an approved topic. Papers should be at least 7500 words long but must not exceed 8750 words, excluding bibliography but including endnotes. The supervisor will be responsible for assigning a grade to the major research paper.