The Masters in Philosophy (M.Phil. or MPhil) degree is an advanced postgraduate research degree. The prerequisites required for a Masters in Philosophy degree make it the most advanced research degree before the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D. or D.Phil.). Philosophy is the study of the general and fundamental nature of reality, existence, knowledge, values and ethics, reason, mind and language.[i] Philosophy is also a method of addressing problems through rational thought, and is divided into subfields; chronological (ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary), topical (epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics) and style (analytic, continental, social and political).
Enrolling in a Philosophy Masters Program might help students become experts in argumentation, analyzing ideas, as well as strong debaters. We need pillars of ethical thought in our communities to uphold and create a just society. We need lawyers who can successfully defend clients in court, and judges who can weigh a decision in favor of justice. We also need professors who can help us decipher different theories.
GradSchools.com has great search tools to help you review Mphil Degree programs. You might start with a location search to determine where these programs are available; use the city, state or country tabs and browse through listings. Refine this process by deciding on the learning format. You might want to earn a Masters of Philosophy on campus, and benefit from access to the libraries, and interactions with faculty and classmates. Busy working professionals might find that enrolling in a web based format such as a hybrid or Online MPhil is more convenient to their schedule. Listings include general Masters in Philosophy programs, Philosophy (SPEL) degrees as well as Master of
Arts in Philosophical Studies.
Generally, graduate programs in philosophy emphasize social, political, ethical and legal philosophy, and may cover classical, modern and contemporary aspects of these areas. Some MPhil programs cover all periods in the history of philosophy, and explore a diversity of philosophical approaches, including ethics and social-political philosophy. There are also programs that offer interdisciplinary programs that might incorporate philosophy and law, philosophy and theology, and philosophy and psychoanalysis. Master in Philosophy graduate studies tends to be research oriented; a student might work together with a scholar to glean philosophical research skills.
FUN FACT: Many law schools and state and local bar associations provide continuing legal education courses that help lawyers stay current with recent developments. Courses vary by state and generally are related to the practice of law, such as legal ethics.[ii]
It is not uncommon to ask oneself “What can I do With a Master in Philosophy?” If you have done any searches for job titles, it may be hard to find one that has philosophy in the description unless it is a teaching job. However, graduate studies in philosophy encourage critical and systematic inquiry into fundamental questions of right and wrong, truth and falsehood, the meaning of life, and the nature of reality, knowledge and society. Perhaps more than any other discipline, philosophy explores the core issues of the Western intellectual tradition. Philosophy encourages the student to formulate questions and follow arguments. Earning a Master in Philosophy may provide an excellent preparation for law school and other professional programs, as well as a solid foundation for a career in business, teaching, writing, or public service. There are different potential career paths for graduates with Masters Of Philosophy. Some of these might include:
Academia: Postsecondary philosophy teachers work in colleges, universities, junior colleges, and religious organizations.[iii] Most commonly, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D., although in some cases a master’s degree may be enough for some jobs[iv]
Law: Lawyers advise and represent businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes. Part of their work involves presenting facts, and arguing on behalf of clients[v]
Judges and Hearing Officers: Professionals in this field apply the law by overseeing the legal process in courts, conduct pretrial hearings, resolve administrative disputes, facilitate negotiations, and issue legal decisions[vi]
Political Science: Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems, research political ideas, and analyze government, policies, political trends and other issues[vii].
Compliance Managers: Plan, direct, and coordinate activities of an organization to ensure compliance with ethical or regulatory standards[viii]
Top Executives: These professionals devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals, and often have a degree in liberal arts as well as an MBA[ix]
For the graduate student with a passion for analytical and critical thinking, who loves asking questions, debating answers, and deliberating on morals and ethics, pursuing a MPhil Degree might be a solid foundation and preparation for a variety of potential career paths. Why not use the search tools on GradSchools.com to find an accredited college or university with a Philosophy Masters Program that appeals to you?
Sources: [i] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm#tab-4 | [iii] bls.gov/oes/2003/may/oes251126.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [v] bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm#tab-2 | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/legal/judges-and-hearing-officers.htm | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm | [viii] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9199.02 | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm#tab-4