Program Requirements for Degree Completion

Course Requirements

Thirty-six (36) hours are required and they are distributed as follows:

Four 800-level courses

Two 700-level courses

Four Electives

PHL 910Thesis Research


Students can complete the program in three semesters; it requires 30 hours of coursework and fulfilling the thesis requirements which can be found at

Bioethics Concentration

Recent popes have noted that in the last several decades a struggle between a culture of death and the culture of life has emerged. They have specifically called on universities to help build a new culture of life and to offer “serious and well-documented contributions, capable of commanding general respect and interest by reason of their merit” (St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, No. 98). The Philosophy Department offers you the opportunity to help answer this call, and to receive a philosophical training with a specific focus on life issues, also called bioethics.

To receive the Master of Arts degree in philosophy with a concentration in bioethics, the student must fulfill the normal requirements for the Master of Arts degree in philosophy (30 credit hours of graduate philosophy, a foreign language test, and a philosophical thesis), but 12 of these 30 credit hours will be graduate bioethics courses, including:

PHL 865Foundations of Bioethics


PHL 875Bioethics: Clinical Issues


PHL 660Ethics of Health Care Law and Social Policy


A fourth bioethics course, such as

PHL 670Clinical Practicum


PHL 645Special Topics in Bioethics


or some other MA course having special relevance to bioethics.

Training in bioethics will prepare students to address intelligently the vexed ethical questions generated by biotechnological advances articulated the logical case for life on the most controversial issues concerning the beginning of life, the end of life, and sexuality, and to offer professional consultation on concrete issues arising in hospital settings.

Accelerated Program

The Philosophy Department offers a special arrangement for Franciscan University students that enables them to receive an early admission to our MA program. Students admitted under the accelerated program are allowed to take up to two graduate level philosophy courses for a total of six credit hours and to apply these credits both toward completion of their undergraduate degree as well as their MA degree. The tuition for these two graduate-level courses is the normal tuition for under- graduate courses.

By taking two graduate-level philosophy courses under this program, the student is left with the requirement of completing 24 credits of graduate work, which can be done by taking the normal graduate load of four courses for two more semesters. There would remain only the language requirement and thesis.

Admission Requirements for the Accelerated Program

Franciscan University under-graduate students applying for the accelerated program must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Apply for admission to the accelerated program no earlier than the mid-semester date of the second semester of their junior year and no later than the end of the first semester of their senior year.
  2. Complete an application for the accelerated program. Applications are available in the Graduate Admissions Office, Starvaggi Hall.
  3. Have completed at least six (6) undergraduate philosophy courses before the start of the first semester of their participation in the accelerated program. Three (3) of these courses must be PHL 113, PHL 211, and PHL 212. Three (3) others must be a combination of any 300 or 400 level courses.
  4. Have at least a 3.00 QPA in their undergraduate philosophy courses and overall.

Requirements for Completing the Accelerated Program

Franciscan University undergraduate students admitted to the accelerated program must fulfill the following requirements in order to complete the program:

  1. Take one, but no more than two, graduate-level philosophy courses offered at Franciscan University. Students may take any such courses.
  2. Attain at least a B+ in each of the graduate courses taken under the program.
  3. The course(s) must be taken when the students are seniors. The courses can be taken the same semester or in the summer.
  4. Maintain a 3.0 QPA in their senior year philosophy courses and overall.

After completing graduate courses under the accelerated program, the applicant’s status will be reviewed by the director of the graduate program in philosophy. If the above conditions are not fulfilled, then the student’s accelerated status will be revoked and the graduate courses will count only for undergraduate credit. If the above conditions are fulfilled, then the student will be admitted into the graduate program in philosophy.

Transfer Credit

In some cases the limit for transfer credit may be set lower than six (as in the case of a student whose previous graduate philosophy study had little affinity with the particular approach and special focus of our program).