The Master in Philosophy at USI differs from many other philosophy programs:
- It offers courses in contemporary analytic philosophy and in the history of philosophy, ancient and medieval, which are designed to complement each other.
- Its focus is on theoretical philosophy and its history - especially on metaphysics and the philosophy of mind.
- It has a strong thematic unity; the topic of the 2017-8 Master is time - the metaphysics of time, temporal consciousness, the logic and linguistics of time, the philosophy of history, the nature of narratives, time and social ontology.
- It requires students to submit regular written work, to produce research papers and to develop their discussion skills in class.
- It offers courses in philosophy for up to at least 105 ECTS.
This full-time study program comprises 120 ECTS spread over 4 semesters (usual duration 2 years). All philosophy courses are in English. It is possible for students to earn their degree by taking courses in English only.
Structure and contents
The Master in Philosophy at USI aims to allow students to deepen their understanding of philosophical problems, to develop the ability to think, argue, write and speak clearly and effectively, and to become acquainted with aspects of current research in philosophy and the history of philosophy.
It aims to provide an absorbing grounding in a number of interrelated fields, to equip students with several skills of great value in the job market, and to qualify students for teaching positions at high schools as well as at lower levels, and for the most demanding Ph.D. programs.
It aims to combine contemporary philosophy and the history of philosophy within the framework of a unified, thematic approach. In 2017-18 the topic of the programme is time - physical time, time in culture, society, history and art, and the awareness of time. Teaching and courses in metaphysics and social ontology, the philosophy of mind and history, aesthetics, the logic and linguistics of time and tense, and the history of philosophy, ancient and modern are designed to give a solid grasp of some of the many aspects of time.
The detailed exploration of the philosophy of time aims to provide a full grasp of one central philosophical topic and an introduction to contemporary research in philosophy and the history of philosophy.
Graduates of the Master program possess soft skills that are of great value in a variety of careers, in particular logical, rhetorical and argumentative skills, the ability to analyze problems, formulate arguments, clarity, and effectiveness of expression. Philosophy students constantly perform better than students in other fields in these areas, especially in verbal expression and analytic writing. Such skills are highly valued in several professions, for example in law, government, HR, and business, healthcare.
Graduates of the Master program are also qualified for teaching philosophy at a high school in Switzerland and elsewhere.
Graduates with high marks are well qualified to apply to the most demanding Ph.D. programs around the world. Moreover, they will be trained within the Swiss academic network. Switzerland is committed to investing substantially in all areas of research, including philosophy. Switzerland is unusual in making available generous research grants both in universities and at the national level. The Swiss National Science Foundation awards both individual grants (such as doc.ch) and grants for research projects and training networks.
The formal requirement for admission to the Master's degrees in Philosophy is a Bachelor's degree granted by a recognized university in the field of Philosophy or related disciplines. Admissions will be treated on a case by case basis.
Program taught in: