University General Course Catalog 2015-2016 
    Nov 29, 2020  

Ethics, Law, and Politics, Graduate Certificate

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I. Contact Information

Katharine Schweitzer, Graduate Coordinator
Department of Philosophy
(775) 784-6062


Eric Padilla Rios, Administrative Assistant
Department of Philosophy
(775) 784-6846

II. Brief Description

The ethics, law, and politics graduate certificate is designed for graduate students who wish to attain and demonstrate competence in ethical theory, philosophy of law, and political philosophy as an adjunct to their graduate studies in another area.  Students who pursue the ethics, law, and politics graduate certificate will enhance their credentials as a scholar who can undertake cross-disciplinary inquiry. 

The certificate can be valuable to students going on to law or medical school, students studying political science, social work, history and other areas; and to students simply seeking to understand the complex interrelations between political structures, ethical aims, and legal constraints.  The ethics, law, and politics graduate certificate is a credential that can improve a student’s attractiveness to employers both inside and outside the academy.  The certificate also provides a well-defined focus of study and continuing education opportunity for people who wish to study philosophy for personal enrichment.        

III. Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of obtaining this certificate, students will be able to:

  1. State a thesis about an ethical, legal or political problem or text, explain the thesis, and provide evidence and argument (including replies to counter-arguments) in its defense.
  2. Explain and interpret the ideas associated with major figures and movements in ethical, legal, and political philosophy.
  3. Distinguish better and worse reasoning, and recognize relevant logical relationships and patterns of inference.
  4. Show what is at stake in an abstract debate in ethics, law, or politics and indicate how different positions in these debates might have concrete or theoretical implications.

IV. Admissions Requirement

Students must be a graduate special or enrolled in a UNR graduate program and must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Students who apply for admission should send the Graduate Coordinator a letter of intent and a sample of recent writing. The letter should describe interests and goals, explaining why the applicant wants to pursue the graduate certificate.  The writing sample should indicate an applicant’s aptitude for philosophical work.

The Department of Philosophy accepts applications for the certificate program on a rolling basis, and students will be informed whether they have been accepted into the program by the Graduate Coordinator. 

V. Program Requirements

Students must take at least one three-unit course in each of two groups.

B. Historical Group

Any 600- or 700-level course that focuses on value theory in the thought of one or more historical philosophers.


NOTE: Students may, with approval from the Graduate Coordinator, substitute a 600 or 700-level independent study course or a selected topics course in value theory in either Group A or B.

VI. Program Total Hours (12 units)

The completion of twelve units of graduate-level courses in philosophical value theory with a grade of at least a B- is required. 

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