Are whistle blowers heroes? Should terminal patients in grave pain have the right to die, and should medical practitioners have the right or duty to assist them in doing so? Do we betray our citizens when we outsource jobs? Is torture ever justiﬁed? When should the government be allowed to monitor our email exchanges? More generally, what place is there for morality in a proﬁt-driven environment? How do we strike a balance between keeping ourselves safe and preserving basic democratic principles? The corporate world, rapidly developing technology, globalization, and the changing nature of warfare, to name but a few developments, raise new and complicated moral concerns.
Suffolk’s Master of Science in Ethics and Public Policy trains leaders, executives, professionals, and scholars to identify and think through these complex issues. Combining courses in philosophy, government, and business, this degree provides students with a practical set of tools to understand not only how policy is made, but also what kinds of ethical choices are involved in its formation.
The program is designed to accommodate both full-time and part-time students. To successfully complete the program students must take 4 core courses, 5 electives, and successfully complete a faculty-supervised internship (total 30 credits).
EPP students are required to undertake a semester-long, 3-credit internship. Students can intern with a governmental or non-governmental organization of their choosing or with organizations in the program’s network. Interns are required to produce an internship research paper. The paper, developed in coordination with a faculty advisor, provides an opportunity for students to bring their theoretical studies to bear on practical experience and vice versa. The internship counts formally as one of the ten courses students must take to complete their degree.
Under some circumstances (usually for a student intending to apply to PhD programs), the internship may be replaced by a master’s thesis, provided that a proposal submitted by the student and a faculty advisor is passed by an ad hoc faculty committee chaired by the program director. The thesis option involves the production of a substantial research paper and in most cases would lengthen the time in the program by at least one semester.
A survey of major works and themes of moral and political philosophy from ancient Greece to the late medieval period. Topics covered will include the nature of moral duties, the connection between happiness and morality, citizenship and virtue, the meaning of a good life", the attractions and limitations of moral relativism, the foundations of legitimate government, arguments for and against democracy, realism and idealism in statecraft, and the relationship between law and ethics. Authors may include the Pre-Socratic thinkers, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, and Aquinas, among others. Normally offered every year in the fall.
Prerequisite: PHIL 701
A continuation of PHIL 701, covering the early modern era to the dawn of the 20th century. Authors may include Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche, among others. Prerequisite: PHIL 701. Normally offered every year in the spring.
This course examines the politics of making public policy. How is policy made? Who is involved? What kinds of information do policy-makers rely on to make their decisions? How do political opportunities shape potential for policy change, shifts or stasis? We will examine how policy decisions are made and how policy makers cope and adapt to a diverse set of constraints. We will also focus on what political strategies can be used to improve policy-making processes and outcomes. Students will be required to interview policy makers about a specific policy and write a comprehensive policy analysis. The course is intended to have both theoretical and practical value.
This course demonstrates how issues, problems, and questions surrounding public policies, program operations, and administrative systems can be structured as hypotheses and made amendable to resolution through the application of social science research techniques. The elements of research design such as surveys, true experiments, quasi-experiments, case studies and non-experimental studies are described, as well as sampling techniques and descriptive statistics. Ethical issues related to employment of these methods in the policy making process are also explored. The course content is presented as a way to reduce managerial uncertainty regarding alternative courses of action.
Students in this course will serve as interns in a department-approved position with a service provider, professional organization, government agency, or non-governmental organization whose work is relevant to issues in applied ethics. A faculty mentor will meet with students regularly to develop individually designed programs of readings and to discuss this material and its relation to the internship experience. In addition to the substantial time commitment to the internship, course requirements will usually include a journal and a research project. Normally offered every year.
After fulfilling the required core curriculum, students may, with the approval of the program director, choose their electives from offerings throughout the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for admission in the fall. You may study full- or part-time. Merit-based scholarships and other forms of financial aid are available.
A writing sample demonstrating your ability to write at a level appropriate for graduate school. This sample is to be sent directly to the Director of the Graduate Program, Professor Nir Eisikovits, at email@example.com.
To apply online, please visit Graduate Admission.
Below are sample tracks of study that students may pursue, depending on their intellectual and professional interests. These tracks are meant as suggestions only.Students Interested in Ethics/Policy of race relations:
After decades as an executive in the banking industry, Bruce decided he wanted to teach. Bruce—who left college for Wall Street at the age of 19—enrolled in an undergraduate degree completion program, where he took his first ethics course. That class inspired him to seek out the Ethics & Public Policy master’s program at Suffolk.
Although he had planned to teach business ethics, he was bitten by the philosophy bug in the very first week of the program. “We started with Antigone,” he says, “and I was done for. The world was a wonderful lab unfolding around us that we analyzed through the lens of ancient, medieval, and later thinkers.”
Bruce found his professors to be “real scholars—intellectually accomplished, energetic, and curious.” He collaborated with Professor Nir Eisikovits to develop a curriculum for a course on conservatism. Professor Gregory Fried provided support and encouragement as Bruce spent months further researching and revising a paper on Heidegger—despite having already earned an A.
The revision served Bruce well. He used the Heidegger essay as his writing sample when applying to Ph.D. programs. Bruce is now a doctoral candidate at Boston University, where he is studying philosophy.
Becuase he puts a high premium on learning, Todd Finklestone has immersed himself in making education possible for African orphans.
Finklestone, who earned a BS and a Master of Science in Ethics and Public Policy from Suffolk, is the co-founder of CameroonONE, a non-profit organization that sponsors the education of orphaned children in the Republic of Cameroon.
Finklestone makes major decisions for his organization, working on program development, raising money to help support children’s scholarships, and organizing supply drives for school gear, medical equipment and clothing.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is knowing the real impact our organization has in the development and security of these children,” he says. “It’s pretty special to be involved in helping to support and improve the lives of others.”
Finklestone and his CameroonONE team also expanded their mission, launching a project designed to take parentless children out of their orphanages and place them in the households of surviving relatives who would otherwise not be able to afford to take in their own kin.
Finklestone credits the opportunities created by Suffolk University – in and out of the classroom – for his successful entry into the professional workplace.
One of his most memorable experiences was participating in a London internship with a non-governmental organization that works to keep weapons out of developing countries and war zones and lobbies governments to practice sensible arms sales.
“The knowledge I gained at Suffolk has helped me in every phase of my job,” he says. “If it weren't for my education, I wouldn't be where I am right now.”
Finklestone has branched out in his fund-raising efforts; he is illustrating the children’s book Fooling Ewe, with the proceeds going to CameroonONE. He also is training to be a response team member for ShelterBox, a British organization of first-relief responders to global disasters.
“I need to be connected to helping other people,” he says. “It’s who I am and what I'm all about.”
How does a young man who hails from the Pacific Northwest and has never been east of Colorado end up traveling 3,000 miles to attend graduate school at Suffolk University?
He did his homework.
“I looked everywhere, but there just weren’t many schools in the country that offer a master of science in Ethics and Public Policy,” says Justin “Jesse” Sanders, who hails from Portland, Oregon. “Suffolk was my number one choice, mainly because of its faculty and small class sizes.”
Sanders appreciates the encouragement he received from faculty members throughout his graduate school experience. “They supported my academic interests and were willing to network me with like-minded professionals.” he says. “They also gave me the freedom I needed to figure out what I wanted to pursue.”
With the help of Philosophy Professor Nir Eisikovits, Sanders secured a summer internship as a research analyst for a company that advises global firms on how to manage organizational culture to optimize performance and reduce risks.
While at Suffolk, Sanders had an opportunity to improve his mentoring skills by working as an assistant academic improvement coordinator in the Ballotti Learning Center.
“I really enjoyed seeing the transformation of the students and being able to effect positive change regarding their academics,” he says. “Fulfilling this leadership role in assisting others is something I can take away with me in any career path I choose.”
Our graduates have been very successful in securing jobs. EPP graduates can be found in local, state, and federal government, as well as in NGOs and the corporate world. Some of our students have opted for more schooling and have been accepted to outstanding graduate programs. Here is a partial list of what our graduates are doing:
We work with students to secure meaningful internships that complement their academic and professional interests. Our internships span the course of one academic semester and typically require 10-15 hours of work a week. Some recent placements have included:
Merit scholarships are available on a competitive basis. At the highest level these may cover close to half of tuition costs. Graduate fellowships and assistantships may be available for full and part time students. In order to be considered for these financial aid awards, as well as for grants and loans, candidates should submit their application for fall matriculation to the Office of Graduate Admission by March 15 and their financial aid application to the Financial Aid Office by April 1. Financial aid may be available after these deadlines as well. Typically, most of our students receive one or more forms of financial aid.
The Pearl Lectures in Philosophy and Public Affairs bring distinguished scholars and practitioners to Suffolk to discuss some of the most controversial moral and political questions of the day. We have recently hosted:
Alfred C. Aman, Jr., Roscoe C. O'Byrne Professor of Law, Indiana University, Bloomington
James Carroll, author and journalist, Boston Globe. Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Suffolk University
Ruth Faden, Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University
David Gebler, President, Skout Group, LLC.
Hillel Levine, Professor of Sociology and Religion, Boston University and President, International Center for Conciliation
Glenn Loury, Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences, Department of Economics, Brown University
Thomas Pogge, Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs, Yale University