Five reasons in favor of the Master in Philosophy at the University of Bern

Copyright: Iris Muoth

  1. High quality, research-based scholarship with an emphasis on moral philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of science, argumentation theory, analytical metaphysics (from autumn semester 2019 on) as well as Ancient and Chinese philosophy.
  2. Connection to concrete problems, which our institute tackles to analyze from a philosophical standpoint through our research projects. Current examples are climate change, religious conflicts, and the usage of robots in surgery.
  3. Easily accessible institute with an excellent atmosphere and engaged, open-minded lecturers. Kindly have a look at a survey about the state of supervision, (done by the student association in the spring semester 2018)
  4. High flexibility and autonomy in creating one’s curriculum according to one’s interests. It is greatly up to the students themselves to choose the topics of their project work and put an emphasis on their area of interest (individually or in self-organized groups). More information on the study curriculum as well as possible project topics is provided on the factsheet.
  5. Excellent national and international network, for example, in the context of the BeNeFri-network  and the many existing research collaborations.

This is how our allumni put it:

Patrik Füri (COMPLETED HIS MASTER’S DEGREE IN 2019):

"It definitely is a major advantage of the philosophy master to have the freedom to work independently on my topics of choice, and also have the chance to ask for help from a lecturer that has expertise in the chosen area of interest. Because of that, I also learned how to become more independent in my job outside of studies. I improved in solving problems and gained an ability to complete small tasks without depending on guidance from a more experienced employee or superior. In contrast to other fields of study, where the successful reproduction of already available information is often the priority, the focus of philosophy lies in teaching critical thinking. Another positive aspect is the informal setting and casual contact with professors and lecturers." (translated from German)

Eva Bobst (COMPLETED HER MASTER’S DEGREE IN 2015):

"Due to the small group size, students in Bern enjoy good student-to-faculty ratio and close relationships, which I believe are crucial ingredients to practice philosophy together. Furthermore, it is possible to do a lot of self-organized and location-independent work for one’s project papers. On the one hand, such practice allows oneself to develop the essential skills required for further studies at the University. On the other and, such independence also gives students the chance to pursue compensated work outside of their studies. Even though the latter does eventually prevent students from quickly completing their studies, it is nevertheless an existential necessity, which should be considered and valued positively by academic politics. Generally said, the institute in Bern is a small but highly competent and enthusiastic institute with high-quality standards regarding the performance of its students. One is well-equipped for whatever comes with a Master in Philosophy from the University of Bern." (translated from German)

Pascale Lötscher (COMPLETED HER MASTER’S DEGREE IN 2014):

"I particularly favored the analytic approach of the philosophy Master degree in Bern. As I studied mathematics in my minor, these two different fields of study fit perfectly well together. Insofar, I also appreciated the possibility of having a minor during my Master studies. Especially if one doesn’t aim for an academic career, having a minor can make the career entry much easier." (translated from German)

Michael Messerli (COMPLETED His MASTER’S DEGREE IN 2011):

"I believe that Bern is one of the best places in Switzerland to study philosophy – Indifferent of whether one would like to pursue a PhD afterwards or do something else. The lecturers are competent and engaging. The atmosphere is personal. The student-faculty ratio is good. I had teachers that conveyed the sentiment that their work is meaningful. The engagement with a topic is important; there are no right answer that could rewarded with a candy. The studies offer great autonomy. One can pursue one’s intrinsic interests, study all kinds of directions or specialize; practical or theoretical philosophy, philosophy of science or philosophy of history are possible options. Not least Bern is a great place to be. It is an easy-going and pleasurable city. Many that come to Bern stay. The Bernese locals tell you: ‘It is like that and it stays like that’." (translated from German)