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Program Overview

An MA in Philosophy from UMSL can serve as preparation for more advanced graduate studies in the field. It can also be pursued for personal enrichment or career enhancement. Some of our graduates teach philosophy in community colleges or a variety of subjects in high schools. Some students enter the program with the aim of proceeding to law school or medical school.

The MA in Philosophy requires at least 30 hours of graduate-level course work. In addition, students must write a thesis, for which they must take three to six credit hours of Thesis Research. Entering students must demonstrate a competence in logic, either by having passed the relevant course prior to admission or by taking PHIL 5561: Graduate Formal Logic at UMSL. Students should take PHIL 5400: Proseminar in Philosophy in the first year of residency.

1. At least half the courses must be at the 5000 level.
2. At least two courses (6 credit hours) must be from each of the following four areas:

  • Epistemology/Metaphysics/Philosophy of Mind/Philosophy of Language
  • History of Philosophy
  • Logic/Philosophy of Science/Philosophy of Cognitive Science
  • Value Theory (ethics, aesthetics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of law)

Learn more about the program curriculum.


What UMSL Arts & Sciences has to offer

The College of Arts and Sciences at UMSL creates the next poets, conservation biologists, symphony soloists, psychological scientists, historians, criminologists, chemists, sculptors, painters, communicators, space explorers and speakers of French, German, Japanese and Spanish. With nearly 4,000 undergraduate students, 800 graduate students and 450 faculty, it’s the largest college and academic backbone of the university.

Supporting the university’s mission, the college provides a diverse student body access to an affordable, quality education with expert faculty. A strong focus on research and scholarship has students exploring the latest thought and theory, while giving them access to ground-breaking studies through undergraduate and graduate research opportunities. Emphasis on the arts and sciences working in communion leads to graduates with a holistic understanding of their fields, creating the best scholars for academia and professionals for the world.

The College of Arts and Sciences consists of some 275 full-time faculty members in 18 departments and is home to the School of Fine and Performing Arts. The college offers a wide range of degree programs in areas such as Anthropology, Art and Design, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Biology, Chemistry, Communication and Media, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Languages and Cultural Studies, History, Mathematics and Computer Science, Philosophy, Physics and Astronomy, Political Science, Psychological Sciences, Sociology, and Theatre and Cinema Arts.

For more on the College Arts & Sciences, visit