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Program Overview

A BA in Philosophy from UMSL can serve as preparation for more advanced graduate studies or be pursued for academic enrichment and career enhancement. Employers in many fields now actively seek out and welcome philosophy graduates. Philosophy students entering the job market can confidently claim skills applicable to a wide range of non-academic tasks.

The BA in Philosophy requires 30 hours of philosophy coursework, including 21 hours of core courses and 9 hours of electives. Candidates for the BA in Philosophy may take any foreign language to meet the foreign language requirement. Students with particular interests may choose to structure their major around tracks offered by the department. A minimum of 18 hours, including all courses for the major at or above the 3000 level, must be taken in residence in the UMSL Department of Philosophy.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire basic knowledge of traditional philosophical issues in the western tradition.
  • Develop critical thinking skills based on knowledge of the standards governing logical reasoning.
  • Acquire familiarity with philosophical issues that arise in some other disciplines (e.g. biology, art, education, etc.).
  • Acquire a basic understanding of ethical and social-political principles and their role in resolving ethical disputes and in evaluating social practices and institutions.
  • Become acquainted with current philosophical debates in the areas of epistemology, metaphysics, and value theory, and with the arguments and proposals made to resolve them.

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