Philosophy, M.A.

Saint Louis University's Master of Arts in Philosophy is designed for students who want to broaden their philosophical knowledge through graduate studies without necessarily intending to pursue a Ph.D.

Curriculum Overview

Courses in SLU's philosophy graduate program examine historical and contemporary issues such as problems in metaphysics, epistemology, social and political ethics and philosophy of religion, among others.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Unique resources available to the program include the international philosophical journal Res Philosophica; the Vatican Film Library, one of the finest repositories of its kind in the Western hemisphere; and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

There are regular opportunities to work with eminent visiting scholars, numerous colloquia and conferences, a wide variety of reading groups and opportunities to participate in exchange programs.


Possible careers for philosophy graduates include diplomat, professor, lawyer, church minister and public service official.

Admission Requirements

There are no requirements for acceptance into the graduate program in philosophy. However, a philosophy major is strongly recommended. In general, at least six philosophy courses are expected, including logic and history of philosophy.

The application deadline is March 1.

Application Requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Professional goal statement
  • Writing sample

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students. International students must also meet the following additional requirements:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include:
    • Courses taken and/or lectures attended
    • Practical laboratory work
    • The maximum and minimum grades attainable
    • The grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations
    • Any honors or degrees received.
  • WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.
  • In order to be issued an I-20 for your F-1 visa application, students must submit financial documents. Proof of financial support that must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the student's time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of the student's study at the University

Review Process

A committee of philosophy department faculty members reviews applications.


Tuition Cost Per Credit
Graduate Tuition $1,370

Additional charges may apply. Other resources are listed below:

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Information on Tuition and Fees

Miscellaneous Fees

Information on Summer Tuition

Scholarships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for departmental graduate scholarships, students should complete their applications by the program admission deadlines listed.  

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at

  1. Graduates will be able to analyze and defend a philosophical position on a philosophical problem.
  2. Graduates will be able to gather sources relevant to a philosophical problem.
  3. Graduates will be able to interpret sources relevant to a philosophical problem.
  4. Graduates will be able to synthesize sources relevant to a philosophical problem.
History Requirement
Select a course with the "Ancient Philosophy" attribute3
Select a course with the "Medieval Philosophy" attribute3
Select a course with the "Modern Philosophy" attribute3
Philosophy Elective Courses 27
Total Credits36
  • Up to 6 credits may be taken outside of philosophy, with approval from the advisor.
  • Up to 6 credits may be taken at the 4000-level.
  • No more than 6 credits may be in PHIL 5970 Research Topics or PHIL 5980 Graduate Reading Course , or a combination thereof.
  • Students' writing an M.A. thesis must enroll in PHIL 5990 Thesis Research (0-6 cr).

Non-Course Requirements

 Proficiency in a foreign language, if needed for research

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
PHIL 6400 Ancient Philosophy (See program notes) 3
PHIL 6220 Advanced Logic 3
PHIL 6300 Advanced Ethics 3
PHIL 6450 Medieval Philosophy (See program notes) 3
PHIL 6340 Advanced Epistemology 3
PHIL 6360 Seminar in Political Philosophy 3
Year Two
PHIL 6500 Modern Philosophy (See program notes) 3
PHIL 6260 Problems in Philosophy of Religion 3
PHIL 6000 Seminar in Major Philosopher in Ethics 3
PHIL 6200 Philosophy of Science 3
PHIL 5990 Thesis Research (See program notes) 6
 Total Credits36

Program Notes

Requirements for the Master of Arts:

  • 36 credits total (over two years)
  • History requirement: nine credits distributed as follows: three hours in ancient, three hours in medieval and three hours in modern.
  • PHIL 5990 Thesis Research (0-6 cr) may be taken in the second year, under advisor supervision.
  • Up to six credits may be taken outside of philosophy, with approval from the advisor
  • No more than six credits may be in research topics (PHIL 6970 Graduate Research Topics (1-3 cr), or PHIL 5980 Graduate Reading Course (1-3 cr) or a combination thereof.
  • Proficiency in a foreign language, if needed for research.

For more information about our program, please contact:

Kent Staley, Ph.D.
Coordinator of graduate studies
Department of Philosophy