Saint Louis University

Master's Degrees


Non-Research Master's Degree


By understanding with the College of Arts and Sciences of Saint Louis University and individual departments, work for a master's degree can be spread through the three years, as can work on the Bellarmine program requirements, with the first two years spent in the College of Philosophy and Letters and the last year in the graduate program. A specially convenient master's, adding little to the Bellarmine requirements, is the non-research M.A. in Philosophy. This is a terminal degree, focusing on philosophy but not intended for those who wish to pursue further graduate study in philosophy. Prerequisites for the non-research M.A. degree are the Graduate Record Examination and eighteen hours of philosophy, not including introduction to philosophy.

Requirements are as follows:

  • Thirty credit hours as approved by Departmental Chair.
  • A minimum of twenty-one hours must be at the graduate level.
  • A minimum of eighteen hours must be taken in philosophy. At least twelve of these hours must be at the graduate level.
  • A student may pursue a minor concentration up to a maximum of twelve hours in no more than two fields other than philosophy, as counseled and approved by the Department of Philosophy.
  • Completion of the Review Synthesis Course (three credit hours in philosophy).
  • Final examination: A one-hour oral examination, conducted by a board of three members of the faculty, at least one of whom is from the Philosophy Department. The examination will be based on the student's synthesis paper previously prepared in the Review Synthesis Course and will also cover the student's course work. 

Research Master's Degree

For students with an interest in later doctoral studies in philosophy, the regular M.A. in Philosophy offers an opportunity for more challenging philosophical preparation. Prerequisites for the thesis M.A. degree are the Graduate Record Examination and eighteen hours of philosophy, not including introduction to philosophy. Requirements are as follows:

  • Thirty credit hours in philosophy: (a) twenty-four hours of graduate-level courses, with four courses in the historical periods (ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary), and (b) six hours of Master's thesis research under direction of a member of the Philosophy Department.
  • Examination over an approved reading list covering the history of philosophy.
  • Completion of the Master's thesis.
  • One-hour oral examination over the thesis and coursework.
  • Reading proficiency in a language approved by the Chair of the Philosophy Department.
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