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Philosophy, M.A., Ph.D.

Saint Louis University’s Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs include a range of courses in the history of philosophy. Emphases include ethics, social and political philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, medieval philosophy and the philosophy of religion.

About the Program

SLU’s M.A. in philosophy is designed for students who want to broaden their philosophical knowledge through graduate studies without necessarily intending to pursue a Ph.D.

The Doctor of Philosophy program is designed to prepare students to enter the field of philosophy as teachers and scholars prepared to engage at the highest levels of philosophical discourse.

Program Highlights

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

Master's Curriculum and Program Details

Two options are available for SLU’s Master of Arts degree in philosophy: thesis and nonthesis. The nonthesis program requires 30 credit hours approved by the chair, a minimum of 15 graduate credit hours, a minimum of 18 credit hours in philosophy (12 of which must be graduate) and completion of the review synthesis course (three credit hours).

The thesis program requires 30 credit hours, including:

  • 24 credit hours of graduate-level courses (12 of which must be credit hours in ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary periods)
  • Six credit hours of thesis research
  • Completion of a three-hour written examination on the history of philosophy covering three of the four historical periods
  • Completion of thesis
  • One-hour oral examination on master's thesis and coursework
  • Reading proficiency in French, German or other foreign language

The master’s program may also be completed in partnership with the College of Philosophy and Letters.

Ph.D. Curriculum and Program Details

54 credit hours of graduate courses are required:

  • 21 credit hours in the history of philosophy: two seminars/courses in ancient, medieval and modern; one seminar/course in contemporary history
  • 15 credit hours in three of these areas: ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and social and political
  • Nine credit hours of electives
  • One course (three credit hours) in advanced logic
  • Six credit hours of two three-hour reading courses in the topic of the dissertation culminating in the dissertation prospectus
  • Michael Barber, S.J., Ph.D.
  • Gregory Beabout, Ph.D.
  • Scott Berman, Ph.D.
  • Jeff Bishop, Ph.D.
  • Susan Brower-Toland, Ph.D.
  • Dan Haybron, Ph.D.
  • Jonathan Jacobs, Ph.D.
  • Kathryn Lindeman, Ph.D.
  • Jack Marler, Ph.D.
  • Colleen McCluskey, Ph.D.
  • Scott Ragland, Ph.D.
  • William Rehg, S.J., Ph.D.
  • Joe Salerno, Ph.D.
  • Kent Staley, Ph.D.
  • Eleonore Stump, Ph.D.
  • George Terzis, Ph.D.
  • Theodore R. Vitali, C.P., Ph.D.

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

Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
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Financial Aid

Scholarships and Financial Aid
There are six different forms of financial aid available to SLU graduate students in philosophy in good academic standing: teaching assistantship, graduate fellowship, minority fellowship, presidential fellowship, dissertation fellowship and tuition remission.

Applicant Criteria

Successful applicants possess a high GPA, skills in philosophy via GPA in the major/minor, writing sample and testimony by faculty, sufficient GRE scores and sufficient TOEFL score (for international students).

You’ll need the following items to apply:

Application Requirements

Application form and fee
Three letters of recommendation
GRE scores
Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

Assistantship Application Deadline

Students who want to be considered for a philosophy assistantship must submit their application by Jan. 15.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by committee of philosophy department faculty members. The American Philosophical Association rules stipulate an April 15 national deadline to make formal offers to philosophy graduate studies applicants and for those applicants to accept the offer to attend.