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Philosophy, B.A.

The mission of Saint Louis University's Department of Philosophy is to provide a philosophical education appropriate to the Catholic and Jesuit goals of education. This goal is rooted in the basic Catholic belief that all human experience reveals and speaks to the existence and nature of God as well as to the dignity and value of all human beings in themselves and as members of the human community.

The department strives to provide an excellent introduction to the discipline and practice of philosophy. The faculty seeks to build up in students the ability to understand, explain and evaluate lines of reasoning; to foster a reflective moral life; and to educate them in the history of philosophy, contemporary philosophical debate and the Catholic heritage. The faculty nurture in each student a philosophical habit of mind, an appreciation for the Western philosophical tradition, a spirit of intellectual inquiry and a lifelong desire for wisdom.

Curriculum Overview

The Department of Philosophy in SLU's College of Arts and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy that provides students with a solid foundation in critical philosophical thinking while leaving significant room to focus on their personal interests in philosophy.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

The department offers a wide range of opportunities for philosophical exchange and dialogue, both within the intellectual community of the University and with the wider philosophical community. These opportunities include visiting scholars, departmental colloquia, the annual Wade Memorial Lecture, various conferences, reading groups and graduate student talks.

  • Students have the opportunity to get to know other philosophy majors through the Philosophy Club.
  • The Vatican Microfilm Library, located on campus, is the finest resource in the United States for research in medieval and Renaissance studies.
  • The Department of Philosophy has an internationally regarded journal.

Careers

Benefits of SLU's philosophy program include several career opportunities. Students who pursue a degree in philosophy at SLU will find themselves well prepared for any number of career options. Philosophy provides, for example, excellent training for those interested in pursuing professional degrees in law, business or medicine.

Not only do philosophy majors at SLU excel on entrance exams for professional programs, but the analytical and communication skills they develop in their philosophical studies are essential for their future success in these programs. The study of philosophy is excellent preparation for any career that puts a premium on clarity, concision and analytic reasoning.

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the 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 study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the 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, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to synthesize knowledge of two different periods of Western philosophy.
  2. Graduates will be able to correctly employ principles of logical reasoning in philosophical analysis.
  3. Graduates will be able to analyze and defend a philosophical position on a philosophical problem.
  4. Graduates will be able to gather sources relevant to a philosophical problem.
  5. Graduates will be able to interpret sources relevant to a philosophical problem.
  6. Graduates will be able to synthesize sources relevant to a philosophical problem.

Philosophy students must complete a minimum total of 30 credits for the major.

Core Requirements
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Required Courses for Philosophy Major
PHIL 1050Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality3
PHIL 2050Ethics3
PHIL 4040Symbolic Logic3
PHIL 4880Senior Inquiry: Project3
History of Philosophy Requirement
Choose two courses with the History of Philosophy attributes, such as:6
PHIL 4400
History of Ancient Greek Philosophy
PHIL 4500
Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 4600
History of Modern Philosophy
Philosophy Electives
Two courses must be at the 4000 level12
General Electives24-33
Total Credits120

Continuation Standards

Students must have a GPA of 2.00 in philosophy major coursework to be retained in the major.

Philosophy Electives 

PHIL 3250
Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 3300
Philosophy of the Human Person
PHIL 3360
Medical Ethics
PHIL 3380
Business Ethics
PHIL 3400
Ethics & Engineering
PHIL 3410
Computer Ethics
PHIL 3420
Environmental and Ecological Ethics
PHIL 3430
Philosophy of Law
PHIL 3450
Disaster Narratives
PHIL 3480
Jewish Life: Bible to Middle Ages
PHIL 3490
Jewish Life: Middle Ages to Modern Times
PHIL 3510
Philosophy in Film
PHIL 3600
Science and Religion
PHIL 3910
Internship
PHIL 3930
Special Topics
PHIL 3980
Independent Study
PHIL 4040
Symbolic Logic
PHIL 4090
Topics in Advanced Logic
PHIL 4120
Topics in Epistemology
PHIL 4150
Philosophy of Science Survey
PHIL 4160
Philosophy and Physics
PHIL 4190
Gender and Science
PHIL 4210
Topics in Metaphysics
PHIL 4260
Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 4280
Biology and Mind
PHIL 4310
Topics in Ethics
PHIL 4320
Feminism and the History of Ethics
PHIL 4350
Survey of Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 4360
Topics in Social & Political Philosophy
PHIL 4400
History of Ancient Greek Philosophy
PHIL 4500
Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 4570
Latin Paleography
PHIL 4600
History of Modern Philosophy
PHIL 4720
Topics Continental Philosophy
PHIL 4740
Philosophy of Karl Marx
PHIL 4750
Latin American Philosophy
PHIL 4760
Spanish Philosophy
PHIL 4800
Topics and Movements in Contemporary Philosophy
PHIL 4810
Philosophy of Feminism
PHIL 4820
Philosophy and Race
PHIL 4840
Catholic Social Thought
PHIL 4850
Topics in Philosophical Anthropology
PHIL 4910
Internship
PHIL 4930
Special Topics
PHIL 4980
Advanced Independent Study

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics3
Natural Science6
Philosophy9
Social Science6
Theology9
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

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
FallCredits
PHIL 1050 Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
PHIL 2050 Ethics 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
PHIL 4080Advanced Symbolic Logic 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
PHIL 4400 History of Ancient Greek Philosophy 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
PHIL 4500 Medieval Philosophy 3
PHIL 3350Philosophy and Good Life 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
PHIL 3250 Philosophy of Religion 3
PHIL 4160 Philosophy and Physics 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
PHIL 4210 Topics in Metaphysics 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
PHIL 4880 Senior Inquiry: Project 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits120

Students can complete all or part of the B.A. in philosophy at SLU’s campus in Madrid, with one semester of study in St. Louis required. 
Learn More

2+SLU programs are formal  transfer agreements for students seeking an associate degree at a partner institution.