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Philosophy | Combined BA/MA

In today's economic climate, the MA is the new BA. The MA programs offered by the department of Philosophy and Religion afford opportunities to work at higher levels in the field, but extend beyond academic study to put those skills to work in internship opportunities for graduate students. In addition to time and cost savings, the BA/MA in philosophy prepares students for law school better than the BA alone. LSAT scores are generally higher and the best law schools are more interested in applicants who hold the MA. Students who want to define their interests in philosophy more sharply, or gain more perspective and confidence before applying to doctoral or professional programs, also benefit from doing the BA/MA. Interested students apply to the undergraduate degree first, and then apply to the MA program after they have completed 75 earned credit hours (the second semester of their junior year). Admission is open to undergraduates whose overall GPA is 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).



  • all requirements for the BA major in philosophy, to be completed before the following requirements
  • all requirements for the MA in philosophy, to be completed after the above requirements
  • students may use up to 9 credit hours (for History of Philosophy, and Philosophy and Social Policy) or 12 credit hours (for Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs) at or above the 500 level to satisfy the requirements for both the BA and the MA


How to Prepare for This Option

  • Work toward completing all your undergraduate requirements first
  • During the second semester of your junior year, apply to the MA program

    Once you have been accepted to the combined program:
  • Meet with the department's graduate advisor to determine your Program of Study that will show which courses will be applied toward your undergraduate degree and which courses will be applied toward your graduate degree
  • Pick up a Graduate Handbook in Battelle-Tompkins 120 or online

    During your senior year:
  • Complete all undergraduate requirements
  • In accordance with your prescribed Program of Study, take 3 (for History of Philosophy, and Philosophy and Social Policy) or 4 (for Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs) of the philosophy courses that count for your BA at the 500 level or above (these will also count toward your MA once you graduate from the BA
  • Apply for graduation for your BA in the semester in which you will finish all the BA requirements (do not wait until later as this will cause problems with your MA)


Please click here for a checklist of the BA/MA requirements.