Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

Master of Arts Program


Entering MA students must have a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. They should have a solid background in philosophy (ordinarily an undergraduate minor or its equivalent).

The Terminal MA Degree in Philosophy

The department offers various terminal master's degrees in philosophy, one of which is the generic philosophy MA. Although the requirements for this degree are basically the same as those for the non-terminal master’s degree that is the first stage of doctoral studies, students pursuing the generic MA in philosophy are usually motivated by either the desire for self-development or the hope of laying down an intellectual foundation for graduate work in other areas such as history or theology.

In exceptional cases, a very well qualified student in this or another terminal MA program may be considered for admission into the PhD program, but such students compete with other PhD program applicants for admission and must complete all PhD program requirements, including some MA requirements not required for the terminal MA.

Required Coursework

30 hours of graduate coursework (10 courses) are required for all MA programs in the Philosophy Department. The requirement for the generic MA in philosophy is that the 10 courses taken must include at least one 3-hour course in each of the following five areas:

  • Ancient philosophy
  • Medieval philosophy
  • Classical modern philosophy
  • Continental philosophy
  • Analytic philosophy

These courses also satisfy the PhD distribution requirements in the five designated areas. The remainder must be graduate courses (400- or 500-level).

Language Requirement

There is no language requirement or other research tool requirement for an M.A. degree in the Philosophy Department.


Toward the end of the generic MA course of studies, the student must pass an oral examination on a research paper he or she has written. The focus of the examination is on the argument and analysis of the paper, as well as on the background thought that the argument and analysis presuppose.