Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

MA in Philosophy

The terminal MA in Philosophy at Loyola integrates a strong grounding in the history of philosophy with current debates in social and political philosophy, ethics, and contemporary philosophy. Our department is distinguished by its exceptional breadth in the history of philosophy with internationally recognized faculty working in ancient Greek and Chinese philosophy, Islamic philosophy, and medieval, modern and 19th and 20th century European philosophy. Students who complete the terminal MA can therefore expect to develop a strong foundation in the core areas of philosophy and the ability to pursue specialized research in a range of areas at the doctoral level. Loyola’s terminal MA also lays an excellent intellectual foundation for those who intend to pursue graduate work outside of philosophy in such fields as history, theology, and English, as well as those interested in pursuing this degree for personal enrichment.

Program Highlights

  • First year proseminar to prepare students for coursework in graduate school

  • Professional development and placement workshops that prepare students to present and publish their original research and apply for doctoral programs in philosophy and other fields

  • Generalist training in the history of philosophy and an emphasis on philosophical pluralism that can prepare students for specialized research at the doctoral level

  • Opportunity to attend seminars, conferences, and lectures in the Chicago-area

MA in Philosophy Requirements


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).

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).

Note: 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.

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.