BA in Philosophy

Degree Program Description

Philosophy is the search for reasoned answers to certain fundamental questions about the nature of the universe and the place of humans in it, questions that science seems unable to answer.  To do philosophy is to construct and evaluate the best arguments for and against the various answers to the questions that philosophy seeks to answer.  The Bachelor of Arts is broader in scope than the Bachelor of Science, and is the better choice for most students.  The practical value of studying philosophy lies in the intellectual training that it provides. Successful study of philosophy requires, and helps develop, several intellectual abilities:  the ability to grasp the big picture as well as fine details; the ability to think, speak, and write about highly abstract and conceptually demanding questions; the ability to identify key assumptions made in arguments; the ability to make relevant conceptual distinctions; and, the ability to assess the pros and cons of proposed solutions. These abilities are highly prized in a wide variety of careers, and philosophy majors go on to successful careers is a wide range of fields, including law, medicine, and business.

Major Program Requirements

Undergraduates pursuing a BA degree in philosophy must meet all the non-philosophy requirements for a BA degree in the College of Arts and Science, including university general education requirements.  In addition, they are recommended, but not required, to pursue a minor in another field.  Finally, they must earn 30 credits in philosophy, with a grade of "C-" or above in every course, distributed as follows:

Required Courses: Twelve Credits12
Elementary Logic
Ancient Western Philosophy
Modern Philosophy
Senior Seminar in Philosophy
At Least Three Of The Following Courses: Nine Credits9
Philosophy of Language
Advanced Logic
Selected Topics in Logic
Probability and Induction
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Biology
Theories of Ethics
Political and Social Philosophy
Philosophy of Law
Philosophy Electives: Nine Credits9
Any nine philosophy credits, but no more than three 1000-level philosophy courses may be used as philosophy electives.
Total Credits30

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary, depending on his or her course choices and whether options are available.

First Year
ENGLSH 10003Philosophy elective (e.g., 1000, 1100, or 1200)3
Humanities/Fine Arts course3Foreign Language5
Social Science3MATH 11003
Foreign Language5General elective3
 14 14
Second Year
Philosophy elective3PHIL 27003
Foreign Language 3Humanities/Fine Arts (Writing Intensive)3
Behavioral Science3Behavioral Science3
Social Science3Social Science3
Natural Science3Natural Science3
 15 15
Third Year
PHIL 30003PHIL 32003
General elective3Philosophy elective3
Course in the minor3Course in the minor3
Natural Science course with lab4Humanities/Fine Arts course3
General elective3General elective3
 16 15
Fourth Year
Philosophy course, 4000-level3PHIL 49503
Philosophy course, 4000-level3Philosophy course, 4000-level3
Course in minor3Course in minor3
Humanities/Fine Arts course3Course in minor3
General Elective 4General elective 3
 16 15
Total Credits: 120

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students who have attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by logging in to myZou and navigating to Self Service, then Student Center, and clicking on “Request Degree Audit.” The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.

MU students who have NOT attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

For newly admitted or prospective students, MU degree audits can be created at Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Where Will Mizzou Take You website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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