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 in 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 and graduation 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:

Logic Requirement3
One of the following three courses:
Logic and Reasoning
Logic and Reasoning-Honors
Elementary Logic (recommended option)
Required Courses9
All of the following three courses:
Ancient Western Philosophy
Modern Philosophy
Senior Seminar in Philosophy
3000-Level/4000-Level Requirement9
Any three semester-based courses at the 3000-level or 4000-level not already taken to meet other major requirements, except for 4998 and 4999.
Philosophy Electives9
Nine philosophy credits in any classes (excluding 4998 and 4999) not taken to meet other major requirements; 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 10003Social Science 3
Humanities/Fine Arts course3Foreign Language5
Foreign Language5MATH 11003
PHIL 1000 or 11003General elective3
 14 14
Second Year
Philosophy elective3PHIL 2700, 1200, or 1200H3
Foreign Language 3Humanities/Fine Arts (Writing Intensive)3
Behavioral Science3Behavioral Science3
Social Science3Social Science3
Natural Science3Natural Science3
 15 15
Third Year
PHIL 30003PHIL 32003
Course in the minor3Philosophy elective3
Diversity Intensive Course3Course in the minor3
Natural Science course with lab4Humanities/Fine Arts course3
Writing Intensive 1000+3Writing Intensive 1000+3
 16 15
Fourth Year
Philosophy course, 3000 or 4000-level3PHIL 49503
Philosophy course, 3000 or 4000-level3Philosophy course, 3000 or 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 can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students 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

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via 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 Majors and Careers 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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