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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 possible answers to these questions. 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 it provides. Successful study of philosophy requires, and helps develop, several valuable intellectual abilities: to grasp the big picture as well as fine details; to think, speak, and write about abstract conceptual questions; to identify the key assumptions of arguments; to make relevant distinctions; and 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 many 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:
How to Think: Logic and Reasoning for Everyday Life
How to Think: Logic and Reasoning for Everyday Life - Honors
Elementary Logic (recommended option)
History Requirement6
Both of the following courses:
Ancient Western Philosophy
Modern 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.
Capstone Requirement3
Any semester-based course at the 4000-level not already taken to meet other major requirements, except for 4998 and 4999.
Philosophy Electives9
Nine philosophy credits in any courses not already taken to meet other major requirements, except for 4998 and 4999; 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 is likely to 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 Language5General elective3
PHIL 1000 or 11003Math and Quantitative Reasoning course3
 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 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-level3Philosophy course, 3000 or 4000-level3
Philosophy course, 3000 or 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. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. 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 https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com. 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 https://registrar.missouri.edu/degrees-audits/degree-audits/.

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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 are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career 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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