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BS 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 Science emphasizes the formal aspects of philosophy and its many connections with the sciences; it may be a better choice for those wishing to double (or dual) major in philosophy and a science. 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

In addition to University, general education, and College of Arts and Science requirements, students must also meet the following major program requirements. All major requirements in the College of Arts and Science must be completed with grades of C- or higher unless otherwise indicated.

In place of the foreign language requirement, they may take 12 hours of coursework at the 2000-level or higher in Mathematics, Statistics, Physical or Biological Sciences, Psychology, or Economics. In addition, they are recommended, but not required, to pursue a minor in another field. Finally, they must earn 42 credits in philosophy, with a grade of "C-" or above in every course, distributed as follows:

Required Courses9
Elementary Logic
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.
Any four semester-based courses from the following list:12
Rational Decisions
Minds, Brains, and Machines
Minds and Morals: An Introduction to Moral Psychology
Language, Meaning, and Reality
Advanced Logic
Selected Topics in Logic
Living with Uncertainty: An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic
Formal Semantics
The Nature of Things: An Introduction to Metaphysics
Consciousness, Thought, and the Brain
The Nature of Scientific Inquiry
Life and Evolution: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Biology
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 Credits42

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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
PHIL 1000, 1100, or 12003Natural science3
ENGLSH 10003Second language or alternative requirement II5-6
Behavioral or Social Science3Philosophy elective3
Second language or alternative requirement I5-6MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 12003
 14-15 14-15
Second Year
Behavioral or Social Science3Philosophy elective3
Natural Science3Humanities/Fine Arts course (writing intensive)3
PHIL 27003Behavioral or social Science3
Second Language or alternative III3Natural science3
Writing Intensive 1000+3Diversity Intensive Course3
 15 15
Third Year
PHIL 30003PHIL 32003
Philosophy course, 3000- or 4000-level3Humanities/Fine Arts course3
Natural science with lab4-5General elective3
General electives6Philosophy course, 3000- or 4000-level3
 Philosophy course, 3000- or 4000-level3
 16-17 15
Fourth Year
Philosophy course for BS3Philosophy course for BS3
Philosophy course for BS3Philosophy course, 4000-level3
Philosophy course for BS3Humanities/Fine Arts course3
General elective3General elective3
General elective3General elective3
 15 15
Total Credits: 119-122

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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/.

Major and Career Explorations

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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