Combined BA & MA in Philosophy

In today's economic climate, the MA is the new BA. The MA programs offered by the department of Philosophy and Religion afford opportunities to work at higher levels in the field, but extend beyond academic study to put those skills to work in internship opportunities for graduate students. In addition to time and cost savings, the BA/MA in philosophy prepares students for law school better than the BA alone. LSAT scores are generally higher and the best law schools are more interested in applicants who hold the MA. Students who want to define their interests in philosophy more sharply, or gain more perspective and confidence before applying to doctoral or professional programs, also benefit from doing the BA/MA. Interested students apply to the undergraduate degree first, and then must apply to the MA program after they have completed 75 earned credit hours (the second semester of their junior year). Admission is open to undergraduates whose overall GPA is 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).

Frequently Asked Questions

How many credit hours can be shared between BA and MA?

Students may use up to 12 credit hours at or above the 500 level to satisfy the requirements for both the BA and the MA.

That is, students take courses at or above the 500 level as an undergraduate and use those courses to fulfill the credits for both the BA and the MA

When Can I Apply to BA/MA?

As soon as student declares the major, the student makes an appointment with Director of Graduate Studies Professor Ian Rhoad to discuss the application procedure.

What are the requirements for the application?

  • Application form
  • Statement of purpose
  • Transcripts
  • Writing sample
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation

How do I apply to the program?

In order to get into BA/MA program, student needs to apply online to the MA program.

Do I need to pay the application fee?

No, the application fee is waived.

Is there an application deadline?

No, BA/MA is accepted on a rolling base.

Please note that students must maintain continuous enrollment at American University. Once the BA is complete, students must continue through to the MA program (summer term is not required).

Philosophy and Religion BA/MA Q&A with student Catherine Hou


Student Catherine Hou answers questions about their experience with the Philosophy and Religion's combined BA/MA.