Philosophy, MA, MPhil


Through the master’s programs in philosophy, students who have completed their undergraduate studies have the opportunity to spend an additional year or two in pursuit of wisdom, while honing the essential skills of professional life. With four different paths to a degree, requirements can be tailored to the needs of each student.

“Few wish to undergo this labor for love of knowledge, yet God has placed a natural desire for it in the human mind.”

In accord with these words of Thomas Aquinas, graduate study in philosophy calls to those whom the love of wisdom impels beyond the ordinary. It is a labor of love, undertaken by those who are already well equipped for professional success, but who choose to dedicate themselves further to the pursuit of wisdom. For some this means a lifelong commitment to philosophy, with all the sacrifices this entails. For others it means postponing for one more year the comforts of a full-time income, or dedicating nights and weekends to the task of study. Yet it is also a matter of deep and abiding joy, and a task that prepares the mind for whatever life may hold.

At the University of Dallas, graduate study in philosophy is a joyful dialogue with the great works of the Western tradition and the most insightful voices of the present, in pursuit of a wisdom that does not change, but that reveals itself only gradually to the human mind. This dialogue embraces not only philosophy in the narrow sense, but also the closely related fields of literature, politics, and theology. It is charged with the weight of Christian revelation, and with the light this revelation sheds on our shared humanity.

Dedication to wisdom

The master’s program in philosophy serves students who realize that in obtaining the bachelor’s degree (perhaps through a major in philosophy, perhaps through a few electives), they have only just begun to enter the way of philosophic inquiry. Some of these students aspire to the doctorate, but are not yet prepared to enter a doctoral program.

Professional relevance

In addition to its intrinsic value, philosophy beyond the undergraduate level further illuminates the most fundamental principles of human life. These principles illuminate in turn the spheres of education, law, business, medicine, and so forth. The way to these principles, moreover, runs through the reading and discussion of texts that are incomparable in their capacity to train the mind. Perhaps that is why philosophy students consistently score higher on standardized tests for professional schools than students in any other humanities discipline and most scientific disciplines.

A community of learning

Admission to the master’s program brings with it membership in the vibrant student community of the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts, including the Braniff Graduate Student Association.

Master's Programs at a Glance

We offer a variety of paths to the master’s degree, to suit the diverse needs of our students.

Our traditional master’s degree, the MA in Philosophy requires eight three-credit courses, a master’s thesis, proficiency in at least one foreign language pertinent to the field of thesis research, and a comprehensive examination.
A lighter, more flexible program, the MPhil requires ten three-credit courses and a comprehensive examination. No thesis or foreign language is required.
Current UD undergraduates can earn their master’s in one additional year by taking up to four graduate courses while completing their undergraduate degree. In some cases, as many as two courses may be counted toward both degrees.