4+1 BA/MA Program

The Department of Philosophy offers a 5 year BA/MA Program. The program allows qualified UC philosophy majors (or double majors) and majors at a few partner institutions to earn a BA and an MA in philosophy in 5 years (rather than the customary 6.5).

Applications should be submitted within a week of the end of spring semester for possible enrollment the following autumn semester. 

Why should you enroll in the 5 year BA/MA Program in Philosophy? Here are just a few reasons:

  • Students who want to go on in philosophy can dramatically enhance their academic profile with an MA degree. Admission into philosophy PhD programs is extremely competitive; an MA can increase your chances by sharpening your philosophical acumen, broadening your experience, improving your writing, and deepening your relationships with philosophy faculty who will be asked to support you in the PhD admissions process.
  • The same can be said for students who wish to go on to law school, or PhDs in other related disciplines. A year of good experience in a graduate program helps demonstrate your aptitude for the intensity of graduate work. And along with that, it improves your academic profile and analytical skills.
  • In today's job market, a BA is no longer the ticket to the best jobs or the best pay. Students with advanced degrees are doing better and better on the job market because government, business, and industry wants smarter, more creative, and more talented team members. Enhancing your portfolio with an MA in philosophy can help you better succeed in an increasingly competitive world.

The Department of Philosophy here at UC is internationally recognized for its strengths in aesthetics (philosophy of art), philosophy of the life sciences (including biology, bioethics, and environmental ethics), philosophy of neuroscience, philosophy of cognitive science, and philosophy of mind. Faculty are involved in cutting-edge philosophical research in each of these areas; 5 year BA/MA students can expect to be a part of an exciting and dynamic group.

Admissions Requirements

The following requirements set the minimum for admission into the 5 year BA/MA Program:

  • UC philosophy major or double major with at least junior standing (official enrollment is for the semester following completion of the BA degree);
  • 3.3 overall GPA and 3.3 GPA in the philosophy major;
  • Letter of support from at least one philosophy faculty member;
  • Writing sample (ideally under 7,000 words) from an upper level philosophy course. 

Program Requirements

  • 8 semester graduate courses in philosophy (4 credits each for a total of 32 credits) chosen in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies 
  • Maintenance of a 3.0 GPA;
  • Portfolio of papers (see below).

The portfolio of papers will consist of 3 substantial papers chosen by the student from any 3 courses taken while in the program. The papers should be revised and polished in light of comments received from the relevant professor. 


For more information contact:

Angela Potochnik

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Philosophy, 206C McMicken Hall
Email: angela.potochnik@uc.edu