Graduates with advanced degrees in philosophy from The Catholic University of America bring a Catholic Mind and demonstrated success to a broad range of career options beyond teaching and philosophical research, including law, business, writing, journalism, and policy-making.

Catholic philosophy is grounded in reality as it is, and as such our graduates bring highly trained minds to solve problems in the real world with creativity and imagination. They excel in critical thinking, persuasive writing, argument analysis, logic, argumentation, and effective communication.

The School of Philosophy offers graduate degree programs leading to the Master of Arts or Licentiate. Along with the civil accreditation normal for American institutions of higher learning, the School of Philosophy is also an ecclesiastical faculty accredited by the Holy See according to the norms of the apostolic constitution Sapientia christiana.

The first post-baccalaureate course of study, either the Master of Arts or the Licentiate, is a single program with the same requirements under the direction of the same faculty. The student chooses either to have the degree granted as the Master of Arts to express the civil accreditation and effects, or the Licentiate to express the ecclesiastical accreditation and effects of the same course of study.


Candidates must have received a bachelor's degree from a recognized institution. A minimum of eight undergraduate courses in select philosophical disciplines, including one course in symbolic logic, is required before regular standing as an M.A. candidate is achieved. Where a deficiency exists, certain graduate courses may be taken as the candidate completes the undergraduate requirement.


The requirements for the master of arts degree are the successful completion of the following:

  • Eight three-credit graduate courses in philosophy for a total of 24 credits
  • The foreign language requirement for reading knowledge of French, German, Greek, or Latin
  • Symbolic logic through the predicate calculus as a prerequisite for admission to the program
  • A thesis on a topic approved by the faculty, for which six credits are assigned
  • The oral comprehensive examination by four professors in eight problem areas in philosophy.