Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program: BA/MA in Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy offers exceptional Tufts undergraduate Philosophy majors the option of earning a Fifth-Year Master’s Degree BA/MA in Philosophy. This program allows students to finish the 120-hour undergraduate degree and the 36-hour master's degree in five years. Two of the courses counted toward the BA degree (at the 100 or 200 level) may also count toward the MA degree.

Course Requirements

Coursework consists of twelve (12) upper-level philosophy courses (courses numbered 100 or above). We do not accept transfer courses.

The twelve (12) courses must include:

  • Phil 103: Logic
    An advanced introduction to logic aimed at graduate students.
  • Phil 297: Graduate Writing Seminar
    This course is designed to help students produce a highly polished paper as a capstone of their work in the program. This paper may serve as a writing sample for PhD applicants.

Coursework must satisfy a breadth requirement. All upper-level philosophy courses, except the graduate writing seminar, fall into at least one of three distribution areas. See Course Distribution list for allocation. Two courses are required in each of these three (3) areas:

  1. Normative philosophy
  2. History of philosophy
  3. Metaphysics and epistemology

Coursework must also satisfy a core courses requirement. One designated core course is required from each of the three distribution areas above. Core courses that will be offered on a regular basis (either annually or bi-annually) include the following:

  1. Within normative philosophy: Ethical Theory, Political Philosophy
  2. Within history of philosophy: Ancient Philosophy, History of Modern Philosophy
  3. Within metaphysics and epistemology: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, Phenomenology and Existentialism

In addition to the above courses, others may be offered in a given semester that will count as ‘core’ in one of the three distribution areas. Those courses will be designated as such prior to that semester.

Proposed program of study

  • First-year through junior year: completion of undergraduate distribution, foundation, and most major requirements.
  • Senior year: Philosophy 103 (Logic) in the Fall plus four to five 100 level Philosophy courses over the course of the year.
  • One MA year: Graduate Writing and Pedagogy Seminars in the Fall plus four to five 100 or 200 level Philosophy courses over the course of the year.

More information is available in the full program description. Please contact with questions about the program.


Interested students should apply in Fall of their junior year. In exceptional cases we will consider students applying in their senior year. For application deadlines, please see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences' Fifth-Year Master's Degree information. We recommend that at least one of the two letters of support come from a member of the department.