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Students in the Master of Arts in philosophical studies program.

Master of Arts in Philosophical Studies

Master of Arts in philosophical studies.

The Master of Arts in Philosophical Studies (MAPS) provides an opportunity for advanced study of philosophy, emphasizing both the history of philosophy and major topical areas, with attention to how these inform and are informed by the Catholic intellectual tradition.

College of Liberal Arts

The Master of Arts in philosophical studies program is part of the College of Liberal Arts, which is about making connections freely—exploring human achievement, examining the past critically and discovering ways to build upon it, and understanding yourself and our diverse world in order to transform it.

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About the program.

The Mount's philosophy faculty share a common vision of the compatibility of faith and reason and the integrity of philosophy as a truth-seeking discipline distinct from theology.

The MAPS program is designed to be compatible with the philosophical education included in the two-year pre-theology program of the Mount's Seminary, but the program is not limited to seminary students. Any prospective student who meets the eligibility requirements may apply.

MAPS Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MAPS program must:

  • Possess a bachelor's degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university.
  • Give evidence of academic ability, normally an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Seminary students, in addition to the above criteria, must have the written permission of the seminary academic dean.

Application Process

Application forms are available from, and should be returned to, the program director, Christopher Anadale. The application deadline for non-seminarians to begin classes in the fall is August 1; in the spring, December 1.

Program Details

To receive the MAPS degree, candidates must show proficiency in philosophical logic, complete 31 credits of MAPS course work with a GPA of at least 3.0, and pass both a Preliminary Paper and a Qualifying Paper.

Candidates must complete all degree requirements within three years of completing course work, or within five years of matriculation, whichever comes first. The director may grant extensions in extraordinary circumstances.

Relation to Seminary Mission and the Program for Priestly Formation (PPF)

The seminary's mission includes a strong emphasis on intellectual formation. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' "Program for Priestly Formation" (2006) commends a liberal-arts education as an important part of the intellectual formation of priests. It especially recommends philosophy as a primary discipline, because philosophy serves to synthesize and organize liberal learning, to prepare students for theological training, and to prepare pastors to engage the philosophical assumptions of modern culture. While seminary students can fulfill the minimum curricular recommendations of the PPF without completing a master's degree, the MAPS can serve those seminary students who desire further philosophical training, in the spirit of the PPF's vision of intellectual formation, beyond these minimum requirements.

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