Center’s Mission

The Center for Thomistic Studies is the only graduate philosophy program in the United States uniquely focused on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Center’s History
Founded in 1975 at the Center for Thomistic Studies has always maintained close ties with the founding congregation of St. Basil.
Aquinas
Day by Day

Be inspired by Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas’s topic: Logic of arguments: figures of syllogisms.

Applicants are admitted to the Center’s MA program in philosophy if the Admissions Committee judges that they will be able to carry out the program successfully. The Admissions Committee consists of the Director of the Center and all Center faculty members.

Requirements for admission are as follows:

  1. Official transcript of an earned bachelor’s degree, preferably with an undergraduate major in philosophy or in a related liberal arts field. Students in their senior undergraduate year must furnish this evidence as soon as possible after they complete their degree requirements.
  2. At least 18 hours of undergraduate philosophy in courses that would prepare the student for the program at the Center for Thomistic Studies. A maximum of 12 hours of graduate work in philosophy may be accepted as transfer credit towards the M.A. degree at the discretion of the Director.
  3. An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  4. Official transcripts of all academic work after high school.
  5. A record of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination.
  6. Letters of recommendation from three professional educators qualified to evaluate the applicant’s academic background and scholastic ability.
  7. A writing sample, preferably an essay from a course in philosophy or a related liberal arts field. Students who have written an MA thesis in a related liberal arts field must submit their MA thesis.

Learn More BA in Philosophy

The Master of Arts in Philosophy in the Center for Thomistic Studies is a 30-credit hour program with 18 credit hours of core courses and 12 credit hours of electives. The program requires a comprehensive examination before applicant can be accepted into the program.

  1. The MA Comprehensive Examination is taken at the end of the semester in which the student takes the Comprehensive Examination Course. Students must obtain written permission from the Director of the Center in order to schedule the MA Comprehensive Examination in a semester other than the fourth semester of MA study.
  2. The candidate takes the two parts of the six-hour written examination either on the same day or on two consecutive days. The first part of the examination will cover ancient and medieval; the second part will cover early modern, late modern, and recent Thomistic material. Students must take the oral examination within one week of the written examination.
  3. The MA Comprehensive Examination is organized by the faculty member designated as the Faculty Coordinator. The Faculty Coordinator is responsible for the MA Comprehensive Course for that academic year. The Faculty Coordinator will solicit written questions from all Center faculty and at least two Center faculty members must grade each question. In consultation with the Director of the Center, the Faculty Coordinator will average the grades on the written test. Students must pass the written test with a minimum grade of “B-” in order to proceed to the oral examination. If a student fails the written examination, she/he must retake the exam within six months.
  4. The oral component of the examination lasts one hour and is set by three faculty examiners chosen by the Faculty Coordinator in consultation with the Director of the Center. The three examiners determine the grade for the oral examination. If the candidate passes the oral with a minimum grade of “B-”, the three examiners compare the written and oral grades and then by vote determine an overall grade for the MA Comprehensive Examination. This grade is entered as the grade for the MA Comprehensive Course. If a student fails the oral examination, he must retake it within six months.

Learn More MA in Philosophy

The BA/MA Program in the Philosophy Department and Center for Thomistic Studies allows qualified UST philosophy majors (or double majors) to earn a BA and an MA in philosophy in 5 years instead of the standard 6.5. Students receive the BA after completing all requirements for a UST undergraduate degree and the MA after completing all remaining requirements of the BA/MA Program. Students may apply in their junior year.

Requirements for admission are as follows:

  1. At least 18 hours of undergraduate Philosophy.
  2. An undergraduate grade point average in philosophy of at least 3.5 and 3.3 overall GPA.
  3. Successful completion of CLASS 1331- 1332 (Latin) or the equivalent.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from members of the UST philosophy faculty.
  5. GREs are not required.

Learn More BA/MA in Philosophy

The Ph.D. in Philosophy in the Center for Thomistic Studies follows a rigorous curriculum that will prepare students to have successful careers. Before being accepted into the program, students will need to take a comprehensive examination.

  1. All course work must be completed before the PhD Comprehensive Examination is taken.
  2. Students preparing for the PhD Comprehensive Examination should register for PHIL 5605: Doctoral Exam the first semester after completing course work and PHIL 5606 for all succeeding semesters until their dissertation topic has been approved.
  3. The PhD Comprehensive Examination is taken during the regular semester following completion of course work. Written permission from the Director of the Center must be obtained to schedule the PhD Comprehensive Examination at a different time.
  4. The PhD Comprehensive Examination is organized by the Director of the Center or his or her appointee.
  5. The PhD Comprehensive consists of two parts: a twelve-hour written examination, divided into two parts: six hours on ancient and medieval philosophy, six hours on early modern, late modern, and recent Thomistic materials. The candidate will take the written examination on two or three different days within two weeks of each other.
  6. Questions will be solicited from all faculty in the Center for the written examination. At least two faculty members will grade each question. In consultation with a senior member of the Center, the Director will average the grades on the written test. Students must pass the written test with a minimum grade of “B” to proceed to the oral examination. If failed, the written exam may be retaken once, but must be retaken within one year of the date of the original exam.
  7. The oral examination lasts one hour and must be taken within two weeks of the final part of the written examination. The oral examination is set by three faculty examiners chosen by the Director. The three examiners determine the grade for the oral exam. If the candidate passes the oral with a minimum grade of “B”, the grades on the written and oral portions are compared and the overall grade is determined by vote. If a student fails the oral examination she/he must retake it within one year.

Learn More PhD in Philosophy