Combined BA/MA Programs

Professor Laura Papish teaching a class

The Department of Philosophy offers two combined undergraduate/graduate degrees. Both options allow students to complete a graduate degree on an accelerated timeline by completing nine graduate credits as part of their undergraduate program.

Students choose either the traditional BA or the public affairs BA, combining it with the MA in Public Policy With a Concentration in Philosophy and Social Policy (known as the MA in Philosophy and Social Policy). In addition to philosophy material, the degree incorporates classes from across several GW departments. 


Combined Degree Options


Program History

The Department of Philosophy has offered a degree combining philosophy and social policy since the mid-1970s, when it was titled the Master of Arts in Special Studies. Today, the program is administered by a committee within the Philosophy Department. While the committee cooperates closely with TSPPPA, curricular and admissions decisions are decided by the Philosophy Department.


How to Apply

Application Requirements

  1. Must be a current undergraduate student majoring in philosophy.
  2. Must have completed 12 hours of coursework in philosophy at the 1000 level or higher, and have completed 75 total credits in the BA program. 
  3. Must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 and a 3.5 in philosophy coursework.


Course Requirements

Students must complete all the requirements for the BA in Philosophy (or the BA, Public Affairs Option) and the MA in Philosophy and Social Policy. Three courses (9 credits) from among the MA requirements must be taken as part of the BA program. 

  • At least two of these three courses must be selected from among the public policy core courses listed under the MA requirements in the University Bulletin. Both courses will count as electives toward the BA degree requirements among the "four additional philosophy electives numbered 2000 or above." 
  • Students then must complete all the requirements for the MA as set out in the University Bulletin, double-counting the three selected courses toward both the BA and the MA.