2021 Best Online Philosophy Degrees

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If you’re interested in pondering the deep questions of life and searching for answers, then getting an online philosophy degree might appeal to you.

Best Online Philosophy Degrees

In bachelor’s degree in philosophy programs, you’ll study the development of philosophical thought over the ages and the influence of various paradigms on the modern world.

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In the process, you can refine your critical thinking skills and develop your ability to craft a well-reasoned argument. Your growth in these areas could be beneficial in a wide variety of fields, including law, education, and leadership.

Philosophy Degrees Online

Philosophy Degrees Online

Philosophy is a discipline in which students study some of the deepest, most thought-provoking issues for humans.

You can wrestle with matters related to existence, knowledge, faith, ethics, and the world. This degree may appeal to college students who want to be critical thinkers with a broad skill set that could apply in many different career settings.

Topics covered in a philosophy program often include:

  • Ethical decision-making
  • History of philosophy
  • Logic
  • Major Western philosophers
  • Persuasive writing
  • Religion
  • Research

While philosophy studies can be useful for a variety of careers, many colleges also encourage students to explore a secondary discipline. Complementary studies can prepare students to apply philosophy concepts in a specific sector.

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This can be accomplished by selecting a minor, a degree concentration, or several elective courses. The available options may relate to healthcare, law, science, or women’s studies.

Philosophy degrees can be useful for many different lines of work. Graduates tend to work in business, community service, education, law, or communications. Some philosophy majors pursue work as marketing specialists, reporters, nonprofit managers, technical writers, communications directors, or business analysts.

You might even decide to further your education after completing a philosophy degree. One option is to get a masters or a doctorate in philosophy. Those degrees could lead to career opportunities in academia. Some philosophy majors go on to law school and become lawyers.

Bachelor of Philosophy Careers & Salaries

Bachelor of Philosophy Careers & Salaries

Majoring in philosophy won’t lock you into any one career track. Rather, this degree could provide a foundation that’s useful in many different areas.

Philosophy students do a lot of reasoning and writing. These skills could equip you for a variety of jobs that focus on communication. Examples of positions in this field include author, technical writer, and journalist.

The soft skills acquired in a philosophy program could also be useful in the business world. Public relations and marketing are business specialties that may be especially good fits for philosophy graduates.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals who work in communication occupations earn an average annual salary of $61,310.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $141,490
Postsecondary Philosophy and Religion Teachers $76,160
Technical Writers $74,650
Social and Community Service Managers $69,600
Writers and Authors $67,120
Market Research Analysts $65,810
Public Relations Specialists $62,810
Paralegals and Legal Assistants $52,920
Clergy $51,940
Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts $49,300

The above salaries represent national averages, and some of the positions require additional education. People who study philosophy often care deeply about social or political matters. They may want to channel those passions into careers in nonprofit work or community service.

Philosophy and religion have a lot in common. For a person of faith, a philosophy degree could lead to a graduate degree in ministry. Philosophy studies are useful in the legal world, too. With additional training, graduates may become paralegals or lawyers. Further education can also help graduates become philosophy professors someday.

Philosophy Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses

Philosophy Bachelor’s Curriculum

Online bachelor’s degrees in philosophy tend to include topics like ethics, reasoning, and the development of philosophical thought. Here are examples of the types of courses you may take:

  • Ancient Philosophy: This history course will acquaint you with past philosophers, such as Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato.
  • Ethics and Philosophy: You’ll discuss common understandings of right versus wrong and how those concepts relate to philosophy.
  • Existence and Knowledge: This course may cover some of the most fundamental questions in philosophy, such as, “What is reality?” and, “What can we really know?”
  • Foundations of Philosophy: An introductory class will provide an overview of philosophical ideas, and you can build on those introductory concepts throughout your college career.
  • Framework of Logic: In this course, you’ll study the rules of logic and learn to identify logical fallacies.
  • Modern Western Philosophy: Your modern philosophy course will pick up where your ancient one left off—perhaps beginning with Renaissance thinkers and moving through others like Locke and Kant.
  • Plato: Although you’re sure to cover Plato during your course on ancient philosophy, you can study him more in-depth in a class centered around his teachings.
  • Politics and Philosophy: You’ll explore topics like equity and liberty as you ponder the influence that philosophical principles have on political leadership and the quest for power.
  • World Religions: Courses on world religions often cover major monotheistic religions, such as Christianity and Islam, as well as Asian religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism.
  • Writing in Philosophy: You’ll practice composing well-reasoned arguments and presenting them in written form.

Some schools suggest choosing a minor or a concentration to enhance your skills related to a specific field in addition to philosophy.

BA in Philosophy Admissions Requirements

BA in Philosophy Admissions

Admissions committees often consider a variety of factors when deciding whether to admit applicants to a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program. You may be required to submit:

  • Completed application form and fee
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers or work supervisors
  • Official high school transcripts
  • SAT or ACT test scores (if required)

If you are a transfer student, you’ll also send in transcripts from all the colleges that you have attended.

Online Degree in Philosophy Accreditation

Online Degree in Philosophy Accreditation

Throughout the world of higher education, it’s pretty much an accepted fact that decent, credible schools hold accreditation. That means that they’ve been reviewed and approved by an outside agency that knows what a thorough education entails.

The most widely regarded form of accreditation is regional accreditation. To rest assured that you’re earning a reputable degree, it’s beneficial to choose a college that is regionally accredited.

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Accreditation can prove itself valuable time and again. Accredited courses may be the only ones that transfer to other schools or qualify toward grad school admissions. Hiring committees may also regard accredited degrees more favorably.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Philosophy Degrees financial aid

If you qualify, financial aid programs can help with paying for a philosophy online degree. While most students don’t get a full ride to school, many do secure financial aid packages. Government financial aid includes both state and federal assistance. Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to get grants or loans.

Scholarship funds may contribute to your aid package as well. Some scholarships come directly from a college, while other scholarship funds are administered by private organizations. Scholarships are often awarded to students based on merit.

Workplaces sometimes help their employees enroll in college as well. You can check with your employer to see if they have a tuition assistance program. To learn more about your options for financial aid, you can submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can also reach out to your college’s financial aid office for guidance.

Is Philosophy a Useless Degree?

philosophy degree

No, philosophy doesn’t need to be considered a useless degree. If you’re searching for a program that develops your soft skills and has relevance for a variety of in-demand sectors, philosophy might be the degree path for you.

Some graduates become social and community service managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 15% growth rate for this position over the next decade. Others go into technical writing. Technical writers are expected to see 12% growth over the next ten years.

For market research analysts, another career option with potential for philosophy graduates, a 22% growth rate is expected.

What Can You Do with a Philosophy Degree?

Philosophy Degree careers

There is a variety of options for what you can do with a philosophy degree. Philosophy graduates often find that their skills are useful for many different types of work. Because of their communication abilities, some philosophy majors become public relations specialists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PR professionals often work for schools, government agencies, or private businesses.

Other philosophy graduates go into writing. They become newspaper journalists, book authors, and technical writers. Some choose to get paralegal training so that they can work in law offices.

Others go to law school. Market research is another possible line of work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that market researchers often work as consultants.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor Degree in Philosophy Online?

Bachelor Degree in Philosophy Online

If you carry a full-time course load, you can likely finish your philosophy degree within 4 years. Traditionally, a bachelor’s degree is a 4 year program. Students whose school years are divided into two academic semesters should complete their coursework by the end of the eighth semester.

Online colleges may offer speedier philosophy degrees. Some of the classes may be only 8 weeks long. If you follow this academic calendar and enroll full-time, you may take year-round classes and finish in under 4 years.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Philosophy Degree?

Some philosophy majors apply their knowledge of justice and ethics while serving as nonprofit leaders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social and community service managers usually make between $42,230 and $115,800 annually.

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Other graduates choose communications careers. They may work as journalists, producing articles for newspapers or magazines. On-air reporting could be another option. Philosophy makes a difference in the legal field, and some graduates go on to become paralegals. Paralegals often need to pursue certification.

What Do Philosophy Majors Do?

Theology vs. Philosophy Major

Philosophy graduates work in many fields that involve communication and critical thinking. Public relations, marketing, advertising, and writing careers are often fitting for those who studied philosophy in college.

Some graduates are interested in politics or law. They might look for government leadership jobs or even run for office. Going through paralegal training or enrolling in law school can be other options.

Additional job opportunities include sales, education, healthcare leadership, project management, and business consulting.

What’s the Difference Between a Theology vs. Philosophy Major?

You can ponder some of life’s biggest questions while studying philosophy or theology.

Philosophy Major Theology Major
  • Considers matters related to reality and knowledge
  • Covers topics like logic fundamentals and theories of ethics
  • Applicable to jobs like paralegal or marketing specialist
  • Considers matters related to God and religion
  • Covers topics like systematic theology and hermeneutics
  • Applicable to jobs like minister or nonprofit ministry leader

Theology majors may take one or more philosophy courses.

Is a Philosophy Degree Worth It?

Yes, a philosophy degree is worth it for many professionals. Studying philosophy can help you dig for answers to many of life’s questions. It can also challenge you to think critically and to articulate your views clearly. Those skills can be useful in nearly any field.

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Philosophy-related skills are in demand in the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, openings for several jobs often held by philosophy majors are currently increasing at faster-than-average rates. Those positions include community service manager and marketing specialist.

Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Philosophy Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

American Public University

American Public University campus

American Public University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program. This degree program is intended to improve students’ analytical reasoning, critical thinking, and creative problem solving skills. Courses start monthly and are 8 or 16 weeks long. Available concentrations include Ethics, Healthcare, Legal, and STEM.

APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University campus

Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. It requires a total of 39 classes that are each 7.5 weeks long. The program can help students learn how to read and interpret complex texts. It also includes studies in argument structure and interpretation, effective and structured communication, and logic and reasoning.

ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University campus

Fort Hays State University offers an online philosophy major program. It includes courses such as Critical Thinking, Philosophy of Knowledge, Classical Greek Philosophy, Foundations of Modern Philosophy, and Ethics. Students are also required to complete a senior thesis. The program offers opportunities to earn a Certificate in General Philosophy and a Certificate in Moral and Political Philosophy.

FHSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University campus

Oregon State University offers both a B.A. and B.S. in Philosophy. Both online programs require 180 credits and have four start dates available each year. They both focus on engaged philosophy rather than abstract thinking.

Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

University of Arizona

University of Arizona campus

The University of Arizona offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with a specialization in Ethics. It is offered by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Students are given opportunities to study the rules of valid argument and the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. Courses include Philosophy of Happiness, Medical Ethics, Law and Morality, and Minds, Brains, and Computers.

The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

University of Colorado - Colorado Springs campus

The University of Colorado—Colorado Springs has an online degree program in philosophy. It can help students develop analytical thinking skills, writing skills, and interdisciplinary understanding. Courses include Critical Thinking, Cosmology and Culture, World Religions, and Ethics of Life and Health. Students in the program are required to complete a senior thesis to graduate.

UCCS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Memphis

University of Memphis campus

The University of Memphis offers an online program for a BA in Philosophy with a concentration in Applied Ethics. In this program, students study the applications of ethical theories in various professions. It is a 120 credit hour program that can be completed entirely through UofM Global or by transferring in previously earned, qualifying college credits.

The University of Memphis is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of New Orleans

University of New Orleans campus

The University of New Orleans offers an online program for a B.A. in Philosophy. All degree requirements can be completed online. The program includes both synchronous and asynchronous courses in order to provide a high level of flexibility for working students. Courses include the History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Ethics, and Advanced Logic.

The University of New Orleans is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of North Carolina – Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Greensboro campus

The BA in Philosophy program from the University of North Carolina—Greensboro is intended to prepare students for careers in education, science, law, and the government. The program is fully online, with no set class meeting times. A Pre-Law concentration is available. Students in the program are given opportunities to study both theoretical and applied philosophy.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Southern Mississippi

University of Southern Mississippi campus

The Philosophy BA from the University of Southern Mississippi is designed to enhance students’ critical thinking. It requires the completion of 124 credit hours, and it can usually be completed in 2 to 4 years. The university is accredited by SACSCOC. Subjects studied in the program include ethics, comparative religion, philosophical discourse, and logic.

The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your Bachelor of Philosophy Degree Online

Bachelor of Philosophy Degree Online

Philosophy studies can challenge you to think about the world in new ways. As you study the history of philosophy and the great thinkers throughout the ages, you can develop your own framework for understanding core issues related to existence, reality, and knowledge.

The skills you can develop and strengthen during your time in this program could contribute to your success in a great number of fields. You could choose to go into law, business, writing, or other sectors.

Because education should be accessible to everyone, there are even accredited online philosophy degrees, including online bachelors and online masters in philosophy. Now could be the time to start looking for the online philosophy program that’s right for you.

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Joy Cromwelle
WRITTEN BY
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.