2019 Best Online Colleges for Philosophy Degrees

Online philosopy degrees are available at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. Students studying philosophy will take classes in critical thinking, writing, ethics, and communication. Completion of an online philosophy degree indicates to employers that a student can approach problem-solving in a creative way. Philosophy programs often prepare students for careers in law, medicine, business, and education. Discerning students can benefit from our list of the best online colleges offering bachelor's in philosophy degrees, which ranks programs based on tuition rates and alumni salaries provided by PayScale.

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2019 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Philosophy Degrees

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Potential students who are seeking a high quality, affordable online philosophy degree will find options on this list of seven schools. Arizona State University is the #1 ranked school this year, with a median reported alumni salary of $106,000 and a tuition rate of just $10,104 per year. The University of Massachusetts-Lowell is close behind at #2, charging $11,400 per year.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 $10,104 $106,000
#2 #2 $11,400 $83,867
#3 #3 $11,329 $72,543
#4 #4 $6,560 $63,433
#5 #5 $12,600 $63,450
#6 #6 $40,208 $58,700
#7 #7 $9,262 $51,550
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo. Updated 2018.

Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Philosophy Degrees (27)

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Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (30)
American Public University System HLC $6,880 71% (146 reviews)
462 Programs, 2 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy - Ethics
Arizona State University HLC $15,691 - $27,372 71% (88 reviews)
226 Programs, 2 in Philosophy (view all)
  • BA in Philosophy
  • BA in Philosophy (Morality, Politics and Law)
Assumption College NECHE $39,598 Add Review
39 Programs, 2 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Associate of Arts in Humanities - Philosophy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Humanities - Philosophy
Auburn University at Montgomery SACS COC $17,140 Add Review
35 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Master of Liberal Arts - Philosophy
Bellevue University HLC $7,752 69% (58 reviews)
189 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies - Human Thought and Human Expression
Colorado Christian University HLC $30,370 60% (10 reviews)
104 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Certificate in Ethics
Drury University HLC $27,015 Add Review
29 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Associate of Science in Pre-ministerial Studies
Eastern University MSCHE $32,145 Add Review
32 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy
Faulkner University SACS COC $20,970 50% (2 reviews)
35 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities
Fort Hays State University HLC $14,832 60% (5 reviews)
213 Programs, 2 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
  • Certificate in Moral and Political Philosophy
Franciscan University of Steubenville HLC $26,430 Add Review
13 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Associate of Arts in Philosophy
Georgia State University SACS COC $23,971 0% (1 review)
62 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Associate of Arts - Philosophy Pathway
Grand Canyon University HLC $17,050 52% (416 reviews)
220 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • BA in Christian Studies - Philosophy
Johnson University SACS COC $14,920 Add Review
48 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • PhD in Leadership Studies - Philosophy and Theology
North Carolina A&T State University SACS COC $19,416 100% (1 review)
55 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies
Southwestern Assemblies of God University SACS COC $19,994 100% (1 review)
81 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in in Religion and Philosophy
University of Arizona HLC $11,800 100% (2 reviews)
166 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy: Ethics Specialization
University of Central Florida SACS COC $22,467 88% (8 reviews)
124 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Theoretical and Applied Ethics, Graduate Certificate
University of Central Missouri HLC $14,150 100% (2 reviews)
74 Programs, 5 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management - Construction Management
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management - Digital Communications
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management - Human Resource Development and Industrial Training
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management - Manufacturing Systems
University of Colorado Colorado Springs HLC $19,498 100% (1 review)
57 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
University of Illinois at Springfield HLC $20,938 100% (7 reviews)
55 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
University of Louisiana-Monroe SACS COC $20,570 100% (2 reviews)
65 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Systemic Studies (Marriage and Family Therapy)
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth NECHE $28,285 100% (3 reviews)
47 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • BA in Liberal Arts - Philosophy
University of Massachusetts-Lowell NECHE $31,865 83% (6 reviews)
84 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts - Philosophy
University of Memphis SACS COC $21,029 50% (2 reviews)
97 Programs, 1 in Philosophy (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy - Applied Ethics
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  • Annual Tuition: $10,104
  • Median Salary: $106,000
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ASU’s online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy includes major subfields such as metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, as well as electives that connect philosophy to other areas that emphasize its social relevance. A senior capstone project is required for graduation, and students can choose their subject from options such as rationalism, empiricism, contemporary analytic philosophy, advanced symbolic logic, and topics in philosophy. A total of 120 credit hours and 39 courses are required to complete this undergraduate program, although the course number may be less for transfer students. At least 30 hours must be completed at ASU, and a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required. ASU offers online start dates every 7.5 weeks.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,400
  • Median Salary: $83,867
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The online Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree at UMass Lowell can be customized by students, as they are able to select two different concentration areas (out of nine). One of the available concentrations is philosophy. This concentration prepares students to pursue a number of different careers, including law, business, politics, and the arts. Students sharpen their critical thinking skills, learn how to communicate effectively, and develop the ability to reflect on their own values. Both Eastern and Western traditions in philosophy are examined in this undergraduate program. A total of eight different courses are offered, focusing on subjects such as logic, critical reasoning, ethics, political philosophy, world religions, engineering, sex and love, and Latin American philosophy. At least six courses must be taken, for a total of 36 credits.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,329
  • Median Salary: $72,543
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The online Bachelor of Humanities program at WSU is a broad-based, interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree that allows students to select their own concentrations. Eleven different concentrations are offered, including one in philosophy. Students in this concentration develop skills in communication, writing, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Graduates are prepared to enter fields such as social services, business, and education. This undergraduate degree also serves as a solid foundation for graduate studies. Two plans are offered: Plan A includes two concentrations and Plan B includes three. Both require completion of 39 credit hours. Credits can be transferred from another institution to satisfy the requirements for graduation.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,560
  • Median Salary: $63,433
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The online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy is a liberal arts degree available through the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at FHSU. The 30-hour undergraduate program includes six required courses (18 hours) and electives (12 hours). An additional 90 credit hours are required to complete the degree, including 55 hours of general education and ten hours of foreign language. Students who have already taken courses in philosophy may be able to transfer credits. Philosophy majors will earn two certificates: the Certificate in General Philosophy and the Certificate in Moral and Political Philosophy. A grade of “C” or higher in each course is required to earn the certificates.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,600
  • Median Salary: $63,450
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The department of philosophy at UM offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with a concentration in applied ethics. This undergraduate program focuses on ethical theories and ethical problem-solving in the context of a number of professional spheres, including medicine, law, and business. Core courses examine the history of philosophy and logic in depth. Students have three options for completing the degree: 100 percent online, a blend of online and on-campus, and transferring credits from previously completed courses. Online courses in several sub-divisions of philosophy are offered, and students must complete 30 hours in the major as well as 15 hours in additional courses. A total of 120 hours is needed to complete the program.

  • Annual Tuition: $40,208
  • Median Salary: $58,700
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The Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with a concentration in philosophy program at Assumption College closely examines the history of philosophy through primary texts in the ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary periods. Students gain knowledge of philosophy’s fundamental questions, such as metaphysics, ethics, and human nature. Additionally, students learn to understand philosophical writings, write their own papers, and engage in philosophical conversations. This online undergraduate program consists of just 11 courses, so students often choose to combine it with a second major. Assumption College also offers a program in philosophy, ethics, and business, which is a BA/MBA program through which students can earn their Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration in five years instead of six.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,262
  • Median Salary: $51,550
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The online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at UNC Greensboro is designed for students who want a basic education in the liberal arts, students preparing for a career in law or government, and students considering graduate study in philosophy or a related discipline. In this undergraduate program, students are able to strengthen logical reasoning, critical thinking, analytical skills, and ethical reasoning. The program provides optimum flexibility for students: all classes are online, there are no set class times, and students can begin at any time of the year. UNC Greensboro is authorized to offer online education in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Online Philosophy Degree Overview & Career Information

There are a variety of degree and certificate programs available for those interested in pursuing a degree in philosophy. Philosophy degrees are available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate level.

Students obtaining a degree in philosophy will be equipped with critical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills. Those seeking an advanced degree further their critical thinking skills and focus on a specialized area of study.

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Online Associate Degrees in Philosophy

Online associate degree programs are 62-68 credits and take two years to complete. Classes taken while seeking an associate degree can be transferred to a four-year university with the credit applied toward obtaining a bachelor’s degree should you decide to pursue that instead.

You can obtain an associate degree from community colleges, technical colleges, online colleges, and universities. The only prerequisite for an associate degree in philosophy is a high school diploma or GED. Coursework includes classes in areas such as eastern philosophy, theology, and metaphysics, as well as a variety of liberal arts courses. Students obtaining an associate degree in philosophy will be equipped to enter the workforce with critical thinking and communication skills.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in Philosophy

Students seeking a bachelor’s in philosophy will learn how to structure arguments, write concisely, and clearly communicate their ideas. Coursework includes classes in symbolic logic, rationalism, and modern and postmodern philosophy, among others. Programs are 120 credits and take four years to complete.

Bachelor’s degree programs are offered at colleges and universities, with many schools offering programs online. A high school diploma or GED is required for admission as well as letters of recommendation and application essays. Students are often asked to submit SAT or ACT scores, depending on the school.

All Bachelor’s of Arts degrees have a liberal arts component. Classes covering topics in this area are typically taken during the first two years of study. Courses specific to your major are taken during the final two years. A bachelor’s degree is required for those wishing to seek an advanced degree.

Students obtaining a bachelor’s degree in philosophy will be equipped with excellent reasoning, and communication skills as well as a broad liberal arts background upon entering the workforce. Bachelor's degrees in philosophy are often used as a stepping stone towards higher level degrees in law and business.

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Online Master's in Philosophy

The Master’s of Arts in Philosophy allows students who already have a bachelor’s degree to gain greater expertise and expand their competence in philosophy. Students will usually select a specific concentration such as ethics and public affairs, philosophy and cultural theory, or philosophy and public affairs.

Master’s degree programs are offered at colleges and universities, with many offering programs online. Master’s programs typically involve two years of coursework, ranging from 30-35 credits, as well as a master’s thesis. A bachelor’s degree is required to apply to a master’s program. Students must submit an application, writing sample or essay, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and resume. Students who have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than philosophy may also be required to take several undergraduate prerequisites before being granted admission into a master’s program, including a class in each of the core areas of logic, ancient philosophy, and modern philosophy.

Pursuing a master’s degree in philosophy allows students to expand their critical thinking skills and focus on a specialized area of study. Students will be prepared for a variety of careers including those in the fields of education and medicine. A master’s degree is also necessary to obtain for those students who wish to pursue a doctorate.

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Online Doctoral Degrees in Philosophy

Students seeking a PhD in philosophy will obtain the skills necessary to become an independent scholar and teacher of the subject. Those who wish to obtain this advanced degree will likely choose to work at colleges and universities teaching the subject themselves. A PhD in philosophy requires writing a dissertation, meeting with faculty advisors and committee members, attending dissertation seminars, and teaching graduate students for at least two semesters.

Doctoral programs are offered at colleges and universities. Students must already have a master’s degree in philosophy before seeking candidacy in a PhD program. The master’s program requires two years of study, and the PhD program requires an additional two to four years, on average. Those seeking to obtain a doctoral degree must first pass a qualifying examination involving an essay and oral exam in front of a committee. Some schools also will have a language requirement and subsequent exam before students can be accepted into the doctoral program.

Once accepted, students will take seminars in preparing their dissertation prospectus. They will be required to submit their prospectus and meet with committee members to discuss their research. Students working on their dissertation will be required to attend dissertation seminars, during which they must submit a piece of their work in progress each semester.

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Online Certificates in Philosophy

Students seeking training in philosophy but not interested in a traditional degree may obtain an online certificate degree in philosophy. These specialized programs teach students the fundamentals of philosophy.

The type of online program varies, with requirements ranging from 9-15 credits. Most online certificate programs will take one year to complete, and include focuses in areas such as bioethics, rhetoric, and human rights. Some programs offer the chance to further study an area of your own choosing.

Students interested in obtaining a certificate in philosophy will gain critical thinking skills that are valued by employers and higher education institutions. Some certificates can be applied toward a bachelor’s degree by transferring credits if you decide to seek an advanced degree at a later point in time.

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The Importance of an Accredited Online Degree in Philosophy

Attending a school that has been accredited is important so that you know you are receiving the best quality education available. Accreditation ensures that your program is taught by qualified faculty members and that the curriculum is held to high standards.

Obtaining your degree from an accredited institution also signals to employers that you are receiving a quality degree. If you choose to transfer schools or obtain a higher degree, accreditation ensures that your prior coursework and degree will be recognized by other institutions.

References

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