2021 Best Online Philosophy Degrees [Bachelor’s Guide]

Home » 2021 Best Online Philosophy Degrees [Bachelor’s Guide]

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If you enjoy studying theories, advancing your communication skills, and participating in critical debates, then you might consider pursuing an online philosophy degree.

Best Online Philosophy Degrees

A philosophy program can enhance your ability to make worldly observations about everyday life. You can study historic masters of ethics and metaphysics and participate in critical thinking discussions.

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The study of philosophy often emphasizes critical thinking and communication, so you can develop a skill set that’s applicable to a range of roles in various industries.

Online Philosophy Degrees

Online Philosophy Degrees

An online philosophy degree can encourage you to think outside the box. You can learn to use theoretical ideas to solve problems and create innovative solutions to real-world issues and concerns.

A bachelors in philosophy can also help you build a foundation for masters or doctoral studies in the field. Degrees in philosophy could lead to career paths in a variety of industries and domains.

Philosophy is a good major for many students in that it can help strengthen communication, critical thinking, analytical, and research skills. These versatile skill sets are applicable in many different fields.

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You may also go on to pursue a graduate degree in a complementary field. For example, some professionals build a foundation in philosophy with the intent to pursue law school later on.

A philosophy background can complement a number of career paths, such as the following:

  • Secondary teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Public relations specialist
  • Paralegal
  • Writer or author

If you pursue a Bachelor of Philosophy, you’ll likely find yourself taking a broad range of courses. You may also find yourself interested in pursuing a specific concentration. Your courses will likely cover topics like:

  • Ancient philosophy
  • Modern philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy of science
  • Religious studies in philosophy

Whether you choose to study a more broad domain of coursework or focus on a specialization may depend on your educational and career goals following the program.

Philosophy Careers & Salaries

Philosophy Careers & Salaries

A philosophy degree can be quite dynamic, and the skills and knowledge you can acquire can be applicable in a variety of industries. You can also choose a concentration that aligns with your job interests.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that various occupations employ workers who have a philosophy background.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Lawyers $126,930
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $118,430
Management Analysts $87,660
Writers and Authors $67,120
Public Relations Specialists $62,810
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers $60,660
Paralegals and Legal Assistants $52,920
Clergy $51,940
Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents $51,220
News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists $49,300

An online philosophy degree can lead to a variety of opportunities in many industries. A philosophy program can help you develop communication and problem-solving skills. As a result, philosophy majors tend to enter the field of communication or education.

Some students major in philosophy so they can build on that foundation with a masters or doctorate in a complementary field. Those who want to enter the law field, for instance, will require further education and specialized training.

Philosophy Curriculum & Courses

Philosophy Curriculum

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy can give the opportunity to enroll in a variety of fascinating and analytical courses. Your coursework will vary depending on your school and program, but here are a few courses you may find yourself enrolled in:

  • Ancient Philosophy: You’ll look at the words of individuals like Plato and Socrates and apply their thoughts and theories to modern life.
  • Modern Philosophy: Modern philosophy chronicles the shift of thinking among philosophers and looks at the works of philosophers like Spinoza, Locke, and Kant. Modern philosophy stresses critical thinking about the world.
  • Ethics: This course looks at morality and what makes something ethical or moral. Using case studies from law and researching a variety of “big questions,” you’ll use the theories of other philosophers and your own ideas to come to conclusions.
  • Philosophy of Science: This course combines scientific theory with philosophical thought.
  • Religious Studies in Philosophy: This course looks at questions such as the meaning of life and whether God exists. You’ll likely study philosophers like Aquinas and Descartes.
  • Epistemology: This course focuses on the study of knowledge with an emphasis on using belief and opinion to justify your theories on truth.
  • Metaphysics: This philosophical course looks at what is real and the nature of reality. It also explores our relationship between our thoughts and the physical world.
  • Logic: You’ll study truth and reason, which can be formulated like math problems in sentences called methods. These sentences are then used to deduct fundamental truths from fallacies.
  • Political Philosophy: You’ll look at the formation of political bodies, the understanding of the values and ideas of these political bodies, and how political theories can be applied to current events.
  • Philosophy of Education: There are various philosophical groups of thought that adhere to education and being a leader in the education industry. You’ll look at how these schools of thought influence teaching and learning.

In a philosophy degree program, your coursework will consist of general education courses, major courses, and electives. During your program, you may also find a philosophical specific concentration that interests you most.

Admissions Requirements

Online Philosophy Degrees admissions

Though admission requirements vary from school to school, here are some typical criteria you may come across when applying to a bachelors program:

  • SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
  • Official transcripts from your high school or GED program
  • Minimum GPA requirement, often 2.5 or 3.0
  • Statement of intent

Some schools will make exceptions for some of the requirements, and they may have additional requirements altogether. If you wish to apply for scholarships or financial aid, other materials may be requested as well.

Accreditation

Online Philosophy Degrees accreditation

Attending a school with regional accreditation is essential for a variety of reasons. For starters, a degree from an accredited university is recognized and respected by most employers.

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In addition, accreditation is often a qualifying factor for the transferability of your credits. Regional accreditation also signifies the school you are attending meets high-quality standards. To check the accreditation status of the school or program you are interested in, you can visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Online Philosophy Degrees financial aid

There are numerous financial aid opportunities available to students who qualify. You can search for merit-based or need-based scholarships from public and private institutions, including your prospective school.

You may also qualify for additional financial assistance if you are from the military. Some employers even have financial aid programs available for workers who are furthering their education.

If you’re looking for financial assistance, you can start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application can determine your eligibility for federal aid and state aid. Other organizations that offer aid opportunities may request to see your FAFSA as well.

Philosophy Professional Organizations

Philosophy Professional Organizations

Professional organizations can provide you with networking opportunities and resources for work or study. They may also provide the opportunity to attend workshops and conferences. Here are a few professional organizations available to philosophy majors:

Professional organizations can also provide an online space for intellectual discussions and the sharing of new ideas and theories in the field. Joining a professional organization is not mandatory, but it can be beneficial.

What Can You Do with a Philosophy Degree?

Philosophy Degree careers

Because of the broad range of skills and knowledge you can acquire through a philosophy program, various industries employ workers with this degree.

Many philosophy majors go on to pursue higher education and specialized training in a complementary field. For instance, some political scientists, philosophy teachers, historians, paralegals, and lawyers, have backgrounds in philosophy.

Workers with a bachelors in philosophy tend to work as public relations specialists, writers, clergy, journalists, or real estate agents. There is a wide range of work available to graduates with a philosophy degree, depending on your interests, aptitudes, and experience. So, there are many things you can do with a philosophy degree.

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

Bachelors in Philosophy Degree Online

A bachelor’s degree in philosophy generally takes 4 years to complete if you are following a traditional 16 week semester and attending your program full-time.

If your program follows an 8 week semester, you may finish in less time if you enroll as a full-time student and take classes year-round. Some online programs even offer accelerated programs. Taking on a part-time course load may increase the length of time it takes for you to finish your degree.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Philosophy Degree?

Current professionals with philosophy backgrounds are employed in a variety of industries. They may find themselves in education, in management occupations, in social service roles, or in legal positions.

Some graduates with a bachelors in philosophy pursue careers as public relations specialists, fundraising managers, and real estate brokers. Still others become writers or authors.

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Some philosophy majors go on to earn their teaching credentials so they can teach philosophy. Others go on to gain specialized training and certification as paralegals or legal assistants in a law office. Your geographic location, philosophy concentration, experience, and industry of interest are all factors that can influence the employment process.

What’s the Difference Between Philosophy vs. Religion?

Here are some of the differences between philosophy and religion:

Philosophy Religion
  • Critically theorizes answers for life’s big questions and challenges belief
  • Focuses on rational, logical, and analytical study
  • Historic study of philosophers and philosophical principles
  • Studies belief and spirituality
  • Focuses on theorizing and spiritual study
  • Historic study of ethics, morals, and rules and the institutions that incorporate them

The key difference between these degrees is how they approach and define knowledge and truth.

Is a Philosophy Degree Worth It?

Is a Philosophy Degree Worth It

Yes, a philosophy degree is worth it for many students. A philosophy major can help you develop communication, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Because of its adaptability, a degree in philosophy can lead to opportunities in a variety of industries and fields.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows growth in many of the industries that hire professionals with a background in philosophy.  For instance, media and communication occupations are expected to grow 4% over the next ten years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects 5% job growth for education, training, and library occupations.

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

American Public University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours. Students can choose to add a concentration in Ethics, Healthcare, Legal Theory, or STEM. Applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent to be eligible for the program.

American Public University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program. To graduate, students must complete 39 courses. Each course is 7.5 weeks long. Those interested in the program must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0, be in the top 25% of their graduating class, or have appropriate ACT or SAT scores.

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

Fort Hays State University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours, with at least 45 hours obtained from upper-level coursework. Applicants must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.25, an SAT score of 1080, or an ACT score of 21.

FHSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University

Oregon State University offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy. Both programs typically take 4 years to complete and require 180 quarter credit hours to graduate. Applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and may submit SAT or ACT scores to the school.

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

Portland State University

Portland State University

Portland State University offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy.

Both programs may be taken online and require students to complete 180 quarter credit hours to graduate. A GPA of 2.5 or higher is typically required for admission. Those who do not meet the GPA requirement may still be admitted after further admission review.

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

University of Arizona

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers a Bachelor of Art in Philosophy with a specialization in Ethics. The program requires 120 credit hours to graduate and can usually be completed in 4 years. Those interested in the program may apply online with copies of their official high school transcripts.

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

University of Illinois – Springfield

University of Illinois Springfield

The University of Illinois—Springfield offers a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Students may choose to receive a specialization in Core Analytic Philosophy or Values. To be eligible for the program, applicants must submit test scores, transcripts, and a personal statement. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis.

UIS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Massachusetts – Lowell

University of Massachusetts Lowell

The University of Massachusetts—Lowell offers a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Students may choose to complete one of three paths: General, Communications and Critical Thinking, or Philosophy and Religious Studies. A final thesis project is required to graduate. Applicants may apply online with official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Memphis

University of Memphis

The University of Memphis offers an online program for a Bachelor of Art in Philosophy with a concentration in Applied Ethics. The program can usually be completed in 2 to 4 years. Those interested in the program may apply online with official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT test scores.

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

The University of New Orleans offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and an ACT score of 23 or higher. Those with a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher may have the ACT score requirement waived.

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

Getting Your Degree in Philosophy Online

Degree in Philosophy Online

An online bachelors program in philosophy allows you to study the works of deep thinkers throughout history, seek the answers to life’s big questions, and develop your communication and analytical thinking skills.

Your bachelor degree can also act as a stepping stone toward a graduate degree in philosophy or a complementary field. Earning your degree online can provide you with the opportunity to schedule your coursework around your personal and professional obligations.

If you’re ready to launch into your philosophy studies, you can start exploring accredited universities to find online philosophy programs and concentrations that align with your interests.

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Claudia Amendola Alzraa
WRITTEN BY
Claudia Amendola Alzraa
Claudia has a Master's in Library and Information Studies, a Bachelor's in Education, and a Bachelor's with Honors in English and Philosophy. With a history working in Special Education, Claudia is an advocate for diversified and equitable education, and student success initiatives.