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2023 Best Online Philosophy Degrees

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 12/16/2022
2023 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Philosophy Badge

Understanding philosophy can help us make sense of the world and the ethical and moral standards by which we live. An online bachelor’s in philosophy can help you understand the fundamental truths about yourself and others in order to become an effective decision-maker, problem-solver, and leader. We’ve ranked the programs on our list by online enrollment so you can choose from popular programs to help fulfill your career goals in fields such as law, healthcare, and education. 

However, if you’re unsure if majoring in philosophy is right for you, an online bachelor’s degree in political science or sociology may also be worth exploring. View our methodology for more details about our list, or learn more about OnlineU.

2023 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Philosophy Badge
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Online Philosophy Bachelor's Degrees You May Be Interested In

List Of Accredited Online Philosophy Schools

School Online Enrollment Annual Tuition
American Public University System 37,335 37,335 $7,324 $7,324
Arizona State University 33,410 $24,413
Fort Hays State University 4,411 $15,360
University of Arizona 2,558 $11,800
Washington State University 2,437 $26,419
University of Massachusetts - Lowell 2,164 $33,574
University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2,155 $22,562
University of Memphis 2,009 $13,752
University of Arkansas at Little Rock 1,676 $21,754
University of Southern Mississippi 1,665 $10,896

American Public University System

  • Annual Tuition: $7,324
  • Locations: Charles Town (WV)
  • Accreditation: HLC

American Public University (APU) is a private, for-profit institution that’s part of the American Public University System. APU offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Students can choose from a range of concentrations, including Ethics, Healthcare, Legal Theory, or STEM. Courses vary from 8 to 16 weeks and start monthly. Graduation requires completing 120 credit hours, which may take full-time students up to four years. APU has a 100% acceptance and an 18% graduation rate.

APU delivers online course content and instruction via Brightspace. Depending on the chosen concentration, online philosophy students complete classes such as Ethics in Criminal Justice, Environmental Economics, Bioethics, and Healthcare: Moral Issues. Students must also complete a religion and philosophy capstone to graduate. Graduates may pursue advanced degrees in law or education or occupations in healthcare, finance, business, and STEM.

Arizona State University

  • Annual Tuition: $24,413
  • Locations: Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Arizona State University (ASU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy through its Digital Immersion program. Full-time students may complete the required 120 credit hours in less than four years because courses are accelerated and last only 7.5 weeks. ASU accepts 73% of applicants, and 52% of enrolled students end up graduating.

ASU uses the Canvas learning management system (LMS) so online students can access the same course content and instruction as their on-campus peers. Courses in the philosophy curriculum include Ethical Theory, Metaethics, History of Ancient Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy, and Metaphysics. The program’s curriculum helps prepare students for various roles in business, finance, and education — such as editors, mediators, politicians, and law enforcement officers. Alumni may also decide to pursue graduate degrees in order to enter careers in law and academia.

Fort Hays State University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,360
  • Locations: Hays (KS)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Graduation requires completing 120 credit hours, which generally takes full-time students up to four years to finish. However, students may be eligible to transfer credits, enabling early graduation. They can also earn a certificate in an area of interest, such as General Philosophy, Moral and Political Philosophy, or Philosophy of Religion. However, this is not a requirement for graduation. FHSU has a 91% acceptance and a 57% graduation rate.

FHSU delivers online course content and instruction via the popular LMS Blackboard. Philosophy students enroll in classes such as World Religions, Philosophy of Mind, and Political Philosophy. They must also complete a senior thesis to graduate. Graduates work in fields such as writing and journalism, fundraising and nonprofits, social work, and public administration.

University of Arizona

  • Annual Tuition: $11,800
  • Locations: Tucson (AZ) (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Arizona is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy - Ethics. Areas of interest include Law, Policy, and Social Justice; Philosophy and Religious Studies; Psychology and Human Behavior; and Social and Behavioral Sciences. They complete 120 credit hours of coursework, which may take four years if attending full time. Arizona has an 85% acceptance and a 64% graduation rate.

Arizona Online uses EDGE Learning as its LMS to deliver its online curriculum to distance learners. Those enrolled in the Ethics program take classes such as Philosophy of Happiness, Medical Ethics, and Law and Morality. Students complete a general education portfolio at the end of their second year as part of graduation requirements. Graduates choose careers such as human resources managers, compliance managers, and regulatory affairs specialists.

Washington State University

  • Annual Tuition: $26,419
  • Locations: Pullman (WA)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Washington State University (WSU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Humanities - Philosophy. Students choose two other areas of concentration within the humanities besides philosophy, which include options such as Women’s Studies, Fine Arts, and Comparative Ethics Studies. They must complete 120 credit hours to graduate, which may take four years if enrolled full time. WSU accepts 80% of applicants, and 65% of students graduate with degrees.

WSU’s online students access Canvas to participate in distance learning. Courses within the philosophy curriculum include the following: History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Environmental Ethics, Advanced Formal Logic, and Philosophy and Race. The philosophy program aims to prepare students for work in various fields and industries, as well as enrollment in graduate programs.

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Overview of Online Philosophy

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.

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.

The Importance of an Accredited Online Degree in Philosophy

Attending an accredited school ensures that students receive a high-quality education. Accreditation is a voluntary review process schools undergo to ensure programs are taught by qualified faculty members and curriculums are held to high academic standards.

Obtaining a degree from an accredited institution also signals to employers that graduates have received a quality education. If students choose to transfer schools or obtain a higher degree, accreditation ensures that other institutions will recognize their prior coursework and degree. Accreditation also allows schools to disburse federal financial aid dollars. Those who enroll in a school that has not earned accreditation status will not be eligible for federal grants or loans.

What Specializations Are Available for Philosophy Degrees?

Students in an online philosophy degree program may be able to choose a specialization in several areas, including:

  • Ethics: Students in this specialization will study ethical reasoning and argument. They will learn how to apply ethical theory to real-world problems in society, politics, the environment, and animal welfare. Students may take classes in contemporary moral issues and international justice.
  • Morality, Politics, and Law: Students will apply philosophical reasoning and analysis to political theory and law. This specialization may be of particular interest to students wishing to pursue careers in law or public policy. Students in this track may take courses in the theories of law, social and political ethics, and moral philosophy.

What Professional Associations Are Available for Philosophy Students?

Joining an association allows individuals to continue professional development in their field, network with others, and stay up to date with industry news or trends. The following professional associations are available to those in the philosophy discipline:

American Philosophical Association (APA): The APA aims to promote the profession and discipline of philosophy and advocate for greater understanding and value of the field. Several services offered to APA members include scholarships, teaching support, career development, and advocacy.

American Philosophical Society (APS): Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, the APS is the oldest academic association in the United States. The association encourages intellectual fellowship and inquiry by engaging leaders in various fields and supporting research and advancement in the field.

Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE): The APPE is an international organization that promotes ethical education and conduct in professional and public spaces. APPE members have the opportunity to network with other scholars or professionals, attend conferences, and build ethics-based leadership skills.

Frequently Asked Questions About Philosophy Degrees

What can I do with an online degree in philosophy?

Students who earn online degrees in philosophy will acquire valuable critical thinking, analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills that can be applied to numerous occupations, especially when coupled with advanced degrees in other fields. For example, students who intend to pursue careers in law, business, economics, public policy, or social work often earn their bachelor's degrees in philosophy before studying a more specific subject at the graduate level.

Are entry-level jobs available to people who have earned bachelor's degrees in philosophy?

Yes, entry-level positions are available in many industries. For example, graduates with online bachelor's degrees would be eligible for positions as marketing analysts, sales representatives, and paralegals.

How much can I expect to earn with an online degree in philosophy?

Philosophy is a versatile major that provides students with a wide range of skills that can be applied across occupations. With so many career options available, the salary range is hard to define. Of course, there is the option of earning a doctorate in philosophy and becoming a college instructor, with a median annual salary of $76,160.

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