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2023 Most Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Philosophy

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 1/11/2023
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An online master's in philosophy is a degree focused on intellectual inquiry that mostly concerns humankind's behaviors, values, and reasoning. In pursuit of this graduate degree, students develop skills in communication and writing by participating in debates and research projects. Graduates of a master's program in philosophy may explore an increasingly wide range of careers — whether as teachers, public sector workers, or social researchers. 

Other master's degree programs where students receive opportunities to explore similar subjects include sociology or political science. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for more inspiration. View our methodology for details about rankings or learn about us.

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Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Holy Apostles Cromwell (CT) $7,215
# 2 #2 Western New Mexico University Silver City (NM) $11,073
# 3 #3 Biola University La Mirada (CA) $18,375
# 4 #4 California Institute of Integral Studies San Francisco (CA) $22,356
#1
#1

Holy Apostles

Cromwell (CT)
Annual Tuition: $7,215
Annual Tuition: $7,215
Annual Tuition: $7,215

Holy Apostles (HACS) is a private, Catholic institution with an online Master of Arts in Philosophy requiring 36 credit hours. It features five concentration options: (1) Christian Wisdom, (2) Ethics, (3) History of Philosophy, (4) Systematic Philosophy, and (5) General Education. Most students complete this program in two to four years, depending on how many credits they take each semester.

HACS uses Populi as the learning management system (LMS) to deliver online coursework. This software allows students to finish their graduate degrees completely online and on a schedule that meets their needs. The core curriculum takes an interdisciplinary approach to philosophy, with class titles like Ethics, Logic and Epistemology, and Philosophy of Nature and Metaphysics. The General Studies emphasis allows students to choose their core classes from the other concentrations. Additionally, a comprehensive examination is required at the end of the program. Career opportunities include youth minister, theology teacher, and director of religious education — to name a few options.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 50%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 156
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 344
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $11,073
Annual Tuition: $11,073
Annual Tuition: $11,073

Western New Mexico University (WNMU) is a public university with a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies - Philosophy. This online master's degree requires 36 credit hours, which generally takes full-time students about two years to finish.

WNMU students use Canvas as its primary LMS, where students can complete courses online and asynchronously through webcam, audio, and text channels. This degree has a unique curriculum that allows students to select from up to three fields of study for a truly interdisciplinary degree. Aspiring teachers may find that this degree works to their benefit, for example, because they can explore philosophy alongside instructional design and writing. For the philosophy focus, students take classes such as History of Philosophy and Major Topics or Problems in Philosophy. Students are also required to complete a midpoint self-reflection essay and an exit essay. Students may pursue a range of careers, such as philosophy teachers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 487
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 625
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#3
#3

Biola University

La Mirada (CA)
Annual Tuition: $18,375
Annual Tuition: $18,375
Annual Tuition: $18,375

Biola University (BU) is a private, Christian university that hosts an online Master of Arts in Philosophy with the Talbot School of Theology. In order to earn this degree, students must complete 49 credit hours, which typically takes between two and four years.

Online students at BU use the popular LMS Canvas to complete their coursework, which is delivered online and often in an asynchronous format. The curriculum teaches students a range of topics — including metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics — all through a Christian philosophical lens. There are a number of required biblical and theological courses as well, such as Philosophy of Religion, Talbot Spiritual Direction, and Old Testament Survey. Furthermore, there's a required "Spiritual Core" foundation that includes courses such as Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation. Graduates may find tenured positions at universities or leadership roles within ministry programs.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Average SATs: 1080 -1310
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 168
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 587
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: WSCUC
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $22,356
Annual Tuition: $22,356
Annual Tuition: $22,356

California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) is a private institution that features a Master of Arts in Philosophy and Religion - Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. On average, the completion time for this degree is around two years for full-time students.

At CIIS, students use Canvas as their LMS, which delivers the philosophy course entirely online. Although not required, students are encouraged to participate in an annual residential retreat, intensive courses, and other events in San Francisco. The core curriculum for this program explores various aspects of philosophy as they relate to global challenges, such as ecological changes. Here are three examples of required courses: Science, Ecology, and Contested Knowledge; Process Approaches to Consciousness; and The Book of Nature. At the end of the program, students must also complete an integrative seminar and presentation.

  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 25
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 339
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: WSCUC

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