The Online Masters Colleges (OMC) Staff consists of professional writers, editors, and researchers with an in-depth knowledge of higher education institutions and college degree programs. Many of them have advanced degrees.
onlinemasterscolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Philosophy, which means “love of knowledge,” is defined as studying the fundamental nature of knowledge, values, reality, and existence. It seeks answers to simple or complex questions about existence, reason, and knowledge that may come across as problems to be assessed, understood, and resolved. A Master’s in Philosophy online provides students with the tools they need to think, understand and teach Philosophy. It encourages searching for answers to common questions about the very existence of life, its meaning, and purpose. “Does God exist”, “Do we have free will”, “What is the meaning of life”, and “Why do we believe what we believe”, are some such questions a Philosopher seeks answers to. The study of Philosophy is said to bring about personal enrichment and professional development. Academically, however, a Philosophy Degree provides a solid foundation for those who want to pursue a doctoral program. Read on to understand all there is to know about a Master’s in Philosophy.
www.onlinemasterscolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.
We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.
SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.
The best Master’s in Philosophy programs strike a fair balance between factors such as the courses/subjects offered, quality and experience of the faculty, reputation of the college, and cost, among others. The rankings table below provides a list of some of the best online Philosophy degrees there are:
To Link to this page, please copy and paste this code into your website
In general, higher or advanced education is always an expensive pursuit. Finding some of the most affordable online Master’s in Philosophy programs can prove to be a daunting task, considering that one has to factor in a whole range of other aspects (aside from cost) as well when looking at affordability. Keeping all that in mind, the list below depicts some of the most affordable Masters in Philosophy online programs:
To Link to this page, please copy and paste this code into your website
A Philosophy Degree does not necessarily prepare a student for a particular career path. Instead, it lays the groundwork for students to pursue their studies in a doctoral philosophy program by providing a solid base in advanced philosophy concepts. Nevertheless, there are a variety of careers Master’s in Philosophy Online graduates could pursue, like teaching and research, theology, healthcare, and law, to name a few.
Most Master’s in Philosophy Programs emphasize communication skills, both oral and written, as a prerequisite. This is because Philosophers are communicators by nature and need to know how to effectively put forth their logic, rationale, and reasoning to various audiences. Other skills that these programs cover are Logical Analysis, Constructive Argumentation, Critical Thinking, Analytical Thinking, and Problem-Solving.
Masters in Philosophy Degree Types
Interestingly, there are very few online Master’s in Philosophy Degrees as a subject or major. However, other streams of learning and departments, such as Humanities and Liberal Arts, will cover similar ground and include philosophy in their curricula. Such programs will take a multi-disciplinary approach, blending subjects such as philosophy, theology, social sciences, law, politics, and more. Some of the other Master’s Degrees students could consider are:
Master of Arts
Master of Humanities
Master of Liberal Arts
Master of Liberal Studies
Although these degrees are not identical, it is important to remember that they all follow the same pattern of using the humanities to investigate a deeper meaning and value of life. And while most Master’s programs focus on a particular area of study, philosophy-based programs expand the student’s perspective on life by examining a variety of philosophy and other related topics. The advantage of this is that one can choose from a wide range of careers, rather than be restricted to a few.
Some of the alternatives to a Master’s in Philosophy are:
Master of Humanities
Master of Arts in Bioethics
Master of Science in Bioethics
Master’s in Liberal Studies: Philosophy and Religion
Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality
Master of Arts in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness
Master of Science: Epistemology Ethics and Mind
Master of Science: Business Ethics and Compliance
As for a pure Master’s in Philosophy, there are two major degrees to choose from – a Master of Arts or MA in Philosophy, or a Master of Science or MS in Philosophy. There is also a third type of degree some Universities offer – Master of Philosophy or MPhil.
A Master of Arts in Philosophy, or MA Philosophy, stems from larger areas of arts, humanities, and social sciences. MA programs are typically a mix of lectures, workshops, and seminars, from a non-technical approach. Although largely assessed through examinations, it is not uncommon for students to also be evaluated based on an independent research project dissertation.
A Master of Science in Philosophy, or MS in Philosophy, has a stronger research component and is more technical and technologically oriented than an MA program. MS programs generally blend both arts and science subjects that are better suited for Business, Research, and other sectors.
Master of Philosophy (MPhil), also sometimes referred to as ‘Master by Research’, is a postgraduate degree that can either be part of a Ph.D., or a precursor to a Ph.D., or a standalone qualification. Unlike an MA or MS, this degree is purely research-based in that it allows the pursuit of a student’s independent line of inquiry as an independent project, rather than courses and assessments pursued otherwise. The MPhil is less common in the United States because graduate Philosophy programs (in the US) require taught units and assessment, unlike some other countries such as the UK.
Specializations in Masters in Philosophy Programs
Although in most cases, a Master’s in Philosophy degree should be adequate for a wide range of careers, specializations add incredible value to the degree and make it possible for students to work in a niche field of Philosophy. Among a host of such specializations and concentrations are:
History of Philosophy
Social Applied Philosophy
Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters in Philosophy Online Programs
The coursework of each Master’s in Philosophy online program varies depending on the college and the program. These variations can be quite severe and confusing, and it is therefore always wise to choose a program that is tailored to meet individual needs, including career paths. Some courses tend to be covered at the surface level. In contrast, some others may dive deeper into a subject or topic, depending on whether the program is an MA in Philosophy, or a Master of Liberal Arts, or a Master of Humanities, and so on.
If the sole purpose of a Master’s in Philosophy is to take up doctoral studies at a later date, students should look for a program that focuses on and majors in Philosophy or one that has a strong Philosophy curriculum. In general, a Master’s in Philosophy or interdisciplinary degree that covers Philosophy would have basic coursework, coupled with electives, and in some cases, a thesis. Some colleges will require students to take up one or more Writing and Research Skills courses as a prerequisite. Some of the courses that are available across programs are:
Value Theory and Symbols
Philosophy of Mind, Language, Linguistics, and Metaphysics
Philosophy of Science, Methodology, and Epistemology
Science, Ecology, and Contested Knowledge
Philosophy of Religion
Formal Philosophy and Philosophical Logic
Philosophy of Theology, and Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation
Gods and Monsters: Understanding Power
Philosophy of Social Identities
History of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
Human Person and Psychological Development
Love, Death, and Annihilation Gender
Science and Magic: The Varied Modes of Knowing and Believing
Apart from Philosophy-related electives, some colleges offer interdisciplinary electives that help develop formal skills for supporting thesis research. Interested students can choose from Model Theory, Cognitive Neuroscience, Machine Learning, Probability and Mathematical Statistics, and many more.
In addition to generally meeting the admission requirements for doctorate programs in Philosophy, students who graduate from online Philosophy courses will demonstrate, depending on the type of program chosen, an array of skills, such as the ability to:
explore metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics;
discern major issues in current philosophical debate;
practically apply biblical wisdom in a variety of contexts; and
engage with intellectual atheists and agnostics on a philosophical level.
Accreditation for Masters in Philosophy Online Programs
Accredited online philosophy degrees carry weight and count, especially when applying to doctoral programs. Therefore, students should never overlook accreditation and should always check with the college or read the program guide to see if the programs on offer are accredited by a recognized and genuine body. Furthermore, reading up on accreditation and its importance is always advisable.
Some of the accreditation bodies for a Master’s in Philosophy online program are:
Timeline for graduation from Masters in Philosophy Online Programs
The standard average to complete a Master’s in Philosophy online program is two years, with an upper limit of 6 years. Although there are programs that can last only one year, they are extremely rare and increasingly very hard to come by.
Masters in Philosophy Online Programs Admission Requirements
Master’s in Philosophy requirements, when it comes to admissions, are mostly the same that are applicable for other Master’s programs. The first and foremost requirement is a Bachelor’s Degree, preferably with Philosophy as a major, or other Liberal Arts or Humanities-related Undergraduate Degrees are also appropriate. Additionally (or), students may need to take up any prerequisite coursework as well, especially if the Bachelor’s Degree does not meet the criteria.
To get admitted to an online Master’s in Philosophy program, applicants might need some or all of these requirements:
A Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy or Philosophy-related field.
Required Prerequisite Coursework
A minimum Grade-Point Average (GPA) of 3.3 and above (some have a lower requirement)
Standardized Test Scores, if required, such as GRE or GMAT
Students should always check the specifics of the program at the college they are applying to and also any additional or particular admission requirements that may be asked for.
Masters in Philosophy Without Bachelors
A Master’s in Philosophy without Bachelor’s is nearly impossible to do! This is because all Universities require a Bachelor’s Degree in either Philosophy or a Philosophy-related field as a basis for admission to a graduate program. Even if one stumbles across a University that does not require a Bachelor’s Degree, the chances are that they will require at least two years’ full-time study in Philosophy, which roughly is about ten courses; plus, students will generally be required to maintain a GPA of 3.6 and above. In other cases, those masters in philosophy without a bachelor’s degree may not be an accredited program.
Free Online Philosophy Courses
Free online Philosophy courses will not confer a Master’s Degree. They will, however, help students who are already enrolled in a Master’s program by providing deeper insights into specific topics, subjects, and courses. Unfortunately, there are no free online Master’s Degree in Philosophy programs, complete with accreditation and certification, but there are courses that can complement such a degree. Here are a few resources to tap into for free online courses on Philosophy:
Free Study Free study has a long list of Philosophy courses consisting of providers that include the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and even foreign Universities like the University of Edinburgh.
Coursera Coursera is host to some very popular Certificates in Philosophy, awarded by Yale University, Duke University, and other prominent Institutions.
Class Central Class Central lists 162 Philosophy courses, most of which are free.
Open Culture Open Culture has free online courses in Philosophy from top Universities in the United States and abroad. The site also claims to have a collection of 120 free Philosophy eBooks.
Yale The Department of Philosophy at Yale University offers open courses in various traditions of Philosophy.
Harvard Harvard University has a few free online Philosophy courses that stem from the Humanities stream. There are some paid courses as well.
EdX EdX has free courses in Philosophy ranging from topics like Philosophy and Critical Thinking to God, Political Ethics, and Civil Liberties.
How to Pay for Masters in Philosophy Online Programs
The cost of a Master’s in Philosophy online program largely depends on the state and College one enrolls in. Online programs can range from $18,000 to $36,000 and beyond, which is inexpensive by no stretch of the imagination. Each year, educational expenses only increase, necessitating students to explore external funding sources. The few listed here should be considered as probable funding options among many others available:
Grants are funds that cover the costs of tuition or other associated student expenses, such as study materials, transport, equipment, etc. Grants are typically provided by the federal, state, or private sectors.
Assistantships allow a student to teach, work or research at the college while studying at the same time. The hours put into such work offset some of the costs of education. There are largely two types of Assistantships – Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Research Assistantships. Students should look at the program guide to check if Assistantships are available and any criteria applicable.
Fellowships are usually merit-based or project-based awards that assist full-time students in pursuing their higher studies.
Working on Campus
Quite often, Universities allow their students to establish an employer-employee relationship for work done by students. The money earned from working on campus can at least partly fund the tuition fee.
Loans are funds that are borrowed on interest to help pay for education. There are Federal Loans and Private Loans that one could avail of, based on one’s requirement and eligibility.
A Master’s in Philosophy is a graduate program that seeks to equip students with skills required to find answers to simple and complex questions about existence, reason, and knowledge while studying the fundamental nature of values, reality, and existence.
How to study Philosophy Online?
Students can either enroll in a Master’s in Philosophy online program or even opt for other graduate degrees that cover Philosophy and its related subjects, such as Master of Humanities, Master of Arts, Master of Liberal Arts, or Master of Liberal Studies.
What can I do with a Master’s in Philosophy?
Apart from providing students who want to pursue their doctoral studies with a solid foundation for study and research, a Master’s in Philosophy can be of use in several careers, like a High School Teacher, Archaeologist, Senior Researcher, Religious Scholar, Screenwriter, Psychotherapist, Newspaper Journalist, to name a few.
Is a Masters in Philosophy worth it?
A Master’s in Philosophy enables students to get a doctorate, which in turn can lead to very promising careers. Even otherwise, this degree offers employment in several industries and adds prestige to one’s resume. Furthermore, handsome salaries are not uncommon, making the degree all the more attractive for prospective students.
Careers and Salary Outlook for Masters in Philosophy Graduates
A graduate of a Master’s in Philosophy online program can pick from a variety of possible careers. However, one may have to keep an open mind while exploring career options, as there are many industries and job profiles that may make it harder to land a specific kind of job. That said, students can seek jobs in industries like law, business, government, education, journalism, public administration, healthcare, advertising, and many more.
Here are some typical careers graduates can pursue with an online Masters in Philosophy degree:
High School Teacher
Director of Religious Education
Theology or Philosophy Teacher
Depending on the state in which an individual is employed and in which sector, the annual salaries can vary. According to ‘Payscale’, Master of Arts in Philosophy graduates earn an average salary of $66,126; Master of Science in Philosophy graduates earn an average salary of $77,023; Master of Philosophy (MPhil) graduates earn an annual salary of $69,446.
Certifications and Licensing for Philosophy Graduates
A Master’s in Philosophy online degree is rather broad-based. Adding a concentration or a professional certificate could help shape a specific career and tailor the degree to suit each one’s needs – personal and professional. Certificate Courses also add a certain zing to the Master’s Degree and give graduates an extra edge when seeking employment. Here are a few Certificate Programs from the wide availability of many:
Philosophy, Arts and Literature
Philosophy of Biology
Interdisciplinary Medieval and Renaissance Studies
History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine
In almost all cases, licensure is not required to practice Philosophy or work in its related field. But teaching Philosophy at the secondary and post-secondary level may require additional training and licensing.
Additional Resources for Philosophy Professionals
It is important to keep up with the latest research and best practices in the world of Philosophy, which is why joining a professional association is always a good thing to do. This will provide Master’s in Philosophy online graduates the opportunity to network with like-minded people and get the help they need to advance in their careers. Here are a few Philosophy-related resources to look at and consider:
American Philosophy Association The American Philosophy Association (APA) promotes the discipline and profession of Philosophy and has a variety of resources available to use, from Data to Seminars to publications and more.
American Association of Philosophy Teachers Those who are interested in teaching Philosophy should explore the American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT). Apart from Seminars and Workshops that are regularly conducted, there is enough resource material to assist the teaching of Philosophy and the profession of teaching in general.
American Philosophical Society In addition to offering Grants, the American Philosophy Society (APS) conducts Virtual Programs and provides the latest information in philosophy.
Philosophy of Science Association The Philosophy of Science Association (PSA) has a wealth of resources that span Education, Employment, Funding, Journals, and more.
A few more associations and societies that are popular among Philosophers are:
The rankings, average tuition (based on the degree type for in-state students), and average graduation rates are based on information from several sources, including Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and may vary. All rankings and figures mentioned are subject to change. Based on our proprietary methodology, the rankings are purely Online Masters Colleges's (OMC's) opinions. They do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor any official government census or survey. Additionally, any views or opinions expressed on this page are those of OMC's researchers and teams. Unless specifically indicated, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the people, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page's provided content is solely for informational purposes, with information drawn from several sources, including IPEDS. OMC or its employees make no guarantees of the accuracy or completeness of any information on this page or found by following any link. OMC will not be held liable for any mistakes or omissions in this material, nor will it be held liable for any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the material on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, reader discretion is always advised because part or all the provided information may have changed over time, potentially leading to inaccuracies. Please read our Terms of Service for more information. Logos and trademarks are properties of their registered owners
More Ways to Learn in Your Inbox
You can get ahead of the curve with education and career updates. Our newsletter explores the latest articles, top-ranked online master’s degree programs, scholarships, and career salaries and outlooks.
Note: By entering your email address and clicking “Sign Me Up,” you agree to be contacted by OnlineMastersColleges.com for educational products or services. You can unsubscribe anytime.