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Masters in Philosophy Online
Introduction
Masters in Philosophy Online
Best Programs
Masters in Philosophy Online
Affordable Programs
Masters in Philosophy Online
Program Details
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Masters without Bachelors
Masters in Philosophy Online
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Masters in Philosophy Online
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Masters in Philosophy Online

Masters in Philosophy Online

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.

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Best Masters in Philosophy Online Programs

Philosophy Best Seal

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:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
Salve Regina University
100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island 02840
$11,250 78%
#2
Biola University
13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, California 90639
$11,772 74%
#3
Holy Apostles College
33 Prospect Hill Road, Cromwell, Connecticut 06416
$4,320 N/A
#4
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
$57,010 93%
#5
Arizona State University
University Drive and Mill Avenue, Tempe, Arizona 85287
$11,720 63%
#6
Rutgers University
406 Penn, Camden, New Jersey 08102
$17,736 65%
#7
California State University
18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, California 91330
$7,176 55%
#8
University of Illinois, Springfield
One University Plaza, Springfield, Illinois 62703
$8,247 54%
#9
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94103
$21,708 N/A
#10
American Public University
111 W Congress St, Charles Town, West Virginia 25414
$6,660 40%
#11
Auburn University at Montgomery
7440 East Drive, Montgomery, Alabama 36117
$7,578 34%
#12
Faulkner University
5345 Atlanta Hwy, Montgomery, Alabama 36109
$10,350 33%
#13
SUNY Empire State College
Two Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866
$11,310 25%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Most Affordable Masters in Philosophy Online Programs

Philosophy affordable seal

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:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
Holy Apostles College
33 Prospect Hill Road, Cromwell, Connecticut 06416
$4,320 NA
#2
American Public University
111 W Congress St, Charles Town, West Virginia 25414
$6,660 40%
#3
California State University
18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, California 91330
$7,176 55%
#4
Auburn University at Montgomery
7440 East Drive, Montgomery, Alabama 36117
$7,578 34%
#5
University of Illinois, Springfield
One University Plaza, Springfield, Illinois 62703
$8,247 54%
#6
Faulkner University
5345 Atlanta Hwy, Montgomery, Alabama 36109
$10,350 33%
#7
Salve Regina University
100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island 02840
$11,250 78%
#8
SUNY Empire State College
Two Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866
$11,310 25%
#9
Arizona State University
University Drive and Mill Avenue, Tempe, Arizona 85287
$11,720 63%
#10
Biola University
13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, California 90639
$11,772 74%
#11
Rutgers University
406 Penn, Camden, New Jersey 08102
$17,736 65%
#12
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94103
$21,708 NA
#13
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
$57,010 93%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Masters in Philosophy Programs

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.

MA Philosophy

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.

MS Philosophy

MPhil

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:

  • General Studies
  • History of Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Christian Wisdom
  • Social Applied Philosophy
  • Systematic 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:

  1. Value Theory and Symbols
  2. Moral Philosophy
  3. Philosophy of Mind, Language, Linguistics, and Metaphysics
  4. Philosophy of Science, Methodology, and Epistemology
  5. Science, Ecology, and Contested Knowledge
  6. Philosophy of Religion
  7. Formal Philosophy and Philosophical Logic
  8. Moral Philosophy
  9. Philosophy of Theology, and Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation
  10. Gods and Monsters: Understanding Power
  11. Philosophy of Social Identities
  12. History of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
  13. History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
  14. Human Person and Psychological Development
  15. Love, Death, and Annihilation Gender
  16. 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:

  1. explore metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics;
  2. discern major issues in current philosophical debate;
  3. practically apply biblical wisdom in a variety of contexts; and
  4. 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
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose
  • Entrance Essay or a Write-Up

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Coursera
    Coursera is host to some very popular Certificates in Philosophy, awarded by Yale University, Duke University, and other prominent Institutions.
  3. Class Central
    Class Central lists 162 Philosophy courses, most of which are free.
  4. 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.
  5. Yale
    The Department of Philosophy at Yale University offers open courses in various traditions of Philosophy.
  6. Harvard
    Harvard University has a few free online Philosophy courses that stem from the Humanities stream. There are some paid courses as well.
  7. 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:

Masters in Philosophy Online

Scholarships

Scholarships typically do not require a student to pay back the award amount. They are relatively easy to apply for and one of the most popular means of funding advanced education.

Masters in Philosophy Online

Grants

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.

Masters in Philosophy Online

Assistantships

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.

Masters in Philosophy Online

Fellowships

Fellowships are usually merit-based or project-based awards that assist full-time students in pursuing their higher studies.

Masters in Philosophy Online

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.

Masters in Philosophy Online

Federal Loans

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.

Masters in Philosophy Online

FAFSA

(Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is another popular source of funding for graduate programs. A complete look at FAFSA is available here.

FAQs about Philosophy Programs

Q: What is Masters in Philosophy?
A: 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.
Q: How to study Philosophy Online?
A: 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.
Q: What can I do with a Master’s in Philosophy?
A: 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.
Q: Is a Masters in Philosophy worth it?
A: 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:

  • School Counselor
  • High School Teacher
  • Newspaper Journalist
  • Recruitment Consultant
  • Pastor
  • Criminal Lawyer
  • Senior Researcher
  • Screenwriter
  • Psychotherapist
  • Academic Writer
  • Marketing Executive
  • Freelance Writer
  • Religious Scholar
  • International Lawyer
  • Archaeologist
  • Director of Religious Education
  • College Professor
  • Theology or Philosophy Teacher
  • Youth Minister

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:

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Philosophy, Arts and Literature
  • Philosophy of Biology
  • Applied Ethics
  • Interdisciplinary Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Religious Studies
  • Political Thought
  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy
    The Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) houses online resources for Continental Philosophy, Publications, Books, and hosts Conferences as well.
  3. 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.
  4. American Philosophical Society
    In addition to offering Grants, the American Philosophy Society (APS) conducts Virtual Programs and provides the latest information in philosophy.
  5. 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:

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