Best Online Bachelor’s in Philosophy Programs of 2021

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August 27, 2021

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For centuries, philosophy has shaped the way individuals, groups, and institutions view the world. Philosophy focuses on the study of ethics, knowledge, truth, and existence. This field aims to develop critical thinking and reasoning approaches. It also highlights theories about interactions between people and human existence.

While today's job market may not seem to show a demand for philosophers, the knowledge and skills gained through an online bachelor's in philosophy transfer to many industries. Philosophy majors can seek employment in finance, law, education, technology, business, and other fields that require deep analytical, communication, and reasoning skills.

2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Philosophy Programs

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Arizona State University-Skysong View School Profile Scottsdale, AZ

ASU offers an online bachelor's in philosophy. The program strives to help students develop interpersonal, critical thinking, and analytical skills. To earn this online bachelor of arts in philosophy, students must complete 120 credits.

Online courses include philosophy of the mind, social and political philosophy, history of ethics, and contemporary analytic philosophy.

Distance learners can choose from multiple start dates throughout the year, which can make it easier to fit this program into their busy schedules.

Students can choose from several different electives. The degree does not require an internship or culminating experience.

University of Illinois at Springfield View School Profile Springfield, IL

UIS has offered an online bachelor's in philosophy since 2004. The online program focuses on providing small classes, personalized attention, and flexibility to meet the needs of diverse learners. Classes are 100% online, so distance learners never have to step on campus.

The 40-credit major curriculum delves into comparative philosophy of religion, animals and human civilization, contemporary American political philosophy, and perspectives on human nature.

Online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live. The program culminates in a capstone seminar.

University of Arizona View School Profile Tucson, AZ

At UofA, distance learners can pursue an online bachelor's in philosophy with an ethics specialization. Housed within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, this interdisciplinary degree can lead to careers in politics, law, criminal justice, and medicine.

Topics explored in this online UofA program include the philosophy of happiness, medical ethics, law and morality, and minds, brains, and computers. All students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Admission requirements include a completed online application, official transcripts from any schools previously attended, essays, and letters of recommendation. Students who have not already completed an associate degree must also submit their official high school transcripts or GED diploma.

Franciscan University of Steubenville View School Profile Steubenville, OH

A private institution in Ohio, Franciscan offers an online bachelor's in philosophy taught from a Catholic worldview. These philosophy courses are 100% online. The program seeks to help students develop decision-making, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Designed for busy professionals, the curriculum offers a self-paced learning style taught through Blackboard. Topics covered in the online program include ancient Greek philosophy, the Thomistic tradition in philosophy, introduction to Eastern philosophy, and philosophy in literature.

In addition to liberal arts core classes and philosophy electives, Franciscan’s distance learners take courses in other disciplines, such as literature, psychology, and theology.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro View School Profile Greensboro, NC

UNCG offers a fully online bachelor's in philosophy that delivers all coursework asynchronously. The curriculum focuses on both theoretical and practical philosophical topics. Learners can also pursue a pre-law concentration.

The degree consists of 120 credits, with a minimum of 27 credits in philosophy courses. Online courses include an introduction to formal logic, the histories of ancient and modern philosophy, social and political philosophy, the theory of knowledge, and philosophy of crime and punishment. The bachelor's in philosophy program culminates in a senior capstone course.

UNCG’s online courses use multimedia content and are led by the same faculty members who teach on campus.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Philosophy Program?

Most students pursuing a bachelor's in philosophy enjoy seeking answers to complex questions. Many also possess a curiosity about themselves and the world, and they tend to thrive at work that requires reading and thinking. These learners like the challenge of articulating and refining their arguments.

Most students pursuing a bachelor's in philosophy enjoy seeking answers to complex questions.

A bachelor's in philosophy usually requires about 120 credits and takes four years for full-time students to complete. Students who enroll in an online program may benefit from an individualized learning format.

Programs vary in the concentrations they offer. Many students pursuing an online bachelor's in philosophy specialize in applied ethics or pre-law. Other programs offer concentrations in areas like environmental ethics, cognitive studies, philosophy of science, and public policy.

Individuals who earn an online bachelor's in philosophy may also need a graduate degree or a license, depending on their occupations. For instance, teachers need a state license to work in public schools. Philosophy majors seeking work as data scientists or intelligence analysts can earn certifications to help boost their earning potential and job opportunities.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.

What Courses Can I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Philosophy Program?

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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Philosophy Degree?

The critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills many philosophy majors acquire can help prepare them for diverse career paths. For example, graduates may pursue work in fields like teaching, social work, law, and analytics.

Due to the variety of employment opportunities for philosophy degree-holders, graduates' salaries can vary widely. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegals earned a median annual salary of $52,920 as of May 2020, while social and community service managers earned a median annual wage of $69,600. A worker's location, education level, and professional experience can also impact their earnings.

Students who earn a bachelor's in philosophy can find a job at nonprofits, private businesses, and government organizations. Learn more about philosophy careers.

High School Philosophy or Religion Teacher

High school philosophy or religion teachers typically create and carry out lesson plans for students in grades 9-12. Some instructors teach philosophy as a part of another course, such as English, social studies, or critical thinking. Public school teachers need a state-issued teaching license.

Social and Community Service Manager

These professionals may work with military veterans, children, people navigating housing insecurity, and older adults to offer services to improve their lives. Managers supervise and train staff, oversee budgets, and conduct general operations. Generally, these managers hold a bachelor's degree, but some may need a master's.

Reporter

Reporters and journalists conduct interviews and other research to write stories covering various topics and current events. Many reporters perform investigative journalism or report on specific issues, such as crime, healthcare, politics, and religion. They often work for newspapers, TV networks, websites, and radio stations.

Policy Analyst

Sometimes called researchers, fellows, or scholars, policy analysts raise awareness of public issues and offer solutions to problems. Some policy analysts help organizations improve their procedures and policies. Regardless of their occupation, these professionals typically rely on qualitative and quantitative data for carrying out analysis, writing reports, and making recommendations.

Research Analyst

Research analysts collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data to forecast trends, make recommendations, and provide information to managers and colleagues. They can work in various fields, including finance, business administration, and technology. Market research analysts determine a company's potential sales by examining current markets.

Philosophy Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Philosophy Programs

Is a bachelor's in philosophy worth it? true

The theories, principles, and skills that a bachelor's in philosophy teaches may prepare graduates for various career paths. Those careers are often in fields related to law, religion and theology, technology, policy, education, and business. Philosophy majors can learn the communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills that many employers look for in job applicants.

What can I do with a bachelor's in philosophy? true

Graduates with an online bachelor's in philosophy may work in postsecondary education, business administration, finance, law, politics, theology, technology, and journalism. However, some careers require education beyond a bachelor's degree or need additional licensure or certification. A philosophy background may help give professionals an edge with their problem-solving and analytical skills, which can make them more competitive in a job search.

Are philosophy majors in high demand? true

Depending on their career goals and interests, philosophy majors can find employment in various growing fields.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in philosophy?

According to PayScale, professionals with a bachelor of arts in philosophy earned an average salary of $71,630 per year, as of July 2021.

What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a bachelor's in philosophy?

Individuals working in technical, business, and legal fields tend to earn some of the highest salaries among professionals with a bachelor's in philosophy. For example, according to PayScale, graduates with a bachelor of arts in philosophy who become attorneys made an average annual salary of approximately $80,000, as of July 2021. Additionally, project managers and software engineers who hold a BA in psychology reported earning annual wages of $68,000 and $92,000, respectively.

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BestColleges.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.

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