Master’s in Philosophy Online

By Nikita Nath

Updated March 15, 2024

Nikita Nath

Nikita is a psychologist working primarily with children using a child rights-based approach. She also writes content for various websites and blogs on diverse topics, focusing primarily on academia. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and discovering different coffee-making techniques.


Bachelors in English, Journalism, and Psychology; Masters in psychology with clinical specialization

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

  • 2 years of experience working as a content writer with various start-ups
  • 1 year of experience working as a child psychologist with Insight
  • Working on various projects of inclusion for neurodivergent children
  • 2+ years of experience teaching psychology online

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Philosophy seeks answers to complex or simple questions about reason, knowledge, and existence, seen as problems to be understood or resolved. In the discipline of philosophy, students understand the fundamental nature of values, reality, presence, and knowledge. A master’s in philosophy online gives an essential foundation for those students who want to pursue a doctoral program in philosophy or other disciplines and be employed in various careers related to or complementing philosophy. Students who have completed online master’s in philosophy can pursue careers in management, writing, legal and law, finance, healthcare, etc. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a $55,000 median annual wage for jobs in philosophy and religion[1]. Although this figure applies more to bachelor’s degree holders, master’s degree holders with experience are usually paid more.


Best Master’s in Philosophy
Online Degrees

To choose the right online master’s degree in philosophy, students must evaluate factors like courses offered in the program, faculty experience, institutional reputation, accreditation, cost of the program, availability of student support services, etc. Since a philosophy master’s or M.Phil. degree could have a thesis or non-thesis-based track, it is also one of the factors to consider. With these and other critical aspects in sight, FBD teams have drawn up a list of some of the best and cheapest online master’s in philosophy: *

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Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Master’s in
Philosophy Online Degree Program

An online master’s in philosophy program lays the groundwork for students to pursue their studies in doctoral programs in philosophy and provides a solid foundation in the concepts of advanced philosophy. The program primarily focuses on communication skills, written and oral, a prerequisite to other advanced degrees. It also equips students with how to put forth their rationale, reasoning, and logic to diverse audiences. Common skills covered by this program are constructive argumentation, critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical thinking, and logical analysis.

The coursework of each master in philosophy program varies and can be taken online, offline, or in a hybrid mode (blending on-campus and online classes). Students can often tailor their programs to suit their interests and professional goals. One can align their studies with a particular career or doctoral program through electives and specializations. Overall, master’s in philosophy programs are interdisciplinary and usually require students to complete a thesis or capstone towards the end of their degrees. Some programs ask students to take research and writing skills courses as prerequisites. A few standard or frequently found courses in philosophy master’s degree include but are not limited to:

Moral Philosophy

In this course, students learn to deal with theories and the nature of morality that help arrive at decisions about what one should do and why. They explore several aspects of morality and examine people’s moral dimensions. They also learn about philosophers like Kant and Nietzsche.

Philosophy of Religion

This course explores the philosophical study of nature and the meaning of religion. The course includes analyses of religious beliefs, terms, practices, concepts, and practices related to religious adherents. Students explore the work done in philosophy and religion previously limited by theistic religions.

Philosophy of Science, Methodology, and Epistemology

In this course, students explore the developments made in the early 20th century by general philosophers of science and the discoveries central to philosophy that guided the progress of scientific research in philosophy. Students focus on post-positivism, which introduced radical concepts like social, valuative, and historical components of scientific thoughts related to philosophy.

Formal Philosophy and Philosophical Logic

In this course, students focus on studying the logical relationships between different propositions, distinguishing between atomic propositions, and understanding the special terms connected with such propositions. They look at the philosophical problems raised by logic.

History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

This course is divided into two periods – the Latin west till the early Middle Ages and the end of the 12th century. The course studies the works of philosophers like Aristotle and Plato.

Degree Types for Master’s in Philosophy
Online Programs

The master’s in philosophy online program is mainly available in two variants, with a third one that has become popular with those interested in pursuing doctoral programs. The two main types are the Master of Arts or MA in Philosophy and the Master of Science or MS in Philosophy. The third type is the Master of Philosophy or M.Phil.

Master of Arts or MA Philosophy

The Master of Arts in Philosophy online, or online MA Philosophy, is a two-year program that focuses on studying existence and reality and understanding the fundamental nature of knowledge. This degree is best suited for those looking for employment in teaching and research. It can help students develop their communication skills, persuasive writing, reading, writing skills, and much more.

Master of Science or MS in Philosophy

The Master of Science in Philosophy online or online MS in Philosophy focuses on dealing with the technical and technologically inclined aspects of philosophy, along with giving a special emphasis on the research component. In this degree, students understand how to look at philosophy in-depth and focus on different philosophical positions and standpoints.

Master of Philosophy or M.Phil

The Master of Philosophy, commonly referred to as the M.Phil. degree, is an advanced degree, often considered a level above a master’s. This degree could be completed as part of a Ph.D. or seen as a precursor to a Ph.D. program. It could also be seen as a standalone qualification. The program is research-based and allows students to conduct their research and draw inferences rather than just being evaluated on assessments and courses.

Areas of Specialization for Master’s
in Philosophy Online Programs

Students can choose to specialize in specific areas within a subject, which can potentially increase their employability. Those pursuing an online master’s in philosophy degree may choose to specialize in an area of philosophy that interests them and is in line with their professional goals. Specializations provide deeper insights into the concentration area and aid in job search after graduation. Here are a few to think about:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Modern PhilosophyIn this specialization, students understand the concept of the modern era that we know today and relate it to the concepts of modernity. They read about philosophical debates around the 20th century and other texts associated with the same period. Technical writers, critics, cultural affairs officers
Philosophy of ScienceThe philosophy of science is a specialization that guides students in understanding what science is, how it has worked or works, the logic behind constructing different scientific knowledge, and more.Careers in political science, business, social science, and academics.
Philosophy of ReligionThe philosophy of religion is a concentration related to many branches of philosophy, like epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics. In this concentration, students look at the nature and meaning of religions in different contexts. Librarians, social workers, museum conservators, professors, clergy, and journalists.
Social and Political PhilosophyIn this concentration, students look at how political philosophy relates to how society is constructed and works. It looks at how people can influence different processes within the political system. Careers in journalism, health services, politics, government offices, and academia.
EthicsIn this concentration, students engage in different philosophical theories and their underpinnings in ethical judgment and theories. They assess the importance of the moral behavior of individuals and communal standards of ethics. Careers in writing, journalism, academics, health sectors, etc.
HealthcareIn this concentration, students learn about different topics like legal and ethical principles in healthcare, medical terminology, healthcare policies and principles, introduction to the management of health information, and more.Careers in health care fields of acute care, public health, mental health, and rehabilitation.
Legal TheoryIn this specialization, students apply philosophical logic, reasoning, and ethics to diverse legal topics. They also examine different career opportunities in the field of law, which intersects with the discipline of philosophy.Legal professionals, medical ethics experts, public administrators

Why should I do a Master’s in
Philosophy Online Degree?

As part of a master’s degree in philosophy, students can develop clearer and more analytical thought processes by studying different schools of thought from various countries. They can also improve their communication clarity, effectiveness, and writing and research skills. Another significant advantage of pursuing a philosophy master’s degree is developing the ability to read and comprehend complex texts. Students also develop the ability to understand and analyze the philosophy of social identities, religion, formal philosophy and philosophical logic, the philosophy of social identities, and so on. The program opens many doors for oneself, both professionally and personally, and provides universally applicable skills that can be used in many aspects of life.

Students who have work, family, or other commitments and find it difficult to travel to and from college benefit from an online master’s degree in philosophy. The program provides a broad range of knowledge on a variety of topics, making it useful for pursuing careers ranging from marketers and diplomats to judges and authors.

Upon graduating from the program, one would have acquired a host of skills, including the ability to:

  • help others embrace difficult questions related to philosophy and investigate various fundamental concepts; 
  • demonstrate clarity of thought and careful analyses of philosophical arguments;
  • engage in difficult debates and identify the assumptions behind conventional practices, arguments, and judgments;
  • demonstrate ethical behavior expected of a philosophy professional, and make significant contributions in the field of philosophical research;
  • demonstrate knowledge of philosophical concepts like ethics in society, history and philosophy of science, gender, feminism, symbolic systems, philosophy and literature initiative, and sexuality studies;
  • demonstrate transferable skills like persuasive writing, communication, reasoning, and analytical thinking, which can be applied to various disciplines;
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a wide range of information to assist others in understanding new ways of thinking and critically evaluating information; and
  • prepare curricula in concepts of philosophies while analyzing different texts in philosophy and integrating new concepts emerging in the field.

Free Courses for Master’s in Philosophy
Online Students

Taking free courses while pursuing a master’s degree in philosophy can help students explore topics that their curriculum may not cover. Free courses broaden students’ horizons and assist them in developing an interest in their fields. Those pursuing an online master’s in philosophy may discover that free courses can help them improve their foundational knowledge or provide different perspectives on a specific topic. Here are some free online master’s degree in philosophy courses to look into:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Ancient Philosophy: Plato and His PredecessorsIn this course, students understand the major doctrines of different thinkers. The course is divided into two parts: Part 1 covers Plato and the philosophers who preceded him, and part 2 covers Plato and the philosophers who succeeded him.Coursera
The Path to Happiness: What Chinese Philosophy Teaches Us About the Good LifeThis course focuses on the philosophical concepts that provide students with the tools to increase personal happiness by focusing on their actions. The course explores the power of rituals and the importance of sensing the environment around us. edX
JusticeIn this course, students learn about the arguments for and against equality. They look at texts by Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, and other famous philosophers. They also do analyze and discuss texts by some contemporary philosophers. Harvard University

How to get into the Master’s in
Philosophy Online Program?

The admission requirements to enroll in a master’s in philosophy program are the same as for other master’s programs. But because each college and program may have specific or additional requirements, it is always best to check with the college’s admissions office for exact details. Some of the most standard master’s in philosophy online admission requirements across most schools in the U.S. are:

  • A bachelor’s degree in philosophy
  • Pre-requisite coursework like English or other specified courses
  • A minimum Grade Point Average or GPA of 3.5 or more (some programs have a lesser GPA requirement)
  • Scores of standardized tests like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • At least 2 or 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • A Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement
  • A personal essay or writing sample(s)

No GRE Master’s in Philosophy
Online Programs

Graduate Record Examination or GRE scores are required by most colleges for enrollment into the master’s program. However, some institutions have removed this requirement or made the submission of GRE scores optional. Removing the mandatory requirement of GRE scores enables more students to apply for graduate programs in philosophy. The Loyola University ChicagoSyracuse University, and Duquesne University are excellent examples of institutions offering master’s in philosophy online no GRE programs.

How Long does it take to complete the Master’s
in Philosophy Online Degree

As with most educational degrees, the time required to obtain a philosophy program would depend on the student’s availability or ability to complete the coursework and fulfill other degree requirements. On average, it takes about two years to complete a master’s degree in philosophy when pursued full-time. A part-time degree in philosophy would take between two and four years. Regardless of full-time or part-time study, the online master’s degree in philosophy is typically a 30 to 45-credit program, depending on the school offering it.

Accelerated Master’s in Philosophy
Online Degrees

An accelerated master’s degree in philosophy helps students complete a master’s degree in lesser time than a regular program. Those with work, family, or other commitments outside school usually opt for accelerated degrees. They are also popular with students who wish to finish their education and enter the workforce sooner. Moreover, spending less time in school translates to lower education costs. Some universities offer accelerated master’s in philosophy online that can be finished in less than two years, such as Tiffin University, while others, like the University of Colorado Boulder, allow students to combine their bachelor’s and master’s degrees to finish both in five years instead of six.

Accreditations for Master’s in
Philosophy Online Degrees

In a nutshell, accreditation is a quality seal. When a college is accredited, it meets expectations and provides high-quality education to its students, which employers value. Most institutions are regionally accredited by one of six independent accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which are:

Accredited master’s in philosophy online are sometimes programmatic and awarded by the Association of Theological Schools. Read the Guide to College Accreditation to understand more about accreditation, its process, and its importance.

  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

How to Pay for a Master’s in Philosophy
Online Degree?

The philosophy online master’s program could range from $18,000 to $36,000 (a rough estimate). The high tuition could make students hesitant to pursue a graduate education, which is why many students seek financial assistance. Receiving financial aid allows students to concentrate on their studies rather than worrying about how they will pay for college. Here are some external funding options for master’s in philosophy online students:


Scholarships are awarded to deserving students based on their academic achievements. While some scholarships are awarded based on merit, others are awarded based on achievements in sports, music, theater, and so on.


Grants are typically awarded to students based on financial need rather than merit. Grant funds can cover tuition or other educational costs such as transportation, books and supplies, and student housing.

Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships are a sought-out option for master’s students. As a graduate assistant, one can assist in teaching, lesson preparation, and researching in exchange for a fee reduction or waiver. There are two kinds of assistantships – the graduate research assistantship and the graduate teaching assistantship.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, informs students about the financial aid for which they are eligible. The FAFSA Student Aid guide goes into detail about it.

Student Loans

Banks and financial institutions provide private student loans with interest. Although loans must be repaid, they are an option to consider if no other types of financial aid are available.

Scholarships for Master’s in Philosophy
Online Students

When enrolling in a master’s program, students often worry about managing their finances. Fortunately, scholarships from individuals, community groups, non-profit organizations, colleges, etc., can help reduce the burden of financing a graduate degree. Master’s in philosophy online students can look for scholarships online and through their colleges. Examples of scholarships include:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardDeadline
Fulbright Scholar ProgramThe Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides funding to academically bright graduate students for a full academic year. The funding covers health insurance and travel costs. There is often an opportunity to travel as well.VariesFebruary and October, annually
Franklin Research GrantsThe American Philosophical Society provides the Franklin Research Grants designed to meet archives costs for research purposes and travel to libraries. These grants are made for non-commercial research.Up to $6,000February 24, 2024
Gene Hargrove Graduate FellowshipThe Gene Hargrove Graduate fellowship is given to a current or incoming graduate student enrolled in the department of philosophy and religion at the University of North Texas. The scholarship is awarded on academic merit and financial need.$1,000TBA

FAQs Related to the Master’s in
Philosophy Online Degree

How many credits is a master’s in philosophy program?

The master’s in philosophy program is usually a 30 to 45-credit program, with students getting advanced training in various areas of philosophy and research opportunities.

How long does it take to complete a master’s in philosophy?

Should I do a master’s degree in philosophy?

Why should I pursue a master’s degree in philosophy?

What can I do with an online master’s degree in philosophy?

Should I take an online master’s degree or a traditional master’s degree?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after a
Master’s in Philosophy Online Degree

In 2019, there were 473,500 philosophy and religion professionals earning a median annual salary of $55,000[1]. Because philosophy can be used in a variety of settings and applications, those graduating with a master’s in philosophy online degree can find work in industry, business, management, healthcare, academia, legal services, and so on. Here are a few career examples, along with their median annual salary and job growth:

Occupation Job Description Skills RequiredMedian Annual Salary Job Growth (up to 2030)
Postsecondary Education AdministratorsPostsecondary education administrators oversee student academics and services. They monitor faculty research at colleges and universities.Verbal skills, organizational skills, problem-solving skills$96,9107% (as fast as average)
Instructional CoordinatorsInstructional coordinators help design curricula and academic programs by collaborating with others. They work in secondary and elementary colleges and schools, educational support services in state and local governments and professional schools.Analytical skills, decision-making skills, organizational skills$63,7407% (faster than average)
Judges and Hearing OfficersJudges and hearing officers apply the law by overseeing legal court procedures. They are often employed by state and local governments and predominantly work in courts. (The acceptance rate of students who have philosophy majors into law school is very high.)Analytical skills, decision-making skills, leadership skills$128,710-1% (decline)
News Analysts, Reporters, and JournalistsProfessionals working as news analysts, journalists, and reporters keep the public updated about noteworthy events and information. Knowledge of philosophy and perception of different subjects help them examine different angles to a story.Communication skills, analytical skills, verbal skills$48,370-9% (decline)
Market Research AnalystsAs market research analysts, professionals learn about consumer preferences, factors affecting sales and products, and business conditions affecting a service or product. Philosophy graduates could apply their critical thinking skills when analyzing consumer behaviors.Analytical skills, decision-making skills, communication skills$63,92019% (much faster than the average)

Certifications and Licensing for Master’s
in Philosophy Online Students

Individuals with board or professional certifications demonstrate to the public and employers that they have the necessary knowledge and skills in their field. They are a great way to boost one’s employability while also attracting higher pay. There are no mandatory certification or licensing requirements for students with an online master’s in philosophy degree. However, obtaining certification in a field that complements philosophy is always recommended when the opportunity arises.

Additional Resources for Master’s
in Philosophy Online Students

The field of philosophy is enormous and goes far beyond what the eye can see. Thus, interacting and collaborating with like-minded individuals and eminent philosophers can produce fresh discoveries, narratives, and insights that will be useful to students and recent philosophy degree recipients. Becoming a member of a professional organization can also open doors to internships, research grants, scholarships, study resources, mentorship from business leaders, and other opportunities. They can also benefit those who want to prepare for their thesis or even Ph.D. studies later. Here are some resources for online master philosophy students to explore:

The Philosopher’s CouncilThe Philosopher’s Council facilitates connections with like-minded individuals who share the common goal of providing as many people as possible with access to philosophy. Members can get feedback on ideas and projects and access resources, referrals, workshops, and more. 
The American Philosophical AssociationThe American Philosophical Association works with different philosophical associations around the globe, fostering international cooperation along with supporting more specialized philosophical associations. They hold conferences, conventions, and meetings and offer numerous awards and prizes for outstanding achievements and contributions to the philosophical discipline.
American Association of Philosophy TeachersThe American Association of Philosophy Teachers provides public discussions, programs, investigations in teaching philosophy, research in the teaching of philosophy, and instruction to the students. They aim to support individuals and organizations responsible for improvements in philosophical education. 
American Philosophical SocietyThe American Philosophical Society honors and engages learning professionals through opportunities for intellectual fellowship and interdisciplinary and semi-annual meetings. They also support the discovery and research through public education, exhibitions, prizes, lectures, fellowships, grants, and publications. 
Association for the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessThe Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness is an academic society that promotes and coordinates rigorous research and hosts annual conferences to better understand the function and nature of consciousness.

Author Bio:

Nikita Nath

Nikita is a psychologist working primarily with children using a child rights-based approach. She also writes content for various websites and blogs on diverse topics, focusing primarily on academia. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and discovering different coffee-making techniques.


Bachelors in English, Journalism, and Psychology; Masters in psychology with clinical specialization

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

  • 2 years of experience working as a content writer with various start-ups
  • 1 year of experience working as a child psychologist with Insight
  • Working on various projects of inclusion for neurodivergent children
  • 2+ years of experience teaching psychology online


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.