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50 Most Affordable Master’s in Philosophy Degree Programs for 2020

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Great Value Colleges - Most AffordableBy GVC Staff
October 2019

Do you enjoy pondering life’s big questions? Do you approach an existential problem with the enthusiasm of a kid with a Rubick’s cube? Then, a master’s degree in philosophy may just provide you with the intellectual stimulation you crave. In this ranking, we explore the top 50 master’s in philosophy programs currently accepting applications.

Degree Programs discussed in this ranking contain the following:

  • Master of Arts in Philosophy
  • Master of Science in Philosophy

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Tuition

  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $25,000: 1 point

 

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • Less than 20:1: 1 point
  • Less than 15: 1: 2 points
  • Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com

  • Top 500: 1 point
  • Top 300: 2 points
  • Top 150: 3 points

Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, writing/technology support, etc.)— 1 point per item

Concentrations/Specializations – 1 point per item

Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item

Campus Diversity Support Network – 1 point per item

“Wow” Factor – 1 point (anything that would mark a program as unique. Special qualities that make a program “stand out from the crowd”)

Ranking the Top 50 Master’s Degree Programs in Philosophy

To develop this ranking of the top 50 master’s in philosophy degree programs, our editors searched College Navigator for colleges and universities awarding this graduate degree for less than $30,000 per year in tuition. This initial search yielded 67 results. To further narrow the pool and rank the remaining programs, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above. In cases of a tie, the more affordable program was awarded the higher ranking.

#50—Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, Ohio

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,682
Points: 6
The philosophy master’s degree program from Bowling Green State University is an integrated MA/Ph.D. program. Offered through the university’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Philosophy, the MA portion of the program is cross-disciplinary and features five required courses as well as various seminars in metaphysics, epistemology, and value theory. A portfolio and extended writing sample is also required prior to graduation from the program. BGSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the master of philosophy credential. U.S. News & World Report has identified the university as a top public school and a top national university.
Net Price: $17,508

#49—Franciscan University of Steubenville

Steubenville, Ohio

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Graduate Enrollment: 787
Points: 7
Franciscan University of Steubenville offers a master of philosophy degree program with an optional concentration in Bioethics. The curriculum for the program emphasizes the Western philosophical tradition and addresses both historical and contemporary philosophy. Sample course titles include Contemporary Virtue Ethics, Emotion and Judgment, The Metaphysics of Good and Evil, and Philosophy of Language, for instance. A thesis is also required. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the master of philosophy credential. U.S. News & World Report has identified the school as one of the top 15 regional universities in the Midwest as well as one of the 15 best value schools in the nation.
Net Price: $25,908

#48—Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Carbondale, Illinois

Philosophy MA

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,265
Points: 7
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale offers a 30-credit hour master’s degree in philosophy from its College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Philosophy. Sample course titles associated with the degree program include Symbolic Logic, Philosophy of Mind, Feminist Philosophy, and American Transcendentalism, for example. Graduates of the program are well-prepared for careers in philosophy or for further study in a doctoral program. SIU-Carbondale is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the master of philosophy credential. The school has been ranked among the leading national universities by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $16,105

#47—University of Montana

Missoula, Montana

Master’s in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,656
Points: 7
The philosophy master’s degree program from the University of Montana’s College of Humanities and Sciences features an optional track in Environmental Philosophy. Sample course titles associated with the degree include Introduction to Logic: Deduction, History of Ancient Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, and History of Modern Philosophy, for instance. The University of Montana is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award this graduate degree in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the leading national universities in the country.
Net Price: $14,186

#46—University of Missouri-St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri

Master of Arts Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,981
Points: 7
best college business americaThe philosophy master’s program from the University of Missouri-St. Louis has a strict residency requirement: at least two-thirds of the coursework for the program must be completed at UMSL. The curriculum for the program is comprised of classes from distinct sub-areas of philosophy, including Epistemology/Metaphysics, History of Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Science, and Value Theory. A master’s thesis is also required. The University of Missouri-St. Louis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the master’s in philosophy degree. U.S. News & World Report has identified the school as a top national university.
Net Price: $9,481

#45—University of Oklahoma-Norman

Norman, Oklahoma

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 6,412
Points: 8
The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Oklahoma-Norman offers a terminal MA in Philosophy with both thesis and non-thesis options. The curriculum for the program demands a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, including studies in aesthetics, religion, Chinese philosophy, political philosophy, and the history of modern philosophy, for instance. Graduate assistantships are available to interested and qualified students. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Oklahoma-Norman to award this graduate degree in philosophy.
Net Price: $21,158

#44—University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,990
Points: 8
unl where to go for best business degreeThe University of Nebraska- Lincoln offers an MA in Philosophy degree program from its College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Philosophy. Course titles comprising the 36-credit hour curriculum for the degree include Advanced Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language, Ethical Theory, and Philosophy of Psychology, for example. A comprehensive oral exam is also required prior to graduation. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to award the master of philosophy credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 100 best value schools and the top 75 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $17,315

#43—University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,392
Points: 8
uark where to get a business degreeThe MA in Philosophy program from the University of Arkansas is offered through the school’s J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences. Requirements for the degree include a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework, including course titles such as Medieval Philosophy, Classical Ethical Theory, History of Analytical Philosophy, and Theory of Knowledge, for instance. A formal master’s thesis is also required prior to graduation. The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this graduate credential in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 80 public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $15,781

#42—San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California

Philosophy Master’s Degree

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,247
Points: 8
The master’s in philosophy program from San Francisco State University is open to students with undergraduate degrees in philosophy as well as from related fields. Course titles associated with the degree include Contemporary Moral/Political Issues, Ancient Philosophy, Great Thinkers: East and West, and Introduction to Global Peace Studies, for instance. Graduates of the program are well prepared for careers in community college teaching or for further study in a doctoral program. San Francisco State is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award this philosophy master’s degree. The school has been placed among the leading national universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,964

#41—Texas State University

San Marcos, Texas

MA in Applied Philosophy and Ethics

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,457
Points: 8
Top 10 Online Schools in Texas: San Antonio, TexasThe master of philosophy program from Texas State University is a unique MA in Applied Philosophy and Ethics. The curriculum for the program consists of three required courses: Applied Philosophy, Dialogue, and History of Ethics. Students will also choose from among prescribed electives like Philosophical Writing, Philosophical Theory of Science, Medical Ethics and Bioethics, and Philosophy of Emotion, for instance. A thesis track is available as is a graduate certificate in Professional Ethics. Texas State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this master’s in philosophy degree. The school has been placed among the top national universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $13,729

#40—University of Texas-San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,276
Points: 8
The master of philosophy degree program from the University of Texas-San Antonio is an MA program offered through the university’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the Department of Philosophy and Classics. The program features both a thesis track and an internship track. Students will take two required courses: either Logic or Advanced Logic and Philosophical Writing and Research. They will also choose from among prescribed elective classes like Philosophy of Language, Contemporary Analytic Philosophy, Ethical Theory, and Social/Political Philosophy. The University of Texas at San Antonio is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this philosophy master’s degree. The school has been placed among the leading national universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $13,064

#39—Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Fort Collins, Colorado

Philosophy MA

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Graduate Enrollment: 7,516
Points: 9
colorado-state-universityThe two-year master of philosophy degree program from Colorado State University-Fort Collins emphasizes global philosophies. The program features two tracks: a thesis track and a comprehensive examination track. Sample course titles comprising the curriculum for the degree include Ethics and International Development, Seminar in Normative Ethical Theory, Topics in History of Philosophy, and Seminar in Applied Philosophy. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Colorado State-Fort Collins to award this master’s degree in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has placed the university among the top 75 best public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $17,914

#38—University of Toledo

Toledo, Ohio

Master’s Degree in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,172
Points: 9
The master’s degree in philosophy program from the University of Toledo features an optional concentration in Continental Philosophy. Both thesis and non-thesis tracks are available. A minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate coursework is required for the degree. Students pursuing the non-thesis track will also take a comprehensive examination in contemporary philosophy. A Philosophy Club is also available as an extracurricular component. The University of Toledo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the master of philosophy credential. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the school as a top national university.
Net Price: $16,588

#37—Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Master of Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,802
Points: 9
The versatile MA in Philosophy program from Western Michigan University features three distinct curriculum concentrations: Metaphysic & Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology & Philosophy of Science; and Theoretical & Practical Ethics. Both thesis and non-thesis tracks are also available. Sample course titles comprising the curriculum for the program include History of Modern Philosophy, Varieties of Moral Realism, Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, and Philosophy of Religion, for instance. Western Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the MA in Philosophy credential. The university has been ranked among the top public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $15,863

#36—San Diego State University

San Diego, California

Master of Arts: Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 27:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,717
Points: 9
sdsu ms in supply chain onlineSan Diego State University offers the MA in Philosophy degree through its distinguished College of Arts and Letters and the Department of Philosophy. The 30-credit hour curriculum for the program consists of lower-division courses such as Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality, Critical Thinking and Composition, and Introduction to Logic. Upper-division classes include Twentieth-Century Continental Philosophy, Existentialism, Philosophy of Law, and Non-Western Aesthetics, for instance. A master’s thesis is also required. San Diego State is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award the master of philosophy credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 50 most innovative schools in the country as well as the top 60 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $14,568

#35—University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Masters of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,675
Points: 9
university of wisconsin-milwaukee college rankingsThe master’s of philosophy program from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee features an optional concentration in Language and Linguistics. In addition, students can choose to pursue a thesis or non-thesis track. Course titles comprising the basic curriculum for the program include Environmental Ethics, Great Thinkers of the Ancient Period, Mind and Knowledge, and Philosophy of Biology, for instance. Graduates of the program are well-prepared for further philosophical study in a doctoral program. UWM is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this master’s degree in philosophy. The school has been identified as a top national university by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,555

#34—Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

Master of Arts in History and Philosophy of Science

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,533
Points: 9
The master’s in philosophy degree program from Florida State University is a unique MA offering in History and Philosophy of Science. Core courses required for this interdisciplinary graduate degree include History of Life Sciences, Historiography of Science and Religion, and Philosophy of Biology, for instance. Students will also choose from elective classes such as U.S. Intellectual History, Studies in the History of Philosophy, Modern Logic, and Contemporary Philosophy. FSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this philosophy master’s degree. U.S. News & World Report has identified the school as a top national university and placed it among the top 40 most innovative schools and the top 30 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $13,318

#33—University of Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

Master of Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,225
Points: 9
The master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Memphis requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework and includes both a thesis and a non-thesis track. The curriculum for the program features course titles like Contemporary Philosophy: Narrative and Imagination, Recent Continental Philosophy, and Seminar in Normative Philosophy, for example. Graduate assistantships are also available to interested students. The University of Memphis is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this philosophy master’s credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the leading national universities in the country.
Net Price: $13,174

#32—University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

Philosophy MA

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Graduate Enrollment: 6,866
Points: 9
Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Dallas, TXThe University of North Texas offers a versatile and internationally recognized master of philosophy degree program from its College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Department of Philosophy and Religion. The curriculum for the program emphasizes environmental ethics and includes both thesis and non-thesis tracks. Courses comprising the curriculum for the program may include Philosophy of Ecology, Symbolic Logic and Metamathematics, Philosophy of Technology, and Aesthetics, for instance. UNT is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this master of philosophy degree. U.S. News & World Report has identified the school as a leading national university.
Net Price: $12,600

#31—University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Master of Arts in Philosophy: Philosophy & Religion

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Graduate Enrollment: 11,606
Points: 9
The master of philosophy degree program from the University of South Florida features a concentration in Philosophy and Religion. Once enrolled, students will take core courses such as Theory and Methods in Religious Studies and Seminar in Philosophy in Religion as well as additional classes like Topics in Feminist Philosophy, Studies in Biblical Archaeology, and Comparative Religious Ethics. A Ph.D. program in philosophy is also available through the university. USF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master’s in philosophy credential. U.S. News & World Report has placed the school among the top 75 best value schools in the nation and the top 60 public schools in the country as well.
Net Price: $10,460

#30—University of Texas-El Paso

El Paso, Texas

Master of Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,687
Points: 9
The University of Texas-El Paso offers a 36-credit hour master of philosophy program with both thesis and non-thesis options. Courses required for the degree include Basic Philosophical Issues, World Historical Philosophers, and Philosophical Research and Writing, for instance. Students will choose from among elective classes like Philosophy and Psychology, Topics in Philosophy and History, Philosophy of Law and Society, and Ethics and Engineering, for instance. Students must also provide proof of mastery of introductory logic to meet the degree requirements. UTEP is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this master’s in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top national universities in the country.
Net Price: $7,720

#29—University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia, Missouri

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 7,359
Points: 10
The philosophy master’s degree offering from the University of Missouri- Columbia is a robust MA program. Core courses required for the degree include Social and Political Philosophy, Ethical Theory, Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Science, for instance. Students will also take classes in Advanced Logic and History of Philosophy. The university is also home to a respected Ph.D. program in philosophy. The University of Missouri-Columbia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this master’s in philosophy credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 65 public schools in the country as well as the top 80 best value schools nationwide.
Net Price: $17,833

#28—University of Houston

Houston, Texas

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Graduate Enrollment: 7,976
Points: 10
The master of philosophy program from the University of Houston is specifically designed to prepare graduates for doctoral study in the field. Both thesis and non-thesis tracks are available, and coursework includes classes like Classics in the History of Ethics, Feminist Philosophy, Existentialism, and Philosophy of Cognitive Science, for example. The University of Houston is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this MA in Philosophy degree. The university has been ranked among the top 100 public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $16,002

#27—University of Nevada-Reno

Reno, Nevada

Philosophy MA

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 43,533
Points: 10
The master’s in philosophy degree program from the University of Nevada- Reno features an optional track in Ethics, Law, and Politics. Thesis and non-thesis options are also available. The curriculum for the program consists of course titles such as American Philosophy, Global Ethics and Justice, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, and Problems in the History and Philosophy of Science, for instance. Students enrolled in the program have access to numerous research opportunities, graduate-only seminars, and monthly speakers. UNR is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award this graduate credential in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has placed the school among the top public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $15,723

#26—Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

MA Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Graduate Enrollment: 6,252
Points: 10
Texas Tech University offers a master’s in philosophy degree program featuring an optional interdisciplinary component. The core curriculum for the program consists of courses in three distinct areas of philosophy: Metaphysics and/or Epistemology, Value Theory, and History of Philosophy. Both thesis and non-thesis tracks are available. Most students earn their degree within two years of full-time study. Texas Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master of philosophy degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 100 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $15,531

#25—Georgia State University

Atlanta, Georgia

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Graduate Enrollment: 7,085
Points: 10
Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Atlanta, GAGeorgia State University offers an MA in Philosophy degree program with concentrations in Neurophilosophy and History of Philosophy. A dual MA in Philosophy/Juris Doctor in Law program is also available. Course titles for the MA option may include Moral Psychology, Seminar in Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Law, and Topics in Continental Philosophy, for example. Additionally, students in the Neurophilosophy track will take classes like Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy and Cognitive Science while those in the History of Philosophy track will study Seminar in Ancient Philosophy and Topics in 19th Century Philosophy, for example. Georgia State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this master’s credential in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 100 public schools in the nation and named it the second most innovative school nationwide.
Net Price: $14,501

#24—University of Mississippi

University, Mississippi

Master’s in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,449
Points: 10
The University of Mississippi offers a unique master of philosophy program featuring both a short thesis and long thesis option. A non-thesis, comprehensive examination track is also available. Thirty credit hours of coursework are also required for the degree, probing various topics related to the history of philosophy as well as issues and methods in philosophy. Graduates of the program are well-prepared for further philosophical study in a doctoral, professional, or theological program. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of Mississippi to award this master’s philosophy degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 80 public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $14,459

#23—University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming

Master’s in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,452
Points: 10
The University of Wyoming offers a broad master’s in philosophy degree program emphasizing contemporary analytical philosophy. Some course titles comprising the curriculum for the program include Figures in Contemporary Philosophy, Topics in Ethics, Theory of Knowledge, and Metaphysics, for instance. A master’s thesis is also required. Students enrolled in the program enjoy small class sizes and individualized attention from professors. The University of Wyoming is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the master’s degree in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 100 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $12,999

#22—University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

MA Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,094
Points: 11
The master’s in philosophy degree program from the University of Kansas is a terminal MA with an optional fast track. Thesis and non-thesis options are also available. Some course titles associated with the curriculum for the degree include Philosophy of Law, Theory of Knowledge, Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Mind, for instance. The University of Kansas is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award this master of philosophy credential. The university has been ranked among the top 70 public schools and the top 100 best value schools in the nation.
Net Price: $18,415

#21—Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,750
Points: 11
Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree in New Orleans, LALouisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College offers both a thesis and non-thesis master’s degree in philosophy from its College of Humanities & Social Sciences and the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. An optional concentration in Feminist Philosophy is also available as is an accelerated track. Sample course titles associated with the program’s curriculum include Philosophy in Literature, History of Modern Philosophy, Introduction to Political Philosophy, and Topics in Advanced Logic, for instance. LSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this philosophy master’s degree. U.S. News & World Report has placed the university among the top 75 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $17,437

#20—University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduate Enrollment: 9,896
Points: 11
The philosophy master’s degree program from the University at Buffalo is a 30 credit-hour terminal Master of Arts program. The curriculum for the program features an optional focus in Ontology and requires courses such as Philosophy of Mind, History of Ancient Philosophy, Law and Morality, and Contemporary Ethical Theory. The University at Buffalo is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award this MA in Philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 100 national universities in the country as well as the top 40 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $15,895

#19—SUNY at Albany

Albany, New York

Master of Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,346
Points: 11
The master of philosophy degree program from SUNY at Albany features both terminal and Ph.D. tracks. Students enrolled in the program will take classes in three distinct areas of philosophy: Epistemology and Metaphysics, History of Philosophy, and Value Theory and Philosophy of Religion. Specific course titles include Topics in Cognitive Science, The Continental Rationalists, Philosophy and Literature, and Philosophical and Ethical Issues in Public Health, for example. A master’s thesis is also required prior to graduation. SUNY at Albany is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award the master’s credential in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 75 public schools in the nation and the top 100 best value schools.
Net Price: $15,844

#18—Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, Michigan

Master of Arts Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,101
Points: 11
The MA in philosophy program from Eastern Michigan University features focus areas in both Methodology and Social Justice. Depending on the focus area they choose, students will take courses such as Contemporary Philosophical Practices, Topics in Environmental Philosophy, Social Epistemology, Philosophy of Language, and Topics in Metaphysics, for example. Students must also complete a culminating element such as a thesis, research paper, or scholarly project prior to graduating from the program. EMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this graduate credential in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the leading national universities in the country.
Net Price: $15,687

#17—Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Master’s in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,093
Points: 11
oklahoma-state-universityOklahoma State University offers a versatile master of philosophy degree program designed to be completed within two years. Sample course titles comprising the program’s curriculum include Symbolic Logic, Contemporary Ethical Theory, The History of Philosophy, and Seminar in Ancient Philosophy, for example. As a culminating component of the program, students can choose to complete a thesis, a research report, or a creative component. Teaching assistantships are available to interested students. OSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this master’s in philosophy credential. U.S. News & World Report has placed the school among the 100 best public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $15,009

#16—San Jose State University

San Jose, California

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,073
Points: 11
sjsu how to go to college for freeSan Jose State University offers a versatile master of arts in philosophy from its College of Humanities and the Arts. As part of the core curriculum for the program, students are required to take advanced seminars in Logical Theory, Ethics or Aesthetics, Epistemology and Metaphysics, and a selected philosopher or tradition. For the required culminating element, students can choose to complete a thesis, a reading intensive, or an applied philosophy project. San Jose State is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award this graduate credential in philosophy. U.S News & World Report has ranked the school among the top national universities in the country.
Net Price: $14,519

#15—Wayne State University

Detroit, Michigan

Master of Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Graduate Enrollment: 9,451
Points: 11
wsu how to get a free degreeThe MA in Philosophy option from Wayne State University is offered through the school’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Department of Philosophy. Both thesis and non-thesis tracks are available. The program is flexible, preparing students for professional development in philosophy, teaching, research, or further study in a philosophy doctoral program. Departmental exams in elementary logic are required as a prerequisite to the program. Wayne State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this master’s in philosophy degree. It has been identified as a top public school by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,366

#14—University of Illinois-Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 10,900
Points: 11
The master’s degree in philosophy program from the University of Illinois-Chicago features concentrations in both Gender and Women’s Studies and Neuroscience. The curriculum for the program consists of upper-level philosophy courses such as Topics in Philosophy of Mind, Introduction to Formal Logic, Special Studies in the History of Philosophy, and Writing in Philosophy, for example. No thesis is required. The University of Illinois-Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the philosophy master’s credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 65 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $12,248

#13—Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Graduate Enrollment: 10,256
Points: 12
temple-universityThe master’s in philosophy program from Temple University can be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis. Both a thesis and a non-thesis option are also available. Students have three years to complete coursework for the degree, which includes classes such as Feminist Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science, Contemporary Ethical Theory, Social and Political Philosophy, and Classics in Moral Philosophy, for instance. In addition to the traditional MA in philosophy program, the university also offers a dual degree in Philosophy and Urban Bioethics. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited Temple University to award the MA in Philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 100 best value schools and the top 50 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $23,192

#12—West Chester University of Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,960
Points: 12
The philosophy master’s degree program from the West Chester University of Pennsylvania features an optional concentration in Applied Ethics. Both thesis and non-thesis tracks are also available as are graduate certificates in health care ethics and business ethics. The curriculum for the program will vary based on the student’s area of focus but may include course titles like Epistemology, Philosophical Concepts and Systems, Biomedical Ethics, and Ethical Theories. West Chester University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award this master’s philosophy credential. U.S. News & World Report has awarded the school a number of different accolades, including placement in its ranking of the top 20 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $19,091

#11—University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Master’s in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 16,727
Points: 12
university-of-floridaThe University of Florida offers both a master’s in philosophy and a Ph.D. in philosophy. The master’s program is a comprehensive 36-credit hour offering featuring course titles like Ethics and Emerging Technology, Seminar in Philosophy of Language, Ethical Theory, and Philosophy of Social Science, for instance. A final oral examination is also required prior to graduation. UF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the MA in Philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has named the school a top 100 best value school and ranked it among the 40 best national universities in the country.
Net Price: $11,313

#10—California State University-Long Beach

Long Beach, California

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,776
Points: 12
graduate degree supply chainCalifornia State University-Long Beach offers a 30-unit master’s in philosophy program featuring both a thesis and a non-thesis option. Course titles comprising the curriculum for the program include Analytical Philosophy; Existentialism; Advanced Studies in Law, Philosophy, and the Humanities; and Philosophical Psychology, for instance. Cal State-Long Beach is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award this philosophy master’s credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 30 regional universities in the West and the top 5 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $9,477

#9—Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,741
Points: 13
Arizona State University offers a 2-year master’s in philosophy program from its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. Core courses comprising the 30-credit hour curriculum include Topics in the History of Philosophy, Normative Ethics, Studies in Political Philosophy, and 20th and 21st Century Philosophers, for example. A culminating experience is also required, and students can choose from either a formal thesis or a portfolio. ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this online graduate degree in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school the #1 most innovative school in the country and identified it as among the top 60 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $13,731

#8—University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Philosophy Master’s

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,698
Points: 13
The University of New Mexico offers a highly versatile master of philosophy program. Students enrolled in the program have numerous concentration options, including South Asian Philosophy, Phenomenology and Existentialism, Philosophy of Mind, Feminism, and Philosophy of Art, for instance. Special features of the program include small class sizes, specialized faculty, and a distinguished lecture series. UNM is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this dynamic master’s in philosophy degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 100 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $11,620

#7—Indiana University- Purdue University- Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Indiana

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,333
Points: 13
Top 10 Online Colleges in Indiana: Indianapolis, IndianaThe master of philosophy degree program from Indiana University- Purdue University- Indianapolis is an MA offering with an optional concentration in Bioethics. Core courses for the degree include Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Classical American Philosophy, Ethical Theories, and Social and Political Philosophy, for example. Students enrolled in the Bioethics concentration will take additional classes like Law and Public Health, Sociology of Health and Illness, and History of Medicine. A thesis or research project is also required for successful program completion. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited IUPUI to award this philosophy master’s credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the 50 most innovative schools in the nation.
Net Price: $9,371

#6—California State University-Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,813
Points: 13
The master of philosophy program from California State University-Los Angeles is a 30-credit hour degree program offered through the school’s College of Arts and Letters and the Department of Philosophy. Required courses for the degree include Social and Political Philosophy, Theory of Knowledge, Metaphysics, and Symbolic Logic, for example. A thesis or comprehensive examination is also required. The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited the university to award this philosophy master’s credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 60 regional universities in the West as well as the top 15 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $4,403

#5—Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Cromwell, Connecticut

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 5:1
Graduate Enrollment: 380
Points: 14
holy-apostles-college-and-seminaryThe philosophy master’s program from Holy Apostles College and Seminary is a versatile option that features five concentrations: Christian Wisdom, Ethics, General Studies, History of Philosophy, and Systematic Philosophy. The curriculum for the program features core courses such as Ethics, Philosophy of Nature and Metaphysics, Logic and Epistemology, and Philosophical Anthropology. Enrolled students will also take additional classes aligned with their chosen concentration. A thesis or comprehensive examination is also required prior to graduation. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared for further study in a doctoral program in philosophy or for work in fields such as journalism, law, bioethics, medicine, or education. Holy Apostles College and Seminary is accredited by both the New England Commission of Higher Education and the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools to award this master of philosophy degree.
Net Price: $17,415

#4—SUNY-Binghamton

Vestal, New York

Philosophy MA

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,747
Points: 14
bu best online business degreesThe master of philosophy degree program from SUNY-Binghamton is a terminal MA in Social, Political, Ethical and Legal Philosophy with optional concentrations in one of the four named areas of philosophy (i.e. social, political, ethical, or legal). The program is specifically designed for students who plan to pursue careers in business, law, or public policy. Sample course titles associated with the degree include Contemporary Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, Social and Political Theory, and Philosophy of Human Rights, for instance. Binghamton University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award this master’s philosophy degree. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the university as a top 100 national university and has ranked it among the top 40 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $16,440

#3—Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, New York

Master’s in Philosophy and Art

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,734
Points: 14
Stony Brook University is home to an internationally recognized Master of Arts in Philosophy and Art. The program requires 30 credit hours of coursework, including classes such as Theories of Race, Philosophy and the Arts: History of Aesthetic Theory, Modern Philosophy, and Contemporary Moral Issues, for instance. A master’s thesis or independent study is required as a culminating component of the program. Stony Brook University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award this master’s in philosophy degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 80 national universities in the country as well as the top 40 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $14,874

#2—University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Master’s in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,280
Points: 14
The University of Utah offers a master’s in philosophy degree program with both MA and MS tracks. Both thesis and non-thesis options are also available. Students must enroll in nine hours of coursework each semester to maintain good standing in the program. At the completion of the program, students have the option to transfer to the university’s doctoral program in philosophy. The University of Utah has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award the MA and MS in Philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has named the university a top 60 public school.
Net Price: $13,460

#1—Purdue University-West Lafayette

West Lafayette, Indiana

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduate Enrollment: 10,739
Points: 16
purdue-universityPurdue University offers an MA in Philosophy with both thesis and non-thesis options. Course titles comprising the curriculum for the program include Contemporary Ethical Theory, Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, Advanced Philosophy of Religion, and Philosophy of the Natural Sciences, for instance. No teaching assistantships are available through the MA program. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Purdue University to award this master’s degree in philosophy. The school has received a number of accolades from U.S. News & World Report, including a top 20 public school ranking and a top 10 most innovative ranking.
Net Price: $11,898

 

 

About Master’s in Philosophy Programs

Overview

You may think that master of philosophy degree programs are impractical. After all, a great deal of philosophy is comprised of thinking, and there aren’t too many people who get paid to sit around and think, right? Well, not exactly. Although philosophy master’s programs may not point to one specific career path, they are in fact useful. Many lawyers, pastors, teachers, and business professionals have graduate degrees in this versatile academic discipline.

The majority of master’s degree programs in philosophy are designed to prepare students for doctoral study, but some are terminal degree programs. It is also possible to find master’s in philosophy options that prepare students for a specific career path, such as legal work, for instance.

 

Types of Philosophy Master’s Degree Programs

Choosing to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy is an important decision. It’s only the first of many that you’ll make about your future, both academically and career-wise, though. For instance, you’ll also need to choose what type of graduate program in philosophy best suits your interests and schedule. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the options available to you.

Thesis Versus Non-Thesis Master of Philosophy Programs

Many master’s in philosophy degree programs allow students to choose either a thesis or non-thesis track. The tracks are similar in terms of content and curriculum, but there are also notable differences.

The most prominent difference between a thesis and non-thesis track within a master of philosophy program is that a thesis-based program is more research-focused. Students will often begin scholarly research towards the thesis early in the program and will continue this research for the duration of their plan of study. Thesis tracks will usually take longer to complete and are more suitable for students who desire to continue their studies in philosophy in a doctoral program.

In lieu of a thesis, non-thesis master of philosophy programs generally requires a comprehensive examination at the culmination of the program. Non-thesis programs are more likely to be accelerated, enabling students to earn their master’s credential in less than two years.

Joint Master’s in Philosophy-PhD in Philosophy Programs

Many colleges and universities that offer both a master’s in philosophy and a doctoral program in philosophy will combine these offerings to make it easier for students to complete both degree requirements. With these joint degree programs, students enjoy a seamless transition from the master’s track to the PhD track and can often finish in less time than if they had enrolled in the degree programs separately. Despite the combined nature of these programs, students will receive two distinct degrees upon graduation.

On-Campus Versus Online Master’s in Philosophy Programs

The growing trend in distance technology has made online master of philosophy programs more prevalent today than ever before. These convenient offerings allow students to complete most if not all degree requirements for their graduate degree in philosophy right from home or anywhere they have an Internet connection.

Master’s degrees in philosophy that are completed online are valid credentials that hold as much weight as traditional on-campus offerings, so long as they’re from an accredited institution. Often, these programs mirror a school’s campus program in terms of curriculum. Some even include live class meetings and teleconferences with professors and classmates.

When choosing between an online and on-campus master’s in philosophy degree program, you’ll need to weigh your desire for flexibility against your need for face-time with instructors and peers. For some students, even the most interactive distance learning experience can’t replace the engagement that takes place in an actual classroom.

Part-Time Versus Full-Time Master Philosophy Programs

The majority of philosophy master’s options require that students devote themselves to their studies full-time. There are exceptions, however. Some graduate programs in philosophy are specifically designed for busy, working professionals and thus offer part-time scheduling opportunities. If your current obligations require that you enroll in one of these part-time degree programs, keep in mind that it will likely take you longer than two years to earn your credential.

Admissions Requirements for Master of Philosophy Programs

Master of philosophy degree programs have similar admissions requirements to other master’s-level programs. This includes a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, an academic transcript demonstrating a minimum GPA, and satisfactory GRE scores.

Sometimes, colleges and universities have additional requirements for admissions such as personal essays, letters of recommendations, and even in-person interviews.

Some programs are more competitive than others. For specific eligibility requirements, it’s best to speak to one of the school’s admissions counselors.

Master’s Degrees in Philosophy: Curriculum

The curriculum for a master’s degree program in philosophy is typically built around distinct areas of philosophical study. These areas usually include the history of philosophy, value theory, logic, epistemology, and philosophy of mind, for example.

Within this basic framework, though, the curriculum for a master of philosophy program can vary significantly depending on the particular school and program. In this section, we’ll discuss the details of a typical graduate degree program in philosophy. For specific information about a particular plan of study, however, you’ll need to contact the college or university directly.

Core Philosophy Courses

Master’s in philosophy degree programs invariably include core courses that are required for the degree. In most cases, these courses make up the bulk of the curriculum. Some sample core course titles are listed below for your reference.

Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics

Seminar in Moral and Political Philosophy

Philosophy of History and Culture

Ancient Philosophy

Metaphysics

Contemporary Philosophy

 

Logic Requirement

Most master’s degree in philosophy programs also require that students demonstrate proficiency in basic logic as a condition of the program. Some schools require that students take a course in elementary logic to meet this requirement. Others ask that students pass a test in logic in lieu of an official course.

Culminating Element

Like most graduate programs, master of philosophy degree programs require that students complete a culminating element prior to graduation. For students enrolled in a thesis track, the thesis will satisfy the requirement for the culminating element. For non-thesis track students, a scholarly paper or research project is often required. Some programs (both thesis and non-thesis based) also require a comprehensive examination as the program nears completion.

Master of Philosophy Degree Programs: Popular Concentrations

Not all master of philosophy programs offer concentrations, but those that do give students the opportunity to specialize their graduate studies in a specific area of philosophy. Students who elect a concentration typically do so to accommodate their academic interests and/or career aspirations. There are numerous different concentrations available, and some schools allow students to design their own in consultation with an advisor. Below, we’ve listed some popular options for master’s-level concentrations in philosophy for your reference.

Metaphysic & Philosophy of Mind

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Theoretical & Practical Ethics

Continental Philosophy

Social Philosophy

Legal Philosophy

Ethical Philosophy

Political Philosophy

Frequently-Searched Master’s Degree in Philosophy Programs

Arizona State University—Master of Arts in Philosophy: ASU offers an MA in Philosophy from its School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. The program boasts an excellent placement rate for graduates.

Fordham University- Philosophy MA: The master of philosophy program from Fordham University is a flexible offering, featuring evening classes and part-time schedules for busy students. Thesis and non-thesis options are available.

Gonzaga University- Master of Arts in Philosophy: Gonzaga University offers an MA in Philosophy degree program featuring two distinct concentrations: History of Western Philosophy and Social and Applied Ethics. Both a written and oral examination is required for degree completion.

New York University- MA in Philosophy: NYU’s distinguished Master of Arts in Philosophy degree program is offered through its Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. The program requires a minimum of 32 credit hours of coursework as well as a scholarly research paper.

San Francisco State University- Philosophy MA: The master’s in philosophy program from SFSU admits students with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy as well as from other areas of study. The program is nationally recognized, and students have access to an on-site Critical Thinking Computer Lab.

University of Pennsylvania- Master of Philosophy: Ranked among the top 10 national universities by U.S. News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania offers both a traditional MA program as well as joint MA-PhD and MA-JD programs.

University of North Carolina- Master of Arts in Philosophy: UNC is home to an internationally recognized graduate philosophy program. The MA curriculum is specifically designed to prepare students for further study in the university’s doctoral program.

University of Florida- MA in Philosophy: The primary goal of the master’s in philosophy program from UF is to prepare students for the university’s PhD curriculum. Requirements include 36 credit hours of coursework and a final examination.

 

Frequently-Asked Questions About Master of Philosophy Programs

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

A: Completion times will vary by school and program. However, a master’s in philosophy program typically requires two years of full-time study.

Q: How much will I pay in tuition for a master of philosophy degree program?

A: Tuition costs vary significantly depending on the school you plan to attend. For example, in this ranking tuition costs span from less than $10,000 per year to over $20,000 annually. As you’re considering costs, keep in mind that financial aid is often available to help you fund your graduate studies in philosophy.

Q: Are part-time master of philosophy programs available?

A: Yes. Most master of philosophy programs require full-time study, but it is possible to find programs that enroll students on a part-time basis. If you choose this option, keep in mind that it will likely take longer to complete your degree requirements.

Q: Can I earn a master’s degree in philosophy online?

A: Yes. Increasingly, colleges and universities are offering their graduate degree offerings online. This includes master’s in philosophy degree programs. For more information, check out our separate ranking of online master of philosophy degrees.

Q: Is a thesis required for a master of philosophy?

A: It depends on the program. Many colleges and universities, including many in our ranking, offer non-thesis options.

Career Questions About Master’s in Philosophy Degrees

Q: Are master’s in philosophy degrees valuable?

A: Yes. By some recent reports, students with degrees in philosophy earn larger salaries than those with any other degree in the humanities.

Q: What can I do with a master of philosophy degree?

A: There are many fields and positions you can gain entry into with a master’s degree in philosophy. Professionals with this credential find employment in business, teaching, academic research, law, theology, and more.

Q: Do I need a doctorate to work in philosophy?

A: No. Many positions related to the academic discipline of philosophy require only a master’s degree. This includes post-secondary teaching at the community college level.

Q: What professional organizations exist in the field of philosophy?

A: There are dozens of professional organizations and associations you can join with a master of philosophy degree. Many of these programs are also open to enrollment from students. Some examples are listed below:

The American Philosophical Association

Association for Logic, Language and Information

American Philosophical Society

International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science

Institute for Global Ethics

American Society for Aesthetics

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