SEARCH THE DATABASE
Greatvaluecolleges.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

25 Most Affordable Doctoral Degree Programs in Philosophy for 2020

Great Value Colleges - Most AffordableBy GVC Staff
October 2019

Are you drawn to conversations involving the meaning of life? Do you frequently find yourself grappling with moral dilemmas (and enjoying it!)? If so, then you may consider enrolling in a doctoral degree program in philosophy. This area of study is comprised of topics such as ethics, logic, political ideology, theology, and more. In this ranking, you’ll get an overview of exactly what Ph.D. in philosophy programs consist of as well as our picks for the top 25 doctorates in philosophy available today.

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 25 Doctoral Degree Programs in Philosophy
To develop this ranking of the top 25 Ph.D. in philosophy programs, our editors began by searching College Navigator for colleges and universities in the United States offering doctorates in this academic discipline for less than $30,000 per year in tuition costs. This search yielded 67 results. However, the majority of these schools offered only master’s degrees in philosophy. Exactly 20 of them offered PhDs in philosophy. After identifying the 25 schools that would comprise our ranking, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above. In cases of a tie, the more affordable program was awarded the higher ranking.

#25—University of Oklahoma-Norman

Norman, Oklahoma

Doctorate in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 6,412
Points: 5
The philosophy doctorate from the University of Oklahoma- Norman accepts students with either a BA or MA in Philosophy. Ninety credit hours of coursework are required for the degree, but 39 of these can be fulfilled through dissertation research. The remaining will consist of classes in areas of philosophy such as Symbolic Logic, Ethics, Modern Philosophy, and Metaphysics and Epistemology. All students enrolled in the program receive assistantships. The University of Oklahoma- Norman is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the Ph.D. in Philosophy.
Net Price: $21,158

#24—Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, Ohio

PhD in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,682
Points: 6
The philosophy doctorate option from Bowling Green State University is an integrated MA/Ph.D. program. The Ph.D. program includes additional coursework in metaphysics, epistemology, and value theory. Course tiles may include Philosophy and Physics of Time and Space, Topics in Moral Philosophy, Skepticism and Faith, and Computers and Philosophy, for example. A preliminary examination and doctoral dissertation are also required. BGSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer this Ph.D. in philosophy. The university has been recognized as a top public school by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $17,508

#23—Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Carbondale, Illinois

Doctoral Degree in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,265
Points: 6
The Ph.D. in Philosophy from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale requires 30 credit hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree. This coursework will cover specific areas of philosophy, including Asian philosophy, 20th-century philosophy, Ancient/Medieval philosophy, and Modern philosophy, for instance. Students must also pass a preliminary doctoral examination and demonstrate competency in formal logic as a condition of the program. A dissertation and oral defense are also required prior to graduation. SIU-Carbondale is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the doctorate in philosophy degree. The school has been ranked among the leading public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $16,105

#22—University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

Doctor of Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Graduate Enrollment: 6,866
Points: 6
Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Dallas, TXThe University of North Texas offers a doctorate in philosophy with a focus on environmental ethics. The program consists of 72 credit hours of graduate coursework, and continuous enrollment is required. Students will enroll in specific classes such as Religion and Ecology, Topics in History of Philosophy, Ecofeminism, and Christianity and the Environment. A formal dissertation is also required prior to program completion. UNT is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the doctoral degree in philosophy. The school has been named a top national university by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $12,600

#21—University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Ph.D. in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Graduate Enrollment: 7,046
Points: 7
The University of Kentucky offers a doctor of philosophy degree program through its College of Arts & Sciences. The program requires 52 credit hours of graduate coursework. In addition, students must meet a logic requirement and a foreign language requirement. Prior to graduation, doctoral candidates will also participate in a teaching practicum and complete a doctoral dissertation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of Kentucky to award this philosophy doctorate. U.S. News & World Report has placed the university among the top 75 public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $19,762

#20—University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Doctoral Degree in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,094
Points: 8
The Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Kansas is offered through the school’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Students enrolled in the program will take classes in five different areas of philosophy: Metaphysics and Epistemology, Value Theory, Ancient Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, and Nineteenth and 20th Century Philosophy. Specific course titles include The Philosophy of Plato, Medical Ethics: Life and Death Issues, Theory of Knowledge, and Contemporary Continental Philosophy, for example. Both a comprehensive examination and a formal dissertation are also required prior to graduation. The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the doctoral degree in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 100 best value schools and the top 65 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $18,415

#19—University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Doctor of Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,392
Points: 8
The University of Arkansas offers a stand-alone Ph.D. in Philosophy through its distinguished J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences. Degree requirements include 24 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree. Sample course titles comprising the program’s curriculum may include Platonism and Origin of Christian Theology, Nineteenth Century Continental Philosophy, Classical Ethical Theory, and Philosophy of Language, for instance. Other requirements include a formal doctoral dissertation as well as two qualifying examinations. The University of Arkansas has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this doctorate in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 100 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $15,781

#18—University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

Doctorate in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Graduate Enrollment: 11,124
Points: 9
The doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Cincinnati features an optional concentration in Philosophy and the Life Sciences. Depending on the track they choose, students will devote the first two or two and a half years to advanced coursework in philosophy. A doctoral dissertation is required for both tracks. The majority of the students enrolled in UC’s doctorate in philosophy program receive tuition remission and have paid teaching assistantships. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools to award this postgraduate degree in philosophy. It has been ranked among the top 75 public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $20,085

#17—University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska

PhD in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,990
Points: 9
unl where to go for best business degreeThe University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a Ph.D. in Philosophy in addition to a separate MA offering from its College of Arts and Sciences. Students enrolled in the doctoral program may take courses such as History of Modern Philosophy, Formal Logic, Advanced Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Mathematics, for instance. A formal doctoral dissertation is also required prior to graduation. UNL is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer this philosophy credential at the doctoral level. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 100 best value schools and the top 65 public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $17,315

#16—Wayne State University

Detroit, Michigan

Doctorate in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Graduate Enrollment: 9,451
Points: 9
wsu how to get a free degreeThe doctoral degree in philosophy from Wayne State University prepares graduates for research and teaching careers in philosophy. Students are required to fulfill 90 credit hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. Course topics include metaphysics/epistemology, value theory, and history of philosophy. An oral examination and formal doctoral dissertation are also required. The philosophy department at WSU has eliminated cognate requirements for the PhD program in order to enhance the program’s flexibility. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this doctoral credential in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Wayne State among the leading public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $14,366

#15—University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Doctoral Degree in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,280
Points: 10
The Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Utah is specifically designed to prepare graduates for teaching positions in higher education. Independent study and research options are available. Sample course titles comprising the curriculum for the doctoral program include Applied Ethics, Symbolic Logic, Philosophy of Science, and Political Theory, for example. A comprehensive examination and doctoral dissertation are also required for program completion. The University of Utah is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award this doctoral degree in philosophy. The school has been ranked among the top 60 public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $13,460

#14—University of Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

Doctorate in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,225
Points: 10
The University of Memphis offers a doctoral degree in philosophy featuring specializations in Continental philosophy, analytic philosophy, and the history of philosophy. Coursework required for the degree may include titles like Recent Continental Philosophy, Seminar in Normative Philosophy, Contemporary Philosophy: Narrative and Imagination, and Cognitive Science, for instance. A formal dissertation is required and graduate assistantships are available. The University of Memphis is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this Ph.D. in Philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has identified the school as a leading national university.
Net Price: $13,174

#13—University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Ph.D. in Philosophy: Philosophy & Religion

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Graduate Enrollment: 11,606
Points: 10
The Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of South Florida features a concentration in Philosophy and Religion. Core courses required for the degree include Seminar in Philosophy of Religion and Theory and Methods in Religious Studies. Students will also take additional classes such as Environmental Ethics, Modern Jewish Thought, Topics in Feminist Philosophy, and Comparative Religious Ethics, for example. Both a comprehensive examination and formal dissertation are also required in order to fulfill the requirements of the program. USF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the doctoral degree in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the school as one of the 75 best value schools as well as the top 60 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $10,460

#12—University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia, Missouri

Doctoral Degree in Philosophy

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 7,359
Points: 11
The doctorate in philosophy from the University of Missouri-Columbia is a comprehensive offering, requiring a minimum of 72 credit hours of graduate coursework. Core courses required for the degree include Metaphysics: A Survey, Seminar in Philosophy of Language, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Mind, for example. Students will also take supplementary classes like Ethical Theory and Political Philosophy, Decision Theory, and Foundations of Cognitive Science. Graduates of the program are especially well-prepared for research and teaching positions in the field of philosophy. The University of Missouri-Columbia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this doctoral credential in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 70 public schools and the top 80 best value schools in the nation.
Net Price: $17,833

#11—University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

Philosophy Doctorate

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduate Enrollment: 9,896
Points: 11
Students entering the University at Buffalo’s doctorate in philosophy program with a BA credential will take 24 additional courses before earning their PhD credential. The first three years of the program are devoted to coursework in areas of philosophy such as logic, contemporary value theory, metaphysics/epistemology, and history of philosophy, for example. The remainder of the program will involve the preparation of the doctoral dissertation. The University at Buffalo is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award the PhD in Philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 100 national universities in the country and the top 40 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $15,895

#10—SUNY at Albany

Albany, New York

Ph.D. Degree in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,346
Points: 11
The doctoral program in philosophy from SUNY at Albany requires students to choose one of two available areas of specialization: Knowledge and Representation or Values and Society. Sample core courses comprising the Ph.D. curriculum include History of Political Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy After Aristotle, Contemporary Ethical Theory, and 19th Century Continental Philosophy, for instance. Depending on their chosen specialization, students will take additional classes like Topics in the Philosophy of Religion, Theory of Art, and Philosophy of Race. A comprehensive examination and doctoral dissertation are required. SUNY at Albany is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to offer the doctorate in philosophy degree. The university has been ranked among the top 100 best value schools and the top 70 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $15,844

#9—Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philosophy Ph.D. Program

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Graduate Enrollment: 10,256
Points: 12
Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Philadelphia, PATemple University enrolls doctorate in philosophy students on both a part-time and full-time basis. The program encourages interdisciplinary study and features an optional graduate certificate in Women’s Studies as well as a dual Ph.D. Philosophy/MA in Urban Bioethics degree option. To fulfill coursework requirements, students will take classes in epistemology/metaphysics, values/ethics, and history of philosophy. A preliminary examination and dissertation are also required for the degree. Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award this Ph.D. in philosophy credential. 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

#8—Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

MA/Ph.D. in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,533
Points: 12
florida-state-universityThe doctoral degree in philosophy option from Florida State University is a combined MA/Ph.D. offering featuring an optional graduate certificate in bioethics. Course titles comprising the curriculum for the program may include Philosophy of Social Sciences, Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind, and Social and Political Philosophy, for instance. Additional requirements include a preliminary doctoral examination, thesis, and dissertation defense. FSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this doctorate in philosophy. The university has received several different accolades from U.S. News & World Report, including the top 40 placement amongst the best public schools and most innovative schools in the nation.
Net Price: $13,318

#7—University of Illinois-Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

MA in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 10,900
Points: 12
The doctoral philosophy program from the University of Illinois-Chicago admits students with either a BA or MA credential. Coursework for the degree includes titles such as Writing in Philosophy, Symbolic Logic, and Teaching in Philosophy, for example. Students may also choose a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies, Neuroscience, or Latin American and Latino Studies. A formal doctoral dissertation is also required for graduation. The University of Illinois-Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this doctorate in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 75 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $12,248

#6—SUNY-Binghamton

Vestal, New York

Philosophy Doctorate

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,747
Points: 13
bu best online business degreesSUNY-Binghamton’s doctoral offering in philosophy is a Ph.D. in Social, Political, Ethical, and Legal Philosophy. A combined MA/Ph.D. track is also available. A minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree is required for completion of the Ph.D. Course titles may include Philosophy of Human Rights, Contemporary Critical Theory, Intergenerational Ethics, and Moral Institutions and Reasoning, for instance. Students must also take a qualifying examination and complete a formal doctoral dissertation. SUNY- Binghamton is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award the doctoral credential in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 65 best value schools and the top 35 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $16,440

#5—Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, New York

Philosophy PhD

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,734
Points: 13
The doctoral degree in philosophy from Stony Brook University emphasizes interdisciplinary study and foreign language. The program also offers optional graduate certificates in Cultural Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. Students enrolled in the program will complete seminar coursework in interface studies, contemporary philosophy, and history of philosophy. A formal doctoral dissertation and oral examination are also required prior to graduation. Stony Brook University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award this Ph.D. in Philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has called the university one of the 40 best public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $14,874

#4—University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Philosophy PhD

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,698
Points: 13
The versatile doctor of philosophy degree program from the University of New Mexico features several concentrations, including South Asian Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenology and Existentialism, and Philosophy of Art, for instance. Coursework includes titles such as Philosophy of Race and Racism, Symbolic Logic, Modern Social and Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Law, for instance. The program prides itself on its active colloquium series and small class sizes. UNM is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this PhD in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has placed the university among the top 100 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $11,620

#3—University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Ph.D. in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 16,727
Points: 13
Top 10 Online Colleges in Florida: Jacksonville, FloridaThe University of Florida offers a comprehensive doctor of philosophy degree program that requires a total of 90 hours of coursework. Required course titles include Ethical Theory, Epistemology, and Foundations of Analytical Philosophy, for example. Students will also take additional classes like Studies in Continental Philosophy, Seminar in History of Modern Philosophy, Metaphysics, and Graduate Logic. A qualifying examination and doctoral dissertation are also required prior to graduation. UF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the Ph.D. degree in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 40 national universities and the top 10 public schools in the nation. It also awarded the school high marks for innovation and value.
Net Price: $11,313

#2—Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Ph.D. in Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,741
Points: 14
Arizona State University offers an 84 credit-hour doctorate in philosophy degree program through its renowned School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. The curriculum for the program emphasizes both practical and applied philosophy and requires that students complete a comprehensive examination, a prospectus, and a doctoral dissertation. Specific course titles include Evolution and Strategic Interaction, Studies in Modern Philosophy, Advanced Symbolic Logic, and Experimental Philosophy, for instance. Students will also take 42 credit hours of elective coursework aligned with their academic interests as well as 12 credit hours of research courses. ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this Ph.D. in philosophy. U.S. News & World Report has named the school the #1 most innovative school in the country and ranked it among the top 55 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $13,731

#1—Purdue University-West Lafayette

West Lafayette, Indiana

Ph.D. Philosophy

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduate Enrollment: 10,739
Points: 14
The doctorate in philosophy from Purdue University- West Lafayette consists of two stages: coursework and the doctoral dissertation. The first two years of the program are devoted to advanced study in fundamental areas of philosophy such as logic, metaphysics and epistemology, aesthetics, history of philosophy, and more. Specific course titles may include Recent American Philosophy, Deconstructionist and Postmodernist Philosophy, Philosophy of Logic, and Studies in Eastern Philosophy, for instance. The remainder of the program is devoted to the doctoral dissertation and defense. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Purdue University to award the philosophy Ph.D. credential. U.S. News & World Report has lauded the university as a top 20 public school and a top 10 most innovative school nationwide.
Net Price: $11,898

 

About Doctor of Philosophy Degree Programs

Overview

According to the American Philosophical Association, there are 119 doctoral programs in philosophy throughout the United States and Canada. Philosophy Ph.D. programs represent the apex of academic study in the discipline. These highly involved and challenging degree paths prepare graduates for high-level positions in academia as professors, scholars, and researchers.

Students enrolled in a Ph.D. in Philosophy program can expect to attend classes, write scholarly papers, pass examinations, participate in lecture series, conduct research, and prepare and defend a doctoral dissertation. Those who plan to teach philosophy at the college level after graduation may also be asked to participate in a teaching practicum.

Admissions Requirements for Ph.D. in Philosophy Programs

Admissions criteria for doctoral programs can vary widely from school to school and program to program. Some colleges and universities have stricter eligibility requirements than others. Moreover, some programs will admit students with a bachelor’s degree while others require students to hold a master’s degree in philosophy or a related field.

Nearly all programs will require students to prove a minimum GPA by means of providing documentation of their academic transcript. For example, Fordham University requires that applicants have a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.3 and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in undergraduate philosophy classes.

Most programs also require that students submit GRE scores, though there are some notable exceptions.

Other requirements for admission into a doctoral philosophy program may include a resume, writing sample, and letter of intent, for example.

Some colleges and universities also require that students have taken certain prerequisite courses in philosophy prior to acceptance. These courses usually cover topics in symbolic logic, value theory, history of philosophy, and metaphysics, for instance.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree Programs: Curriculum

Each Ph.D. in Philosophy program is unique, so the curriculum for the program will depend almost entirely on the college or university you choose to attend. Even so, you can expect that most programs will consist of advanced coursework in the sub-fields of philosophy such as logic, metaphysics and epistemology, history of philosophy, ancient and contemporary philosophy, and the like.

Core Curriculum

Many programs will concentrate on the core curriculum in specific areas of the discipline. This is typically due to faculty strengths in these specific areas, and it’s something to consider when choosing a doctoral degree program in philosophy. In addition to programmatic emphases, the curriculum for a doctorate in philosophy can usually be customized to fit the individual student’s area of academic interest.

Some programs allow and even encourage interdisciplinary study as well. Depending on the school they choose to attend, students may elect to take courses outside of the philosophy department in order to expand the scope of their studies.

Dissertation

Generally speaking, the first two to three years of a Ph.D. in philosophy program will be devoted entirely to coursework. The final years of a doctorate plan of study will focus exclusively on dissertation preparation. The doctoral dissertation requires hundreds of hours of scholarly research and writing on a specific topic of the student’s choosing.

Often, students are required to present their dissertation findings during a formal interview with a board of professors. This interview usually includes an oral examination during which students will be asked to explain and defend their research findings.

Frequently-Searched Ph.D. in Philosophy Programs

SUNY- Binghamton- Ph.D. in Social, Political, Ethical, and Legal Philosophy: SUNY- Binghamton offers a doctorate in philosophy featuring an integrative MA/Ph.D. track. In addition to coursework, students must pass a comprehensive exam and complete a doctoral dissertation.

Fordham University- Ph.D. in Philosophy: The doctoral degree program in philosophy from Fordham University approaches topics in philosophy from a Jesuit perspective. Students enrolled in the program can take advantage of optional graduate assistantships and fellowships.

Johns Hopkins University- Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy: Johns Hopkins University offers a doctoral program in philosophy from its distinguished Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Students enrolled in the program will spend three years completing the required coursework and another two to three years on their formal dissertation.

Harvard University- Doctorate in Philosophy: The Ph.D. in Philosophy program from Harvard University features a standard track as well as a track in classical philosophy. A coordinated JD/Ph.D. program is also available.

Georgetown University- Doctoral Degree in Philosophy: The doctorate in philosophy from Georgetown University is offered through a collaboration between the school’s Department of Philosophy and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. Enrolled students can elect a concentration in Cognitive Science.

Northwestern University- Ph.D. in Philosophy: Northwestern University offers a five-year doctor of philosophy degree program from its Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences. The program features an optional concentration in Ancient Philosophy.

University of Notre Dame- Philosophy Doctorate: The Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame provides students with a comprehensive doctoral education in the academic discipline as well as opportunities to specialize their studies. Both an oral exam and a dissertation are required for program completion.

Purdue University- Philosophy Ph.D.: The doctorate in philosophy from Purdue University is offered through the school’s College of Liberal Arts. Teaching assistantships are available to enrolled students.

Penn State University- Philosophy Doctorate: The doctoral degree program in philosophy from Penn State features dual degree options in African American and Diaspora Studies; Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. No GRE is required for admission.

Rutgers University- Ph.D. in Philosophy: The doctorate in philosophy program from Rutgers University is nationally recognized and highly competitive. The program has few specific requirements and emphasizes flexibility.

Villanova University- Doctoral Degree in Philosophy: The Ph.D. in Philosophy from Villanova University emphasizes Continental Philosophy and the History of Philosophy. The program has affiliations with the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium.

Vanderbilt University- Philosophy Doctorate- The philosophy Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University requires 47 credit hours of graduate coursework. Full-tuition scholarships are available.

University of North Carolina- Ph.D. Philosophy: UNC offers a doctoral degree program in philosophy from its nationally recognized Department of Philosophy. Highlights of the program include small class sizes and a distinguished speaker series.

University of Pennsylvania- Philosophy Ph.D.: The doctoral degree program from the University of Pennsylvania requires 13 graduate courses as well as a formal dissertation. A teaching practicum is also required.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Doctor of Philosophy Programs

Asking the right questions is an important part of any graduate program in philosophy. It’s also pertinent to finding the right doctoral plan of study in the field. Below we will address some of the most commonly posed questions about philosophy Ph.D. programs. Keep in mind that the information we provide is very general. If you have specific questions about a particular Ph.D. philosophy program or school, it’s best to direct those to an admissions counselor at the college or university you’re interested in attending.

Q: Is a Ph.D. in Philosophy worth it?

A: The worth of a doctorate in philosophy program is determined by each individual student. While there may be more lucrative Ph.D. programs, many students find intrinsic value in the opportunity to study philosophical topics that cannot be duplicated through other academic endeavors.

Q: Can I apply to a doctoral program in philosophy without a master’s degree?

A: Yes. Integrated MA/Ph.D. in philosophy programs are available that allow you to earn your master’s degree in philosophy while simultaneously working toward your doctoral degree.

Q: How long does it take to earn a Ph.D. in Philosophy?

A: Completion time for a doctorate in philosophy will vary depending on a number of different factors, including specific program requirements as well as your academic background. Typically, though, you can expect to spend between 5-7 years on your graduate coursework and dissertation.

Q: What does a doctoral philosophy program cost?

A: Tuition costs for Ph.D. in philosophy programs can vary significantly from one school to the next. In our ranking, for example, tuition numbers span from just over $10,000 per year to well over $20,000 annually.

Q: Is financial aid available to help fund my philosophy doctorate?

A: Yes. Many forms of financial aid for Ph.D. in philosophy programs are available, including traditional grants, scholarships, and loans. In some cases, tuition reimbursement and graduate assistantships are also options.

Q: Are teaching assistantships available?

A:  Yes. Many Ph.D. in philosophy programs (including a number of those featured in our ranking) offer graduate teaching assistantships. These TA positions often include tuition waivers and/or stipends. Therefore, they can be a great help in funding your doctoral studies.

Career Questions for Ph.D. Philosophy Programs

When considering a doctorate in philosophy program, it’s important to keep your career goals in mind. While many students find value in pursuing the degree for the sake of intellectual and personal growth, you’ll also want to think about how you plan to apply what you learn in a professional context. The following inquiries are among those most frequently submitted regarding Ph.D. in Philosophy programs.

Q: What will my salary be with a doctorate in philosophy?

A: Your exact salary with a Ph.D. in philosophy will be determined by your specific employment details. However, Payscale.com reports that professionals with a doctoral credential in philosophy make $94,000 a year on average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers earn a mean annual wage of $71,892.

Q: What career paths are available for professionals with a doctorate in philosophy?

A: Most graduates of doctorate philosophy programs work in academia in research or teaching positions.

Q: Are postsecondary teaching positions in philosophy in demand?

A: Yes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for philosophy and religion professors is growing faster than average. Between 2016 and 2026, jobs are expected to increase by 12 percent.

Q: What professional organizations should I join with a Ph.D. in philosophy?

A: With a doctorate in philosophy, there are numerous professional organizations and associations you can join. Some of these are listed below for your reference:

Institute for Global Ethics

American Philosophical Society

American Society for Aesthetics

American Association of Philosophy Teachers

Association for Symbolic Logic

International Association for Philosophy and Literature

Philosophy of Science Association

Related Rankings