Best Colleges and Universities for Philosophy Degrees

The best philosophy degree programs are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best philosophy degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding philosophy faculty.

Best Colleges and Universities for Philosophy Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in philosophy is an excellent starting point for a career in public service, corporate governance, education, and a host of other intellectually stimulating fields. As a philosophy major, you’ll study ethics, epistemology, and rhetorical debate. Your philosophy degree will incorporate classic works by great thinkers alongside a critical analysis of relevant literature, history, and social order. The best schools for philosophy are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of philosophy concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Frequently Asked Questions About Philosophy Bachelor’s Degrees

Earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy can open numerous professionals doors. As a philosophy major, you’ll spend a great deal of your time poring over compelling historical texts, exploring complex ideas, and engaging discourse over subjects like ethics, religion, and politics. This education will provide you with valuable skills of debate, communication, and persuasion. Moreover, areas of consideration such as morality, behavior, and the human condition have historically factored into the way we understand entities such as national governments, religious organizations, and communities. Philosophy majors must build a strong background in these dimensions of human life in order to contextualize much of the literature they’ll be required to read. As such, philosophy majors are uniquely positioned to understand history, participate in the political process, analyze policy impacts, and even to serve in public office.

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Philosophy is a great major because it is interdisciplinary in nature. This means you’ll gain various practical skills. The skills of communication, research, and critical analysis that you’ll develop as a philosophy major are highly transferable to a wide range of workplace settings. Increasingly, progressive companies in the tech, marketing, and retail industries have recruited professionals with a background in philosophy to help attack challenges and seize opportunities with creativity, critical thinking, and a strong grounding in ethics.

This makes the work of today’s leading thinkers extremely consequential. Today, top influencers in philosophy are breaking new ground in feminist theory, the philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and much more.

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Once you’ve declared your major in philosophy, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of humanities-related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized philosophy electives, there are several common courses that most philosophy majors will be required to take, including:

  • Social and Political Philosophy
  • Critical Thinking
  • Philosophy and Globalization
  • Topics in Feminist Ethics
  • Philosophy and Literature
  • General Ethics
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Philosophy of Knowledge
  • Environmental Philosophy

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Philosophy is not an inherently career-oriented major, insofar as this degree may not necessarily lead you down a specific career path. Instead, majoring in philosophy will arm you with an array of 21st Century workplace skills that are applicable in a wide range of fields from education, marketing and government to healthcare, information security, and corporate ethics. This means that your philosophy major can lead to a wide range of career opportunities, including these top jobs:

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Best Colleges and Universities for Philosophy Degree Programs

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.

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Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.

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Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

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The Best Colleges and Universities for Philosophy Degrees

Best Philosophy Major Research Universities

  1. Harvard University
  2. Yale University
  3. Princeton University
  4. Columbia University
  5. University of Chicago

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Best Philosophy Major Liberal Arts Colleges

  1. Wesleyan University
  2. Swarthmore College
  3. Wellesley College
  4. Amherst College
  5. Williams College

Go to The Best Philosophy Major Liberal Arts Colleges

Best Philosophy Online Colleges

  1. University of Arizona
  2. University of Memphis
  3. Portland State University
  4. University of Southern Mississippi
  5. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Go to The Best Philosophy Online Colleges

The Best Philosophy Schools in Your State

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Learn More About Philosophy

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