Best 15 Masters in Philosophy Programs in 2021

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

A Masters in Philosophy degree is the perfect opportunity to allow students to better understand the world around them.  This degree can focus on special concentrations allowing students to examine the relationship philosophy has with ethics, business practices, social norms, and political theory.  While there are several career opportunities for students who graduate with a Masters in Philosophy, many students choose to go on to pursue a PhD in Philosophy following a successful Masters program.  

What is A Masters in Philosophy?

Students who wish to go on to earn a higher education degree, pursing a Masters in Philosophy, will learn about the numerous roles philosophy plays in the everyday world.  These roles can be related to business transactions, the economy, social norms, or medical practices.  Philosophical studies can range from examining both Anglo-American and Continental theory and text, to extrapolating philosophical principle and practice to everyday problems.  

What Are the Benefits?

Aside from gaining a deeper understanding of the theory and fundamentals that surround philosophical thought, a Masters in Philosophy gives students the opportunity to sharpen many skills often necessary for a higher level PhD degree.  Students who earn a Masters in Philosophy degree gain a better understanding for reasoning and rationale, improve their writing skills, and sharpen their research skills.  Further, students enrolled in Masters programs often emerge as successful leaders, able to take on thoughtful, yet helpful, manager positions at various organizations.  

What is the Outlook and Salary?

Earning a Masters in Philosophy can open the doors for students and allow them to learn the fundamental skills needed to go on to earn a PhD degree.  Most students have the best success if they couple a Philosophy degree with a medical or law degree making their skill set more marketable in the corporate world.  There are several career paths that Philosophy majors follow including the role of a professional writer, market research analyst, and that of a professor.  Graduates can expect to earn an average of $62,000 per year.  

The Best Masters in Philosophy Programs

We understand that a great deal is at stake when it comes to choosing a program for you to earn a higher education degree.  That is why we have put together a list of the top 15 Masters in Philosophy programs throughout the country.  We want you to have the right information at your fingertips so that you can choose the best Masters in Philosophy program for you, your career goals, and your overall interests.  

15 Masters in Philosophy Programs

1. University of Wyoming – Laramie, Wyoming (27 Points)

Students who wish to enter the Masters in Philosophy program offered at the University of Wyoming do so for a number of reasons.  Some students simply want to better understand the world around them.  Other students want to prepare themselves for a post-professional degree.  The Masters in Philosophy degree perfectly sets students up with the knowledge necessary to prepare for an advanced Philosophy degree, or a degree in law or medicine.  

Following successful completion of the program students will be able to hold an advanced intellectual discussion surrounding the core topics of philosophy, have a familiarity with ethics, metaphysics, and other core philosophical components, and be able to develop and teach philosophic education.  

  • Tuition: $843 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Statement of Purpose, Writing Sample, Transcripts, Letters of Recommendation

1. Bowling Green State University – Bowling Green, Ohio (27 Points)

The Masters in Philosophy program offered at Bowling Green State University specializes in Applied Philosophy offering students the opportunity to continue to a PhD program if selected.  Of course, students who wish to earn a terminate Masters degree will also have the opportunity graduating with a well-rounded understanding of philosophy and the core principles and practices.  

Students enrolled in this program will have the ability to study cross-listed courses creating a specialized Masters degree program.  Students will often couple their philosophy degree with ethics, women’s studies, or environmental studies.  

  • Tuition: $778 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Transcripts, GRE Test Scores, Letters of Recommendation, Statement of Purpose

3. University of New Mexico – Albuquerque, New Mexico (21 Points)

The goal of the Masters in Philosophy program at the University of New Mexico is to set students up for ongoing success in higher education pursuits.  This is the perfect program for students who want to go on to earn their PhD in Philosophy.  

The Philosophy program is split into three different options.  Plan I has a set time limit for students to complete graduation, as well as a necessary thesis.  Plan II for Philosophy study has a three year time limit for completion as well as a formal paper requirement.  Most students are admitted to the Plan II program.  The 4+1 MA Plan allows students to earn a Bachelor and Masters degree simultaneously.  This program requires 5 years of study with outstanding academic performance.

  • Tuition: $1,170 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, GRE Test Scores, Letter of Intent, Letters of Recommendation, Resume

3. University of Houston – Houston, Texas (21 Points)

The Masters in Philosophy program offered at the University of Houston gives students the opportunity to pursue their interests in Philosophy at a higher level of education.  Students have the chance to specialize in several different disciplines as they relate to philosophy including ethics, aesthetics, history of philosophy, or cognitive science.  

While this is a terminate degree offered in two years, the intent of the program is to set students up to pursue higher level education, giving students the needed skills and tools necessary to earn a PhD in Philosophy.  Students can choose writing intensive course work which requires a thesis at the end of the degree or take additional course work in lieu of a thesis paper.

  • Tuition: $885 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Transcripts, GRE Test Scores, Letters of Recommendation, Resume, Personal Statement

5. University of Oklahoma – Norman – Norman, Oklahoma (20 Points)

The Masters in Philosophy program offered at the University of Oklahoma – Norman campus is available to students in two variations.  Both are available for terminate Masters degrees, with one offering a thesis and one without.  Students who wish to go on to earn a PhD in Philosophy are advised to take the thesis variation to prepare for a higher level education degree in the future.

This school offers a range of core and elective courses for students to take including Philosophy of Art, Philosophy of Science, Chinese Philosophy, as well as Ancient and Modern Philosophy.  The program boasts a friendly and informal relationship between students and faculty which helps to promote a collaborative and open learning environment.

  • Tuition: $957 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Transcripts, GRE Scores, Bachelor degree in Philosophy

6.  SUNY Binghamton – Binghamton, New York (19 Points)

Students who are looking to get a basic understanding of traditional, classical, and modern philosophical principles are invited to explore the Masters in Philosophy program at SUNY Binghamton.  This is a comprehensive program that covers both Anglo-American and Continental philosophical traditions during study.

Students have the option of choosing either a terminate Masters degree or a PhD program to explore their philosophical studies.  This program is geared toward law, ethical, and business applications as it applies to philosophy.

  • Tuition: $1,053 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Transcripts, Minimum 3.0 GPA in Undergraduate Studies, GRE Test Scores, Personal Statement, Resume

6. Georgia State University – Atlanta, Georgia (19 Points)

Georgia State University offers a complete Masters in Philosophy degree which is perfect for students who wish to further their understanding and appreciation for philosophical principles.  The program is idea for students who wish to go on to pursue a PhD in philosophy, giving students the tools, research principles, and methods necessary to succeed in higher education settings.

The program has several different concentrations for students to pursue including Social, Legal and Political Philosophy, Neurophilosophy, and Kant and Post-Kantian German Philosophy.

  • Tuition: $1,038 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Transcripts, GRE Test Scores

8. Stony Brook University – Stony Brook, New York (18 Points)

The Masters in Philosophy program offered at Stony Brook University gives students the opportunity to explore a wide range of philosophical courses covering the fundamentals required to succeed in a PhD program in the future.  The material covered in this program gives students the flexibility to custom create their own Masters degree with several elective course offerings.

The program focuses on European philosophy and prides itself on its distinguished faculty and staff.  The small enrollment class sizes can guarantee that students get plenty of opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty and staff throughout their studies.

  • Tuition: $1,126 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official Transcripts, Personal Statement, Three Letters of Recommendation, GRE Scores

9. University of Kansas – Lawrence, Kansas (16 Points)

Students who enroll in the Masters of Philosophy program at the University of Kansas have two choices to earn their degree.  The first choice is a traditional terminate Masters degree which is 30 credits in length.  This option also includes a mandatory thesis which must be defended in front of a board composed of faculty and peers.  Alternatively, students have the option for a fast track Masters degree.  This adds an additional year of study to Undergraduate students.  This is perfect for students who plan on pursuing a PhD in the future.

There are other degree programs offered at the University of Kansas that allow students to partner their philosophical studies with other degrees including a law degree.  There is also a non-degree student option for students who are simply interested in the course material offered.  

  • Tuition: $1,000 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official Transcripts, References and Recommendations

10. Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana (15 Points)

The Masters in Philosophy degree at Purdue University offers students the chance to explore the philosophical world and learn the fundamentals needed to interpret the social, economic, and legal world around them.  Students will have the chance to not only get a core understanding of the basic principles, but also have the opportunity to explore several elective courses that can help students specialize their concentration.

Currently, Purdue University is not accepting terminate Masters degree students and will only accept students who intend to go on to complete a PhD in Philosophy at Purdue University.  

  • Tuition: $948 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, GRE Scores, Official Transcripts, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation

11. University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah (10 Points)

The University of Utah offers a Masters in Philosophy that is perfect for students looking to pursue a specialized concentration in a specific area of philosophy.  The university offers a range of specializations including Philosophy of Biology, Political Philosophy, Ancient Greek Philosophy, or Early Modern Philosophy, as well as several other specializations.

Students have the opportunity to pursue a Masters in Science, Masters in Arts, or a PhD degree at the University of Utah.  The university boasts a favorable student to faculty ratio ensuring personalized instruction and study. 

  • Tuition: $1,110 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official Transcripts, Minimum 3.0 Undergraduate GPA, Letters of Recommendation

11. Florida State University – Tallahassee, Florida (10 Points)

The graduate Philosophy program at Florida State University is purposefully small, admitting only 40 students into the program.  This ensures dedicated time spent between faculty and students allowing for personalized and custom instruction.  This program allows students to not only learn about core fundamentals in philosophy but encourages students to explore their own passion and choose an area for specialization.

The program is available for both terminate Masters degree students as well as those wishing to go on to earn a PhD in Philosophy.  There are several variations of this degree available including a Graduate Certificate in Bioethics or participation in History of Philosophy coursework.

  • Tuition: $1,247 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official Transcripts, GRE Test Scores, Minimum Undergraduate 3.0 GPA

13. Texas Tech University – Lubbock, Texas (9 Points)

Texas Tech University offers students the opportunity to earn a Masters in Philosophy.  The program is designed to not only help students understand the higher-level principles associated with philosophy, but to also better develop their writing skills, critical thinking skills, and reasoning skills to allow them to pursue higher education endeavors.

This program is perfect for students who wish to go on to earn a PhD in Philosophy.  The school has a tremendous placement record at prestigious schools across the country including Rutgers, Stanford, and Duke University.

  • Tuition: $1,247 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official Transcripts, GRE Test Scores, Minimum 3.0 GPA, Statement of Interest

14. Temple University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (5 Points)

Although the Masters in Philosophy program offered at Temple University can be a full-time or a part-time program, many of the classes are offered before 4:30 pm making this difficult for working students to complete the program.  Students can be admitted to the program as either a terminate Masters degree student, or admitted for a PhD program following the completion of the Masters degree.

Class offerings and specializations are varied at Temple University with many courses offered in European Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, Philosophy of Race, and Philosophy of Mind.  

  • Tuition: $1,114 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official Transcripts, GRE Test Scores, Letters of Recommendation, Statement of Purpose

15. University of Montana – Missoula, Montana (3 Points)

The Masters in Philosophy program offered at University of Montana is popular for students who wish to go on to earn a PhD in Philosophy.  This degree is often coupled with other degrees including a law, medicine, or a science and technology degree.  The program offers students the opportunity to both study the core fundamentals, as well as explore specialized electives. 

This program not only studies a range of theoretical texts as they relate to philosophy, but also works to involve philosophical talking points through contemporary conversation.  Students will understand how to apply philosophical principles to everyday, common problems experienced throughout the world. 

  • Tuition: $2,003 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official Transcripts, GRE Test Scores, Letters of Recommendation, Statement of Purpose

Ranking Methodology

The top 15 schools for a Masters in Philosophy were developed using a point ranking system.  Schools were scaled based on two grading metrics.  The first was the cost of tuition.  This was figured on a per credit basis.  Schools that had an entire year of tuition listed were first divided by two semesters, and further divided by 12 credits per semester.  In all cases, the out-of-state tuition cost was used.  Schools with a cheaper per credit tuition rate were given more points, and thus a more favorable ranking.

Secondly, schools were ranked based on the enrollment size in the graduate school.  Universities and colleges that had fewer students were given a higher ranking, assuming that students would have a better opportunity to interact with and learn from faculty members.  The ranking points accumulated from the tuition score and enrollment score were added together.  The school with the highest amount of points was given the most favorable ranking.

If your school has been listed in our top 15 schools to earn a Masters in Philosophy, we’d love to hear from you.  We understand that programs are always changing and evolving, so we want to make sure our information is as up to date as possible.  Please let us know if we need to correct or amend information we give to students.  We understand students are making a big choice about their future, and we want to ensure they have the most up to date information possible.  

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advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.<button type="button" class="css-1pz3fcu css-11e3mg8 css-1w9ghd css-1hhul3j css-1jbuhzf css-yrxnuw css-1u78gm9 css-1y4tel7 css-1kru6p0 css-rnous3 css-12fbi72 bg-accent close-button">Got it!</button></div></section></div></form></div></div> <script> (function(){var i=this.element,e=this.props;if(i){i.setAttribute("data-ssr-mounted","");var o=i.querySelector("select[name=degree]"),a=i.querySelector("select[name=category]"),c=i.querySelector("select[name=subject]"),t=c.querySelectorAll("optgroup"),n=i.querySelector("[name=url]"),r=o.children[0].label,l=a.children[0].label,u=c.children[0].label,s=window.self!==window.top;n.value=s?document.referrer:window.location.href;for(var d,g,m,p=[],f=[],h=[],y=1;y<o.length;y++)p.push({name:o[y].label,id:o[y].value,selected:o[y].selected});for(var b=1;b<a.length;b++)f.push({name:a[b].label,id:a[b].value,selected:a[b].selected,degree:p.map(function(e){return e.id})});for(var v=0;v<t.length;v++){for(var x=void 0,w=0;w<f.length;w++)f[w].name===t[v].label&&(x=f[w].id);for(var O=0;O<t[v].children.length;O++){var E=t[v].children[O];h.push({name:E.label,id:E.value,selected:E.selected,category:x,degree:p.map(function(e){return e.id})})}}o.addEventListener("change",F),a.addEventListener("change",N),c.addEventListener("change",z);var S="".concat("https://platform.highereducation.com/","api"),j="\n query QuickDegreeFinderFeed(\n $publisher: String!\n ) {\n quickDegreeFinder(\n publisher: $publisher\n ) {\n degrees {\n id\n name\n slug\n categories {\n id\n name\n slug\n subjects {\n id\n name\n slug\n }\n }\n }\n }\n }\n ",k={publisher:e&&e.publisher},C="".concat(S,"?query=").concat(encodeURIComponent(j),"&variables=").concat(encodeURIComponent(JSON.stringify(k)));if(k.publisher&&I(C,function(e){var t,n,i=JSON.parse(e).data,r=i&&i.quickDegreeFinder&&i.quickDegreeFinder.degrees;r||!r.length?(t=r.reduce(function(t,n){return n.categories.forEach(function(e){t[e.id]=t[e.id]||e,t[e.id].degree=t[e.id].degree||[],t[e.id].degree.push(n.id)}),t},{}),t=Object.keys(t).map(function(e){return t[e]}),n=r.reduce(function(n,i){return i.categories.forEach(function(t){t.subjects.forEach(function(e){n[e.id]=n[e.id]||e,n[e.id].category=n[e.id].category||t.id,n[e.id].degree=n[e.id].degree||[],n[e.id].degree.push(i.id)})}),n},{}),n=Object.keys(n).map(function(e){return n[e]}),d=p.filter(function(e){return e.selected}),g=f.filter(function(e){return e.selected}),m=h.filter(function(e){return e.selected}),p=r.map(function(e){return e.selected=d[0]&&d[0].id==e.id||!1,e}),f=t.map(function(e){return e.selected=g[0]&&g[0].id==e.id||!1,e}).sort(function(e,t){return e.name<t.name?-1:e.name>t.name?1:0}),h=n.map(function(e){return e.selected=m[0]&&m[0].id==e.id||!1,e}).sort(function(e,t){return e.name<t.name?-1:e.name>t.name?1:0}),F()):console.error("Problem loading QDF feed.")}),"undefined"!=typeof window&&!window.toggleTooltip){Element.prototype.matches||(Element.prototype.matches=Element.prototype.msMatchesSelector||Element.prototype.webkitMatchesSelector),Element.prototype.closest||(Element.prototype.closest=function(e){var t=this;do{if(t.matches(e))return t;t=t.parentElement||t.parentNode}while(null!==t&&1===t.nodeType);return null}),window.NodeList&&!NodeList.prototype.forEach&&(NodeList.prototype.forEach=Array.prototype.forEach);var P=function(e){if(!e)return!1;var t=window.innerWidth,n=e.getBoundingClientRect().left,i=t-(n+e.offsetWidth);return 275+10<i?"right":i<n?"left":"right"};window.toggleTooltip=function(e){if(e.target.classList.contains("tooltip-toggle")){var t=i.querySelector(".tooltip-toggle"),n=e.target.closest("section").querySelector(".tooltip-body");"left"===P(t)?(n.classList.remove("right"),n.classList.add("left")):(n.classList.remove("left"),n.classList.add("right")),n.classList.toggle("open"),"undefined"!=typeof window&&void 0!==window.tagular&&window.tagular("beam","ElementClicked",{"@type":"redventures.usertracking.v3.ElementClicked",webElement:{location:"AD_DISCLOSURE",elementType:"TOOLTIP",position:"Search Experience",text:"Click - 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