Philosophy Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Oct 20, 2021

Choosing a philosophy school can be difficult, since many of the colleges and universities in the U.S. offer at least bachelor's degrees in philosophy. Even though the number of schools that offer graduate degrees in philosophy is smaller, deciding which factors are most important (tuition, location, program specifics, etc.) can help make that decision easier.

Top 10 Schools with Philosophy Programs

The following schools are ranked highly by the U.S. News and World Report, and the tuition data is for in-state undergraduate tuition for the 2015-2016 school year.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-16)*
Arizona State University Phoenix, AZ 4-year, Public BA, MA, PhD $10,158
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, Public BA, PhD $10,037
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 4-year, Public BA, MA, PhD $6,381
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public BA, MA, PhD $13,790
The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public BA, PhD $9,806
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit BA, MA, PhD $47,750
University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI 4-year, Public BA, PhD $10,415
Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN 4-year, Public BA, MA, PhD $10,002
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public BA, MA, PhD $13,856
University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA 4-year, Public BA, PhD $11,839

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics (nces.ed.gov)

School Selection Criteria

Individuals just beginning their education may want to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, but those selecting a graduate school could pursue a Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy, though terminal M.A. programs are less common. Students should consider the following before selecting a school:

  • Applicants should keep their career interests in mind when picking their ultimate degree level, since someone looking to pursue a career in academia would need a doctorate, while a student wanting to study philosophy as a supplement to another degree might consider an M.A. instead.
  • Different schools will offer different specializations within philosophy, which may include the philosophy of the mind, applied ethics, philosophy of the social sciences and political philosophy.
  • Check out the availability of a joint or dual degree option at the graduate level, especially for applicants considering fields such as law or bioethics.
  • For graduate-level studies, the availability of research or teaching assistantships in their chosen specialization is an important factor to consider to begin building scholarly experience.

There are many options available for students choosing to pursue a philosophy degree, including the small sample of schools in the table above. Things to consider when choosing which school to attend include specializations within the field of philosophy and which degree level best fits their career plans.

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