Best Philosophy Online PhD programs

Online PhD in Philosophy is a distance learning program that enables students to earn their Philosophy doctorate degree online. The Philosophy online PhD curriculum is largely the same as traditional Philosophy doctorate programs, and students take courses in subjects such as epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, historical concepts and other Philosophy topics. In addition to coursework, students must also complete a research dissertation.

An online PhD in Philosophy can be an excellent way to pursue your passion for Philosophy while maintaining your current lifestyle and commitments. Online programs offer flexibility and convenience, allowing you to study at your own pace and on your own schedule. In addition, online PhD programs typically allow you to choose from a variety of courses, giving you the opportunity to tailor your studies to your specific interests. And because online programs are often more affordable than traditional programs, an online PhD in Philosophy can be a great option for those on a budget.

Is a PhD in Philosophy worth it?

Yes. A PhD in Philosophy opens up a wide range of career opportunities for the graduates. While many people assume that those with a PhD in Philosophy will only be able to find work as professors in academia, this is not the case. In fact, there are many more positions that a PhD Philosophy holder can work in.

See some examples below:

  1. Research positions: Many businesses and organizations hire research staff to help them gain a better understanding of their customers or target market. A PhD in Philosophy can be an excellent foundation for a career in research, as it develops critical thinking and analytical skills.
  2. Policy analysis: Policy analysts use their skills to assess the impact of government policies on issues such as economic growth, social welfare, and environmental protection. If you’re interested in working in this field, then a PhD in Philosophy can give you the ability to think deeply about complex problems and develop well-reasoned solutions.
  3. Writing: A PhD in Philosophy can lead to a career as a writer or editor. If you enjoy communicating ideas through writing, then this could be an excellent way to use your skills. There is a growing demand for top tier writers who can communicate complex ideas clearly and concisely, making this an exciting field to consider.
  4. Consulting: Many businesses hire consultants to provide them with expert advice on various topics. If you have high level expertise in a particular area of Philosophy, and of course a PhD is the highest level, then you may be able to find work as a consultant. This can be an excellent way to use your skills to help businesses make better decisions and solve problems more effectively.

PhD philosophers at the top of their career can expect to make an average of about  $90,000 per year. With time and experience, you could make much more than that.

How long does an online PhD in Philosophy take?

An online PhD in Philosophy usually takes four to four to six years to complete. The first two years are typically spent completing coursework, with the remaining time devoted to writing and defending a dissertation. Many online PhD programs allow students to complete their coursework at their own pace, which can help to shorten the overall duration of the program. Some programs offer accelerated options that allow students to complete their degree in as little as three years. While pursuing a PhD philosophy online may take longer to earn than a traditional PhD, it can come with the kind of flexibility that is suitable for those who are not in so much hurry – those who want to study while attending to other commitments of work or personal life. .

The best Philosophy Online PhD programs

This list of the best online Philosophy PhD programs is based on analyzing the universities that do offer this program online. Of course, it must be noted that while many universities offer this course, not all of them offer the online option. The universities on this list are all highly accredited and respected institutions, and they all provide an excellent education in Philosophy. So if you’re looking for the best online Philosophy Ph.D program, you can find a suitable one here.

1. Birmingham University: Philosophy PhD

The Ph.D. in Philosophy at Birmingham University is a research-intensive degree that equips students with the right skills to pursue their goals in career or personal interests.  Birmingham University is a top-rated university for Philosophy Ph.Ds, and you can expect excellent education and research opportunities from the faculty. The faculty are experienced and passionate about their work, and you’ll be able to learn from the best while you’re in the program.

The program is highly competitive as the university accepts only a limited number of students each year, meaning they only admit not everyone but the very best.

You can choose to study for your Philosophy Ph.D. in the traditional PhD approach, or through the PhD by Papers option. The latter means that you’ll have the chance to submit thematically unified papers on a range of topics, and you’ll also be given the opportunity to attend research seminars and present your papers. Either way, you’ll be supervised by a team of experienced academics, and you’ll have access to world-class Ph.D support.

Birmingham is among the very first Philosophy departments to offer a PhD by Papers option in the United Kingdom. This style of PhD thesis is common in the US and students really love it. But not many UK Philosophy departments are offering it.

The program’s supervision is organized into the following areas:

  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy of Logic
  • Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Moral Philosophy (theoretical and practical)
  • Metaphysics and Epistemology
  • Philosophy of Religion

It might interest you to learn that Birmingham’s department of Philosophy was ranked 1st in the United Kingdom in the “Research Excellence Framework exercise 2021,  based on Grade Point Average (Times Higher Education)”. So you can be confident that you’re going to be learning from some of the best philosophers you can think of.

2. University of Buffalo: Philosophy PhD

The PhD in Philosophy from the University of Buffalo is a well structured doctorate that has led many graduates to exciting careers paths. Graduates with a Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy from the University of Buffalo are prepared for careers as college professors, researchers, or professionals in a variety of fields such as law, medicine, business, and government. The coursework for a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Buffalo includes studies in the history of Philosophy, ethical theory, logic, and more. Students also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of Philosophy such as metaphysics, epistemology, or aesthetics. With a PhD in Philosophy from the University at Buffalo, graduates are prepared to enter into a variety of intellectually stimulating and rewarding careers.

The University of Buffalo’s Philosophy department is widely acknowledged among Anglo-American departments in the field of Philosophy. It’s indeed one of the best in the core sub disciplines of Philosophy that also cut across historical periods. Special interests, deep philosophical orientations, and a strong bond between students and faculty are some of the attributes that define the Philosophy department as a whole.

The program applies a hybrid learning model, meaning some courses can be taken on campus while others can be taken online. Students are required to complete 72 credit hours over a 5 year period of full time study. The application fee is $75, but can vary with time.

This PhD Philosophy program is formally registered and duly recognized by the New York State Education Department (SED).

3. Sofia University St.Kliment Ohridski: DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN Philosophy

The doctoral program in Philosophy at Sofia University St.Kliment Ohridski is a prestigious program that is highly competitive, and only the most qualified students are admitted. The program offers a comprehensive education in Philosophy, with a focus on research and writing. Students in the program will have the opportunity to work with some of the most respected scholars in the field. The program is designed to prepare students for careers as philosophers, teachers, or researchers. Graduates of the program have gone on to careers in academia, government, and the private sector.

This program has an on-campus version as well as a distance learning version taught online in what the University describes as Bulgarian version.

Key areas of the Western Philosophy are covered in the course. Students have the option of writing their doctoral dissertation on a topic of their choice in the area of Eastern Philosophy. An expert in Eastern Philosophy is provided by the University for the students who would like to base their dissertation on this area of study.

While the faculty is responsible for the overall direction that the research takes, students are also given the freedom to pursue their preferences upon discussing with their supervisors.

The program enjoys recognition around the world, including North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

4. Sussex University: Philosophy PhD

The Philosophy PhD program at Sussex University is an excellent way to pursue advanced studies in this fascinating field. The Philosophy department at Sussex is one of the most highly regarded in the UK, and the online PhD program offers a flexible and convenient way to earn your PhD. The curriculum is designed to provide a broad foundation in the history of Philosophy, as well as in-depth knowledge of specific areas of interest. You will have the opportunity to work with leading scholars in the field, and the program provides ample opportunity for independent research. Whether you are interested in ancient Philosophy or contemporary issues, a Philosophy PhD at Sussex University will give you the tools you need to become a leading thinker in the field.

The Philosophy department is friendly, inclusive and open minded, like all the departments across the programs in this list. These attributes are important for a PhD program like this  where studies are based on subjects that require a lively  environment where students can comfortably engage in critical thinking plus healthy sharing.

Students get a chance to work with some of the most accomplished scholars, some of whom are working on revolutionary projects. Weekly workshops provide the perfect environment for students and faculty to engage in robust discussions that bring out the best in the program.

A thesis of 80,000 words is the climax of this program, signaling the end of a beautiful PhD Philosophy journey that will open doors to lucrative opportunities. Should your thesis project workload demand, the faculty can allow you to work with up to two supervisors .

Some of the research experiences at Sussex University’s Philosophy department include but are not limited to;

  • Political Philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Post-Kantian Philosophy
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Feminist Philosophy; sex and gender
  • Philosophy of logic

5. Staffordshire University: Philosophy Ph.D

The Philosophy PhD at Staffordshire University is designed to help students develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field of philosophy. The program is delivered in a flexible manner, allowing you to study at your own pace and from anywhere in the world.

This program is best suited for students who are interested in pursuing the with a keen interest the below areas of Philosophy:

  • The work of Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Phenomenology (especially Heidegger)
  • Poststructuralism
  • The work of Michel Foucault
  • The work of Michel Serres
  • Posthumanism
  • French epistemology and Philosophy of science
  • Theory and practice based Philosophy subjects

One of the best things about the Philosophy program at Staffordshire University is that students are allocated a lead supervisor plus up to two other supervisors in support capacity. The supervisors are committed to assisting their students to create a strong foundation and build up towards solid success not only in the classroom but also in their career goals.

Besides the core research , students are also expected to participate in departmental activities. This could be anything from contributing in research seminars to taking part in reading groups with fellow students. You might also be called  upon to help organize conferences and play active roles in the coordination of visiting speakers.

Final Remarks

Philosophy is perhaps one of the most interesting areas of study. A PhD in philosophy makes it even more exciting as it propels your specialization to the highest level. Besides unlocking a world of opportunities, you also get to appreciate the finer aspects that define our lives. Not long ago, many aspiring PhD Philosophy students could not have fulfilled their dreams of reaching this level. But things have changed these days and now the availability of online PhD programs in Philosophy means that the costs have come down considerably, making it accessible for many people who may not have been able to afford it.

Cost is not the only parameter that makes this a great time to pursue online PhD Philosophy programs.  It’s also about convenience. For those who are passionate about studying philosophy to the highest level but have no time or do not wish to attend in person full-time, then these programs no doubt present the perfect opportunity to fulfill your desires.