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Last Updated: September 20, 2022

    Studying Philosophy

    Philosophy is a field of study that deals with concepts relating to truth, ideas of right, wrong, reason, human nature, values, and ethics. The study of philosophy involves methods such as questioning, conducting rational arguments, engaging in critical discussion, and a systematic presentation of one’s ideas. The branch of philosophy initially had a holistic approach with people like Aristotle who engaged in the study of different aspects of knowledge.

    Philosophy in modern times deals with subfields like metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and logic. Here, metaphysics deal with questions relating to identity, causality, and the necessity and possibility of existence. Epistemology deals with the study of the origin, justification, scope, and issues relating to knowledge. Logic deals with reasoning and the formulation of good arguments. Other fields under philosophy include aesthetics, philosophy of the mind, philosophy of science, political philosophy, philosophy of language, etc.

    Why Study Philosophy?

    Degrees in philosophy are not purely theoretical courses as they allow students to develop a certain skill set that would aid them in their pursuit of different careers. Students are taught to analyze the human condition and human interactions with one another through the works of various philosophers, the study of metaphysics and ethics, and the practice of deductive & inductive reasoning. This prepares students to take up careers in the fields of education, business, technology, and social justice after they complete their respective courses.

    A few of the skills that one can develop while studying philosophy include-

    Duration of Degrees in Philosophy

    The duration of degree programs in philosophy is dependent on the level of degree one is taking in the subject. An associate’s degree in philosophy will have a duration of 2 years whereas a bachelor’s degree in the subject can have 3 to 4 years depending on the university the candidate is attending. A master’s program in the subject generally has a duration of 2 years and a doctoral program can have a duration between 3 to 5 years depending on the university and the pace at which the candidate can submit their dissertation.
    Associate Degree2 years
    B.A. Degree3-4 years
    M.A. Degree2 years
    Ph.D.3-5 years

    Eligibility Requirements for Studying Philosophy

    Candidates who wish to take up a degree in philosophy will have to meet the eligibility requirements based on the level of degree they are choosing and the university they plan to attend. Students must have the following requirements when applying for a degree in philosophy:

    Cost of Studying Philosophy

    The cost of studying philosophy in the country is dependent on the level of the degree the candidate is taking and the university they are attending. Public institutions charge lower tuition fees from candidates whereas private universities can have tuition fees that are double or triple the same amount. In public institutions, candidates will have separate fee structures based on whether they are residents or non-residents of the state. The average amount that students will have to pay in a public institution is estimated to be around $7,200 if they are a resident. This amount can go up to $36,000 in private institutions.

    Degrees in Philosophy

    Like many other subjects, philosophy degrees can be obtained at various levels - associate, bachelor’s, master's, and doctorate. It is classified under the study of the Humanities and can be supplemented with related subjects such as English literature and law. Students can also pursue scientific subjects like mathematics, computer science, and psychology, along with philosophy. These degrees enable the student to study concepts of various philosophical thinkers through history and develop their ability of critical thinking.

    Associate’s Degree in Philosophy

    It is a two-year program that involves a curriculum that teaches fundamental concepts of philosophy to its students, such as the evolution of philosophy through the various philosophers through history along with courses on ethics, epistemology, and logic. The course involves benefits that are similar to a bachelor's course allowing candidates to develop skills like engagement in communication, critical and analytical thinking, and knowledge of philosophy influencing different aspects of human life and history. The completion of this course enables students to apply for jobs in different fields such as business, politics, and healthcare.

    Bachelor’s in Philosophy

    In this program, students are trained to acquire analytical, critical, and argumentative skills that would enable them to pursue jobs in various fields, which require an application of the philosophy and related topics. It is recommended that students gather enough information about the colleges that they wish to apply to. This is to assess whether the degrees offer courses of their choice.

    The duration of completing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy is about four years. It lasts longer for students who opt for a part-time program. It requires a student around 120 to 122 credits to complete their undergraduate degree. Those who double major or have added a concentration to their coursework will require more credits for graduating.

    Master’s in Philosophy

    A master’s degree in philosophy enables philosophy graduates to build upon the critical and analytical skills, and knowledge they acquired during their bachelor’s degree. It involves the study of philosophical theories of logic and the subfields of philosophy such as philosophy of the mind, philosophy of language, aesthetics, and political philosophy. However, students must have a clear idea of which aspect of philosophy they wish to pursue as graduate programs offer specializations due to work requirements.

    Doctorate in Philosophy

    Since philosophy is a vast field of study, candidates often do not complete their education at the master’s level. Getting a doctoral degree in the field is highly recommended for attaining most professions in this field. A doctoral degree in the field is mostly focused on preparing dissertations in topics like medical ethics, ideas relating to existentialism due to various thinkers associated with it, and religion & related aspects.

    To write a dissertation, one must prepare the following:

    Specializations Offered in Philosophy

    Candidates who take up this field of study will be able to specialize in different topics based on their interests. Not all universities offer all specializations and hence candidates have to specifically look for universities that can provide them with the program they need. A few of the popular specializations offered include-

    Top Schools for Philosophy

    The following are links to the different pages of the schools’ respective departments of philosophy. They provide information on the modules offered, the faculty teaching these modules, and the overall scope of the departments in philosophy. These schools are the top-ranking institutions in the US, according to different ranking assessments. Students will observe that the modules presented on each of the pages may vary according to the institution but the overall content of the scope of philosophy taught is similar. One must also keep in mind that the ranks of the colleges may vary as it is based on general aspects as well as specialization in the subjects offered.

    Careers for Graduates in Philosophy

    The following are some career options that are available for students who take up degrees in philosophy:

    Some Facts

    A few interesting facts regarding philosophy studies are-

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