Philosophy

Undergraduate Program

Philosophy

group of PSU Philosophy students studying

Philosophy Bachelor's Degree or Minor Overview

Discover your own love of wisdom and earn your bachelor's degree in Philosophy studying the nature of knowledge, reality and existence. The Department of Philosophy at Portland State University is dedicated to producing better students, better thinkers, and better members of our community through the exploration of questions about nature, mind, self, identity and society.

Our online bachelor’s degree in philosophy combines abstract theory with applied analysis. You’ll learn how to think critically, formulate rigorous arguments, apply logic, and use evidence in all kinds of contexts, including real-world debates involving morals, ethics, politics, and law. As a student of philosophy at Portland State, you will develop your reasoning and critical thinking skills through studying the field’s foundational texts and historical figures. You will also explore philosophy of language, mind, social/political philosophy, and various areas of applied ethics.

Portland State’s fully online philosophy program gives you the opportunity to develop rigorous habits of mind and critical thinking skills that have value in nearly every profession. Our graduates find that their philosophy degree is highly marketable in high-wage professions. Recent research by PayScale discovered that ten years after graduation, philosophy degree holders have higher average earnings than people with degrees in business, accounting, nursing, and many other disciplines.

Whether you’re a community college transfer, first-time freshman, or working adult, PSU’s online philosophy bachelor’s degree provides a top-notch education in a flexible, customizable format.

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
Online:
100% online
Flexible:
Combination of online and on campus
  • BA
    Bachelor of Arts
    Locations
    On campus
    Online
    Flexible
    Total Credits
    180
    Start Term
    Any
  • BS
    Bachelor of Science
    Locations
    On campus
    Online
    Flexible
    Total Credits
    180
    Start Term
    Any
  • m
    Minor
    Locations
    On campus
    Online
    Flexible
    Total Credits
    28
    Start Term
    Any

Philosophy Bachelor's Degree or Minor: Why PSU?

Portland State offers more than your run-of-the-mill philosophy department. We offer a modern perspective with an eye on challenging the status quo and engaging with real-world problems within our city.

The Department of Philosophy faculty are dedicated to undergraduate education and student success. Our faculty are focused entirely on the undergraduate curriculum. Students develop close relationships with faculty through courses, advising and research, and the honors seminar.

As a Philosophy major, not only can you develop the essential skills for development, thinking, and changing the world, you can join us in our goal of bringing your love of philosophy to the greater Portland community. Our students’ final Capstone projects focus on educating children about philosophy, as well as the exciting Oregon High School Ethics Bowl, a philosophy tournament for high school students.

Portland is a hub for writers, thinkers, artists, and people from all backgrounds who have a passion for engaging with the topics you will study as an undergraduate. Through organizations like the Socratic Society, our department can present you with discussions led by philosophers from around the world.

Philosophy at Portland State provides you with:

  • High-quality instructors. Most of our online philosophy courses are taught by our top professors. You’ll learn primarily from the same expert faculty who teach in our classrooms, not part-timers or adjuncts.
  • High-touch online instruction. Unlike most online programs, our online philosophy degree encourages direct interaction between students and faculty. Our user-friendly digital platform supports real-time, face-to-face communication, enabling you to form relationships with instructors and classmates. You’ll belong to a real community, while enjoying the flexibility and independence of online learning.
  • Personalized studies. Our online philosophy program includes a high degree of flexibility in course selection. You can focus your studies in the areas that best fit your personal interests and postgraduate objectives.


The courses you will have access to as a philosophy major range from the foundational to the contemporary and include:

  • Ancient philosophy
  • Early Modern philosophy
  • Elementary ethics
  • Formal logic
  • Science and pseudoscience
  • Business ethics
  • Environmental ethics
  • Philosophy of medicine
  • Philosophy of law
  • International human rights
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Philosophy of language
  • Biomedical ethics

What can I do with a bachelor's degree or minor in Philosophy?

Our online philosophy program produces independent thinkers who stand out in the job market. By the time you graduate, you will excel at writing, research, critical analysis, creative problem-solving, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and more. These adaptable skills have tremendous value in rapidly growing job sectors such as business, technology, education, public affairs, health care, and law. Many graduates also go on to earn their Master’s and Doctoral degrees in top national and international programs.

You’ll find some of our graduates at the following businesses and universities:

  • Kaiser Permanente
  • OHSU
  • Intel
  • Law
  • Education
  • Politics
  • Policy
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • UCONN
  • Lewis and Clark Law
  • Willamette Law

Featured Courses

  • PHL 201 Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHL 301 Ancient Philosophy
  • PHL 303 Early Modern Philosophy
  • PHL 432 Philosophy of Mind
  • PHL 424 Epistemology
  • PHL 445 Advanced Ethics
  • PHL 316 Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
  • PHL 419 Kant
  • PHL 451 Classical Figures: Nietzsche
  • PHL 451 Classical Figures: Hume

Electives

  • PHL 307 Science & Society
  • PHL 310 Environmental Ethics
  • PHL 312 Feminist Philosophy
  • PHL 319 Introduction to Asian Philosophy
  • PHL 331 Philosophy of Education
  • PHL 333 Philosophy of Law
  • PHL 355 Morality and Healthcare
  • PHL 367 Philosophy of Sport
  • PHL 369 Philosophy of Sex & Love

Accreditation

Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).