Online B.A. in Philosophy
About the program
The University of New Orleans offers the only B.A. degree in Philosophy in the state
of Louisiana. In fact, we offer one of the only B.A. degrees in Philosophy from an
accredited, not for profit institution anywhere! Once admitted, it will be possible
to earn 100% of the Philosophy B.A. degree requirements through online/distance learning
courses. Hence, not only will online majors be able to complete 100% of their PHIL
courses online, they will be able to meet all of the 120 credit hours required for
the B.A. degree without ever having to take a course in a physical classroom! Taking
classes in the traditional manner is permitted, but there are restrictions on how
many on campus courses an online major may take. Nevertheless, this program is intended
for students who want to pursue a B.A. degree in Philosophy, but who -- due to work
commitments, family obligations, or geographical distance -- cannot take courses at
UNO in the traditional manner.
Although students requiring the full 120 credit hours needed to complete the degree
will not be prohibited from applying, this program is not intended for incoming freshman.
Instead, it is for undergraduate students who started college, took some Philosophy
courses, but never completed a B.A. degree. This program is also intended for post-baccalurate
students returning to college to earn an additional baccalaureate degree. And note: Besides our awards that apply to all Philosophy majors,
every post-baccularate major qualifies to receive the department's Norton Nelkin Scholarship ($2,000) to support their final semester of study leading to a B.A. in Philosophy.
Bear this in mind: All of our online PHIL courses are created by the department's
full-time faculty -- the very individuals who teach all the traditional PHIL courses.
Our online courses differ from our traditional ones, not in terms of their quality or having attenuated course requirements, but in terms
of how they are delivered. Hence, every graduate of this program will receive the
same B.A. in Philosophy as one of our traditional graduates.
Courses are delivered via Moodle + iTunes U
As described on the UNO Distance Learning webpage, UNO offers different kinds of distance
learning courses. Some are synchronous classes requiring students to login at a specific site at a specific time. Online
classes are asynchronous courses where students are not required to login at a specific time. Almost all of the distance learning courses
offered through this department are online classes. To be sure, assignments will need
to be submitted by specific times on specific days. But the asynchronous nature of
the lectures gives each online major maximum flexibility when it comes to managing
their time to complete course content.
Almost all online PHIL courses will be delivered via Moodle + iTunes U. Moodle is the course management software used at UNO to deliver course announcements, documents, assignments, guidelines, and all secure content,
especially exams and grades. Moodle is also used for securely submitting essays, exams, and participating in online forums. iTunes U is the free educational branch of the iTunes store. Basically, our lectures are audio
podcasts synced with slides of text, which students download for playback using their
iTunes app (right image). Students access these lectures by subscribing to the iTunes U version
of their course. Besides lectures, the Philosophy faculty use their iTunes U courses
to deliver lectures notes, as well as duplicating the delivery of syllabi, game plans,
readings (when possible), plus links to media, webpages, and so on. Through their
iTunes U courses, the Philosophy faculty are able to deliver all of their course material except anything for which they do not own the copyright
or needs to be graded. Because students using a computer can download all their lectures, lecture notes, etc. with a single click, and because all this content can be accessed
via the iTunes U app (left image) on any mobile device, our program gives each online major maximum flexibility
when it comes to accessing and completing course content. For the record, most of
our iTunes U courses are set up so that anyone, anywhere in the world, can subscribe
to them and thus access lectures and such. Only tuition paying students enrolled at
UNO have access to Moodle. Everything upon which one's grade is based goes through
Moodle. Hence, only UNO students can receive credit and a grade for completing one
of our iTunes U courses.
Beginning Fall 2013, online majors will be able to enroll in sections of online/distance
learning courses reserved just for them. Those section numbers are ***-***. And as
the number of online majors and programs increases, so too will the number of "seats"
and sections reserved just for online majors.
Online PHIL Courses
All Philosophy majors must complete at least 30 credit hours in PHIL courses, at least 15 of which must be 3000-level or higher, and each major must complete at least one
course from each of four core distribution areas of the Philosophy degree: (*1**)
logic, (*2**) value theory, (*3**) history of philosophy, and (*4**) metaphysics &
epistemology. Besides completing PHIL 3030, which is the capstone course taken one's
final semester, nothing else must be done to meet the Philosophy portion of the B.A. Degree Requirements. This gives our majors quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to which PHIL courses
The department will offer at least 9 credit hours in online PHIL courses each fall and spring, including a 1000-level
course, a 2000-level course, and a 3000+-level course. The following is the list of
online PHIL courses currently in rotation:
- PHIL 1000-476: Introduction to Philosophy (iTunes U)
- PHIL 1100-476: Introduction to Logic (iTunes U) Spring 2015
- PHIL 2201-476: Ethics (iTunes U)
- PHIL 2312-476: History of Modern Philosophy (iTunes U)
- PHIL 2450-476: Philosophy of Mind (iTunes U)
- PHIL 3030-001: Individual Senior Seminar (teleconference)
- PHIL 3095-466: Special Topics in Philosophy: Nietzsche (compressed video)
- PHIL 3095-476: Special Topics in Philosophy: Darwin and the Evolution of Thought (iTunes
- PHIL 3430-476: Philosophy of the Natural Sciences (iTunes U) Fall 2014
- PHIL 3480-476: Philosophy of Religion (iTunes U) Spring 2014
- PHIL 4027-476: Philosophy of Heidegger (iTunes U)
- PHIL 4205-476: Environmental Ethics (iTunes U)
A few additional courses will be added to this list in the near future. As new courses
are developed, they will be put in the rotation of our online offerings so that online
majors will have every opportunity to enroll in new courses every semester.
How to apply
Given the popularity of our iTunes U courses (all 4 currently available to the public
are in the Top 10 of all Philosophy courses offered through iTunes U), this very small
department must be cautious with our online degree program. If too many online majors
are admitted too quickly, it would overwhelm the department's ability to offer enough
sections to serve them. Increasing the size of the sections would equally overwhelm
any faculty member's ability to grade exams, essays, and participate in online discussions.
Moreover, as the department's Scholarships & Awards offer an attractive financial incentive for graduating with a B.A. in Philosophy
from UNO, and because completing an online B.A. program requires substantial commitment
and self-discipline, for several reasons, the department must adopt a competitive
procedure for admission to our online degree program.
To be admitted to the program, an applicant must meet the minimum requirements for
admission to UNO. Those requirements vary depending on whether the applicant will
be a first year freshman, transfer student, international student, returning student,
or post-baccaluarate student (see Admissions). Beyond what UNO requires for admission, the department is not requiring that students have a minimum number of credit hours, specific courses completed,
or a specific GPA. That may change. What is required are the following:
- Access to the Internet
- Compliance with UNO's Technology & Software Requirements for distance learning courses
- The discipline, dedication, and desire necessary to complete a degree online
Applying for this program is a two-step process.
First, complete the UNO Application online via Admissions. Once complete, student credentials are evaluated there, then forwarded to the Department
Second, submit a Statement of Purpose (400-500 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org by the application deadline. Include the following: Describe your academic background,
rationale for pursuing a Philosophy degree, rationale for pursuing an online degree
at UNO, plan for progress and completion of degree, and any other relevant experience. Attach
this essay as a .pdf or .docx document to your email. Name the file using the following convention: 'statement.lastname.extension'
The department's decision about your admission will be made only after all requested
application information has been received. We will notify you by June 15 whether you have been accepted to the program, placed on a waiting list for the program,
or denied entry to the program. Please notify us if, in the interim, you change your
mind about applying.
This is a quality program committed to excellence in education through a distance
learning environment that is enriched by diverse experiences, cultures, and perspectives.