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Online B.A. in Philosophy

Is this program right for you?

The University of New Orleans offers one of the only online B.A. degrees in Philosophy in the country. And all of our online PHIL courses are created by the department's full-time faculty -- the very individuals who teach the face-to-face PHIL courses on campus. 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. Ultimately, UNO aims to offer a sufficient number of online courses from each college such that an incoming freshman can complete 100% of his or her B.A. requirements online from UNO ... and to do so within 4 years. Currently, this program is for anyone who desires to major in Philosophy and who has already completed some or most of their non-liberal arts degree requirements. Hence, for now, this is a program for someone who needs only a year or two of full-time study to finish earning a B.A. degree. And as it is possible to complete ALL our Philosophy degree requirements online, this is also a program for any post-baccalaureate student who desires to earn an additional degree. And note: In addition to the $3,000 we award to every Philosophy major, every post-baccalaureate major qualifies to receive the department's Norton Nelkin Scholarship ($1,000) to support their final semester of study leading to a B.A. in Philosophy.

Courses are delivered via Moodle + iTunes U

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 student maximum flexibility when it comes to managing their time to complete course content. 

iTunes U app

Our online PHIL courses are 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 assignments, essays, and exams for grading, as well as for participating in online forums. iTunes U is the free educational branch of the iTunes store through which the Philosophy faculty deliver their lectures and such. Our lectures are audio podcasts synced with slides of text. Our faculty upload these lectures into iTunes U courses they create that are accessible to the world for free. Students then subscribe to these iTunes U courses using either the iTunes U app (left image) on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod; or the iTunes application (right image) on their Mac or PC computer. Besides delivering their lectures, our faculty use their iTunes U courses to deliver lectures notes, as well as duplicating the Moodle delivery of syllabi, game plans, readings (when possible), plus links to media, webpages, and so on. Thus, 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. Using iTunes on a computer, students can watch lectures like a movie -- the slides will change with the narration automatically. But when using iTunes on a computer, course material will not be listed in the order in which it needs to be completed. This is NOT case for students accessing course material via the iTunes U app for iOS devices. Through "Posts" organized in order around the course outline, the iTunes U app makes completing course material possible wherever you are and whatever you are doing ... driving, walking, waiting, whatever.  This gives each of our online students maximum flexibility when it comes to accessing and completing course content.

Top 10 iTunes U CoursesAlthough anyone in the world can subscribe to our iTunes U courses, only tuition paying students enrolled at UNO have access to Moodle. Everything upon which a student's grade is based goes through Moodle. Hence, only UNO students can receive college credit and earn a grade for completing one of our iTunes U courses.

Our iTunes U courses are very popular. Since launching our first courses in Summer 2013, we have had numerous courses in the Top 10. The image here was taken 05/19/16. Note that #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, and #9 are from this department. Since launching our online program, we have never not had multiple courses on that list.


Online PHIL Courses

All Philosophy majors must complete at least 33 credit hours in PHIL courses, at least 15 of which must be 3000-level or higher, and each major must complete the following core courses:

  1. PHIL 1101: Introduction to Logic
  2. PHIL 2201: Ethics
  3. PHIL 2311: History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
  4. PHIL 2312: History of Modern Philosophy
  5. PHIL *4**:   (any course whose second number is '4' is in the core area of 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 they take.

The department will offer at least 9 credit hours in online PHIL courses each fall and spring, including both lower-level and upper-level courses. The following is the list of online PHIL courses currently in rotation:

  1. PHIL 1000: Introduction to Philosophy (iTunes U)
  2. PHIL 1101: Introduction to Logic (iTunes U) 
  3. PHIL 2096: Independent Work (online or video conference)
  4. PHIL 2201: Ethics (iTunes U)
  5. PHIL 2207: Philosophy of Law (iTunes U)
  6. PHIL 2311: History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (iTunes U) 
  7. PHIL 2312: History of Modern Philosophy (iTunes U)
  8. PHIL 2450: Philosophy of Mind (iTunes U)
  9. PHIL 3030: Individual Senior Seminar (video conference)
  10. PHIL 3094: Directed Readings (online or video conference)
  11. PHIL 3232: Medical Ethics (iTunes U)
  12. PHIL 3301: The Philosophy of Plato (iTunes U)
  13. PHIL 3333: The Philosophy of Kant (iTunes U) 
  14. PHIL 3334: German Idealism and the 19th Century (iTunes U)
  15. PHIL 3350: Darwin and the Evolution of Thought (iTunes U)
  16. PHIL 3400: Metaphysics (iTunes U)
  17. PHIL 3480: Philosophy of Religion (iTunes U)
  18. PHIL 3511: Existentialism (iTunes U)
  19. PHIL 4027: The Philosophy of Heidegger (iTunes U)
  20. PHIL 4205: Environmental Ethics (iTunes U)
  21. PHIL 4430: Philosophy of the Natural Sciences (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.

Online majors are able to enroll in sections of online/distance learning courses reserved just for them. Those section numbers are 585-589. And as the number of online majors and programs increases, so too will the number of "seats" and sections reserved just for online majors.

How to apply

Given that our department is small, that our Scholarships & Awards offer an attractive financial incentive for graduating with a B.A. in Philosophy from UNO, and that 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.

Admission requirements

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:

  1. Access to the Internet
  2. Compliance with UNO's Technology & Software Requirements for distance learning courses
  3. The discipline, dedication, and desire necessary to complete a degree online

Application process

Applying for this program is a two-step process.

Application Deadline

     Fall 2016:  08/14/2016
Spring 2017:  01/12/2017

First, complete the UNO Application online via Admissions. Once complete, student credentials are evaluated there, then forwarded to the Department of Philosophy.

Second, submit a Statement of Purpose (400-500 words) to 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' (e.g., statement.smith.pdf).

The department's decision about your admission will be made only after all requested application information has been received. We will notify you 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.