Posted in MOOCs

Philosophy & Ethics Courses

This post was inspired by our member Sandra, who sent me one *heck* of an amazing list of free philosophy and ethics courses!  So, naturally, I went to work finding ways to turn this list into something we all want:  college credit!  Thanks, Sandra!

This list falls into the category on my 30 ways to earn college credit list as a MOOC.  A MOOC is a source of free learning – books, classes, audio lessons, videos, etc.  To understand the principle of a MOOC, think of it like a giant library.  The content is there, and what you choose to do with it is up to you.  Some MOOCs are great, some are good, and some are bad – but all are free and available for you to consider for your homeschool.

Most colleges require at least 1 course in philosophy or ethics 

College Credit in Philosophy & Ethics

If your teen has access to dual enrollment, that’s one sure-fire way of earning high school and college credit in philosophy or ethics.  For those that want a credit by exam option (study on your own, then take 1 test) this is harder subject to find than most.  Unlike most college subjects, you can’t test out of philosophy or ethics using CLEP and AP, but there are other options!  The following break-down allows you to study independently (using the list of free resources at the bottom), and then take the correct test for college credit.

  • Saylor Academy has 2 exams:
    • Introduction to Western Political Thought (3 lower level credits)
    • Moral and Political Philosophy (3 lower level credits).
    • Note:  Saylor Academy provides course content, but you are not required to complete it prior to attempting an exam.  Each exam is free if taken through local proctor, $25 if taken online.
  • UExcel offers 3 exams:
    • Bioethics: Philosophical Issues (3 upper-level credits)
    • Business Ethics (3 upper-level credits)
    • Ethics: Theory & Practice (3 upper-level credits)
  • DSST offers 2 exams:
    • Ethics in America (3 lower level credits)
    • Business Ethics and Society (3 lower level credits)

High School Credit in Philosophy and Ethics

Generally, the parent determines the composition and length of any homeschool course, so if you’d like to build a simple elective for a half-credit or a full robust intensive course for a full-credit, the choice is yours.  If you follow the model used by rigorous high school Advanced Placement courses, your student would study the content fully over the course of the school year (roughly 120 hours of learning) and would conclude the semester with a college-credit eligible exam.  That model works well with any of the exams given above.


Free Philosophy and Ethics Courses

(source:  Open Culture)