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2021 Philosophy & Religious Studies Degree Guide

There are many different beliefs both spiritually and morally throughout the world. A degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies allows students to take a deeper look into these important aspects of culture while developing critical thinking and reasoning skills.

Classes in topics such as history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, world religions, literature, classics, and theology allows students to gain knowledge across multiple disciplines while improving critical thinking and writing skills. These classes will allow you to dig deeper into finding answers to philosophical questions and learning how religions developed and shaped the world.

There are a variety of disciplines within the Philosophy and Religious Studies field. Students are able to major in General Philosophy and Religion, or simply Philosophy. Students who are interested in religion or theology can choose to major in Religious Studies. Some universities provide additional opportunities to choose concentrations in various subjects, such as Ethics, Christianity, Judaism, and more.

Philosophy & Religious Studies Degrees Remain Stable

#29 Most Popular Major
16.3k Degrees Awarded
0.5% Increase in Graduates

Philosophy & Religious Studies was the 29th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 16,252 degrees in this year alone. This represents small change only 0.5% from the prior year's total of 16,163 philosophy and religious studies degrees awarded.

The United States has 1,011 different schools where you can get a degree in philosophy and religious studies. This year's Best Colleges for Philosophy & Religious Studies ranking compares 44 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom philosophy and religious studies rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Philosophy & Religious Studies

Graduates with a degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies pursue careers in a variety of fields, but many find themselves working the humanitarian fields, placing a strong emphasis on interpersonal skills. Students should be good communicators and enjoy working with other people. A background in history and a passion for different cultures, religions, and viewpoints will help make students successful.

Philosophy & Religious Studies Degree Program Entry Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most philosophy and religious studies degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. In addition to these basic philosophy and religious studies program qualifications, to serve in some philosophy and religious studies careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Philosophy & Religious Studies Degree Types

Philosophy & Religious Studies degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in philosophy and religious studies to something that takes less time like a associate's. Different philosophy and religious studies degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A doctor's degree (research / scholarship) is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to philosophy and religious studies, with approximately 46.1% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for philosophy and religious studies workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Doctoral Degree 47.4%
Master’s Degree 29.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 12.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.0%
First Professional Degree 1.5%

Most workers in philosophy and religious studies have at least a doctor's degree (research / scholarship). View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in philosophy and religious studies careers have.


This of course varies depending on which philosophy and religious studies career you choose.

Philosophy & Religious Studies Careers

Average Number of Jobs
$30.2k Average Starting Salary
10% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies opens up many career opportunities. Since you will take classes in a variety of disciplines and improve your critical thinking and communication skills, this degree can lead to job possibilities across many industries. Typically, graduates tend to go into humanitarian careers, but graduates also end up working as pastors, lawyers, teachers, politicians or counselors.

Solid Growth Projected for Philosophy & Religious Studies Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your philosophy and religious studies degree? Philosophy & Religious Studies careers are expected to grow 10.5% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to philosophy and religious studies.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Mathematical Science Professors 66,600 9.4%
Natural Sciences Managers 62,300 9.9%
Philosophy and Religion Professors 35,700 12.3%
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Professors 12,700 10.4%
Mathematicians 4,000 29.0%

How Much Money Do Philosophy & Religious Studies Grads Make?

Recently graduated philosophy and religious studies students earned an average of $30,177 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $19,600 to as high as $63,600. As you might expect, salaries for philosophy and religious studies graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Philosophy & Religious Studies Careers

Salaries for philosophy and religious studies graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers philosophy and religious studies grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Natural Sciences Managers $139,680
Mathematicians $104,870
Mathematical Science Professors $87,140
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Professors $85,450
Philosophy and Religion Professors $82,420

Getting Your Philosophy & Religious Studies Degree

With over 3,391 different philosophy and religious studies degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased philosophy and religious studies school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Philosophy & Religious Studies

Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Philosophy 9,834
Religious Studies 5,941
Other Philosophy & Religious Studies 311
General Philosophy & Religious Studies 166

View All Philosophy & Religious Studies Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities 547,539
Visual & Performing Arts 153,295
English Language & Literature 59,299
Foreign Languages & Linguistics 34,386
Theology & Religious Vocations 32,172

View All Philosophy & Religious Studies Related Majors >


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