Philosophy & Religious Studies

2023 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 Shrinking in Popularity

#28 Most Popular Major
20k Degrees Awarded
-1.0% Increase in Graduates

In 2020-2021, philosophy and religious studies was the 28th most popular major nationwide with 19,993 degrees awarded. This represents a 1.0% reduction in philosophy and religious studies degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 20,201.

Our 2023 Best Philosophy & Religious Studies Schools ranking analyzes 82 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for philosophy and religious studies students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of philosophy and religious studies programs later in this article.

Best Philosophy & Religious Studies Schools by Degree

Philosophy & Religious Studies Degree Requirements

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.

Getting Accepted Into a Philosophy & Religious Studies Program

philosophy and religious studies degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. 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.

Types of Philosophy & Religious Studies Degrees

Philosophy & Religious Studies degree levels vary. You can get anything from a in philosophy and religious studies to the highest philosophy and religious studies degree, a . The time it takes to complete a philosophy and religious studies degree varies depending on the program.

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 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%

52.8% of philosophy and religious studies workers have at least a doctorate. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in philosophy and religious studies careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the philosophy and religious studies career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Philosophy & Religious Studies Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$31.9k Average Starting Salary
11% 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%

Philosophy & Religious Studies Degree Salary Potential

Philosophy & Religious Studies graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $31,946 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $15,111 to as high as $97,034. As you might expect, salaries for philosophy and religious studies graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors

Salaries for philosophy and religious studies graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 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 3,501 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 10,054
Religious Studies 9,470
Other Philosophy & Religious Studies 285
General Philosophy & Religious Studies 184

View All Philosophy & Religious Studies Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities 556,813
Visual & Performing Arts 149,215
English Language & Literature 54,635
Foreign Languages & Linguistics 33,333
Theology & Religious Vocations 27,459

View All Philosophy & Religious Studies Related Majors >


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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