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2020 Philosophy Degree Guide

Philosophy Degrees Growing in Popularity

#105 Most Popular Major
9.4k Degrees Awarded
1.8% Increase in Graduates

Philosophy was the 105th most popular major in the 2017-2018 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 9,397 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 173 over the prior year, a growth of 1.8%.

The United States has 731 different schools where you can get a degree in philosophy. This year's Best Colleges for Philosophy ranking compares 229 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom philosophy rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Philosophy

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents has been highlighted as one of the most essential skills for careers related to philosophy. Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems and talking to others to convey information effectively are all required skills for careers related to this major.

Prior Education for a Philosophy Program

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

Philosophy Degree Types

There are many different philosophy degrees levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in philosophy to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. Different philosophy 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, with approximately 42.5% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for philosophy workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Doctoral Degree 42.6%
Master’s Degree 29.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 16.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 8.0%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 1.8%

Most workers in philosophy have at least a doctor's degree (professional practice). See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in philosophy have received.


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

Career Opportunities for Philosophy Majors

Average Number of Jobs
$29.1k Average Starting Salary
11% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

There are a variety of careers available to students who have a degree in Philosophy. These careers include law, copy writing, finance, religious leadership, marketing and sales, public relations, and work in the government. This degree gives you the skills to think logically and analyze situations making you an asset to many companies in a variety of industries. The job outlook for Philosophy graduates varies on the career they choose to go into. Some jobs may require additional training or certification.

Solid Growth Projected for Philosophy Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your philosophy degree? Philosophy careers are expected to grow 10.6% between 2016 and 2026.

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

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%
Mathematicians 4,000 29.0%

How Much Money Do People With a Philosophy Degree Make?

Recently graduated philosophy students earned an average of $29,067 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 graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Philosophy Careers

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

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

Getting Your Philosophy Degree

With over 1,751 different philosophy 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 school rankings to help you with this.

One of 3 majors within the Philosophy & Religious Studies area of study, Philosophy has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Philosophy

Related Major Annual Graduates
Religious Studies 6,262
Other Philosophy & Religious Studies 285
General Philosophy & Religious Studies 219

View All Philosophy Related Majors >


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