A Degree in Philosophy

Philosophy is one of the most versatile majors a student can choose. Because philosophy teaches individuals how to think, problem-solve, write, and communicate effectively, it provides skills that are useful in any field, including law, business, medicine, and technology.  

Philosophy majors have the highest average score of any major on the LSAT’s, the verbal section of GRE’s, and the analytical writing section of GRE’s. They have the highest acceptance rate of any major to medical school -- at almost 50%.


Transferable Skills

A philosophy degree offers:

  • Intellectual skills (critical thinking: analysis, synthesis, problem-solving)
  • Communication skills (writing and presenting ideas clearly, logically, and persuasively)
  • Organizational skills (time management, initiative, self-motivation, working independently)
  • Interpersonal skills (teamwork, leadership, flexibility/adaptability)
  • Research skills (identifying, absorbing, and sifting complex information)


Some Careers in Philosophy

CareerMedian SalaryMarket Growth
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators$58,020 9 – 13% 
Marketing Specialists$62,150 14% or higher 
Nonprofit/Community Services Management$63,530 9 – 13% 
Philosophy Teachers, Postsecondary (advanced degree)$66,380 9 – 13% 
Logisticians$74,260 2 – 4% 
Statisticians (advanced or professional degree)$80,110 14% or higher 
Management Analysts$81,320 14% or higher 
*Business Ethics Consultants (w/ professional degree)$81,320 – $157,700 5 – 8% 
Lawyers (professional degree)$157,700 5 – 8% 
Medicine$187,200 + 9 – 13% 

*Business ethics is a growing field not reported specifically on U.S. D.L.E.T.A. website. Salaries range between Management Analyst and Lawyer, according to various internet searches.

Source: O*NET Online, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration

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Graduate Study

This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:

  • Law
  • Business
  • Medicine
  • Many other advanced graduate programs

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Notable People With a Philosphy Major

  • Thomas Jefferson (U.S. President)
  • Pope John Paul II (Catholic Saint)
  • Stephen Breyer and David Souter (U.S. Supreme Court Justices)
  • Aung San Suu Kyi  and Albert Schweitzer (Nobel Peace Prize winners)
  • William Bennett (U.S. Secretary of Education)
  • Noam Chomsky (professor, activist, author, and public intellectual) 
  • William "Bro” Adams (chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and former president of Bucknell University and Colby College)
  • Rev. John I. Jenkins  (President, University of Notre Dame)
  • Carly Fiorina, Gerald Levin, Herbert Allison Jr., and Carl Icahn (former CEO’s of Hewlett-Packard, Time-Warner, Fannie Mae, & TWA)
  • George Soros (global investor and philanthropist)
  • Pearl S. Buck - Nobel & Pulitzer Prizes, T.S. Eliot - Nobel Prize, Boris Pasternak - Nobel Prize, Alexander Solzhenitsyn - Nobel Prize, Umberto Eco, Susan Sontag,  Ayn Rand (authors/poets)
  • Stephen Colbert, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Steve Martin, Susan Sarandon, Wes Anderson, Ethan Coen, Deepa Mehta (actors/entertainers/filmmakers)
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