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Liberal Arts & Humanities Major

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Liberal Arts & Humanities

$76,990 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Liberal Arts & Humanities Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many liberal arts / sciences and humanities graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 411,234
Undergraduate Certificate 78,686
Bachelor’s Degree 45,514
Basic Certificate 9,669
Master’s Degree 2,109
Graduate Certificate 218
Doctor’s Degree 109

What Can You Do With a Liberal Arts & Humanities Major?

People with a liberal arts / sciences and humanities degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Professors 9.4% $65,660

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts & Humanities?

45,514 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
64% Percent Women
37% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 64% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of liberal arts / sciences and humanities majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1,650
Black or African American 6,298
Hispanic or Latino 6,962
White 25,462
International Students 1,083
Other Races/Ethnicities 4,059

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities. About 2.4% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Liberal Arts & Humanities Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts / sciences and humanities have a median salary of $30,200 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,400 (25th percentile) and $33,900 (75th percentile).


One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to liberal arts / sciences and humanities.

Salaries According to BLS

Liberal Arts / Sciences and Humanities majors often go into careers with median salaries of $76,990. This median refers to all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Liberal Arts & Humanities Major  76,990
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )

Online Liberal Arts & Humanities Programs

In 2018-2019, 2,239 schools offered a liberal arts / sciences and humanities program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 192 37
Certificate (1-2 years) 314 81
Certificate (2-4 Years) 10 3
Associate’s Degree 2,224 806
Bachelor’s Degree 50 7
Post-Baccalaureate 192 37
Master’s Degree 245 42
Post-Master’s 20 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 30 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Liberal Arts & Humanities Worth It?

The median salary for a liberal arts / sciences and humanities grad is $76,990 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 93% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $741,800 after 20 years!


You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to liberal arts / sciences and humanities.

Major Number of Grads
Visual & Performing Arts 153,295
English Language & Literature 59,299
Foreign Languages & Linguistics 34,386
Theology & Religious Vocations 32,172
Philosophy & Religious Studies 16,252


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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