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Philosophy & Religious Studies Major

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Philosophy & Religious Studies

$87,140 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many philosophy and religious studies graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 14,549
Master’s Degree 2,198
Associate Degree 1,625
Doctor’s Degree 710
Undergraduate Certificate 444
Graduate Certificate 433
Basic Certificate 242

What Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, philosophy and religious studies majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors

philosophy and religious studies majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors

As a philosophy and religious studies major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Philosophy & Religious Studies Major?

People with a philosophy and religious studies degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Professors 10.4% $74,440
Mathematical Science Professors 9.4% $73,230
Mathematicians 29.0% $101,900
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860
Philosophy and Religion Professors 12.3% $71,890

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy & Religious Studies?

14,549 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
36% Percent Women
25% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 64% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of philosophy and religious studies majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 718
Black or African American 784
Hispanic or Latino 1,540
White 9,704
International Students 613
Other Races/Ethnicities 1,190

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Philosophy & Religious Studies. About 4.2% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Philosophy & Religious Studies Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies was $26,200 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $23,800 (25th percentile) and $30,400 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to philosophy and religious studies.

Salaries According to BLS

Philosophy and Religious Studies majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $85,450 to $104,870 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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 Philosophy & Religious Studies Major  ( 85450 to 104870 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with philosophy and religious studies may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for philosophy and religious studies careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 0.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 12.2%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.4%
Master’s Degree 29.8%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.9%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.5%
Doctoral Degree 47.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.0%

Online Philosophy & Religious Studies Programs

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 1,294 schools offered some type of philosophy and religious studies program. 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 35 6
Certificate (2-4 Years) 5 1
Associate’s Degree 184 20
Bachelor’s Degree 65 13
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 399 35
Post-Master’s 17 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 187 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 2 0

Is a Degree in Philosophy & Religious Studies Worth It?

The median salary for a philosophy and religious studies grad is $87,140 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 118% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $944,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to philosophy and religious studies.

Major Number of Grads
Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities 559,661
Visual & Performing Arts 155,377
English Language & Literature 56,860
Foreign Languages & Linguistics 34,268
Theology & Religious Vocations 26,872

References

*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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