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Philosophy Major

9,305 yearly degrees
#104 in popularity
$87,000 median salary

Philosophy is a major that typically falls into the Philosophy & Religious Studies category.

There are 91 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in philosophy, 847 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 177 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 108 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Philosophy Degree?

In 2017, roughly 7,600 philosophy majors graduated with a bachelor’s degree. This makes it #58 in popularity of all the majors we track. This major tends to be male dominated. About 64% of recent graduates are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of philosophy majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 7.1%
  • Black or African American: 5.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 14.3%
  • White: 59.8%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 5%
  • Other Races: 8.5%
Philosophy Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in philosophy. About 5% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending philosophy majors to the U.S. are China, Canada and South Korea.

What Will You Learn as a Philosophy Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to philosophy to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Philosophy Majors

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

Important Knowledge Areas for Philosophy Majors

Skills for Philosophy Majors

A major in philosophy prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

Important Skills for Philosophy Majors

Abilities for Philosophy Majors

Philosophy majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for philosophy Majors

What Can You Do With a Philosophy Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with philosophy:

Careers Related to Philosophy
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary




Mathematical Science Professors



Natural Sciences Managers



Philosophy and Religion Professors



Philosophy Major Salary

Philosophy majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $82,000 to $105,000. This range includes 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Philosophy Major  ( 82000 to 105000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Philosophy Major Jobs

Some careers associated with philosophy require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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 careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Philosophy
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Philosophy Programs

There are 847 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, with 16 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is a Philosophy Major Worth It?

The median salary for a philosophy grad is $87,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 124% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $964,800 after 20 years!

philosophy salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino via License

Featured Philosophy and Religious Studies Schools

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