Why YOU should major in philosophy.


At a recent philosophy student gathering, we overheard one practical minded comment.  “Well, my parents asked me, what can you do with a philosophy degree other than teach and write?”  Well, we’re gald you asked.

Philosophy does indeed prepare you to teach and write.  But these are necessary skills in all areas of life, other than just in academia.  Articulate speech, critical and creative thinking are valued in almost any professional context.   “If I were to start again as an undergraduate, I would major in philosophy,” said Matthew Goldstein, the City University of New York chancellor, who majored in mathematics and statistics. “I think that subject is really at the core of just about everything we do. If you study humanities or political systems or sciences in general, philosophy is really the mother ship from which all of these disciplines grow.”  So for those of you, or your parents, or worried friends, who think there nothing practical about being a philosophy major – here at a host of resources to think otherwise.

Why YOU should major in philosophy (The New York Times)

Philosophy is the Most Practical Major (The Atlantic)

And actually, by mid-career,  philosophy majors make a higher medium salary than most majors, including those of business and nursing.



Philosophy majors have the highest acceptance rate into medical schools.


According to both a 1998 study and a follow-up study in 2009, philosophy majors scored the second highest on the lsat of all undergraduate majors.1

According to a five-year study (2004–2009) by the Graduate Management Admission Council (gmac), the average gmat score for philosophy majors was higher than that of any business major (management, finance, accounting, information systems, marketing, etc.). Outside of students who majored in the natural sciences or engineering, philosophy majors had either the first or second highest average score on the gmat for each year.2

According to an ets (Educational Testing Service) study of gre scores from 2005 to 2008, students intending to study philosophy in graduate school 

  • had the highest average verbal score compared to all other students.
  • had the highest average analytic writing score compared to all other students.
  • had a higher average quantitative score than all students intending to study humanities, education, life sciences, and social science (excepting economics) in graduate school.3

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