Did you know I was a Philosophy major?

Angela Davis

Angela Davis
(Social Activist and
Political Philosopher

Ethan Coen
(Writer / Filmmaker)

Pope John Paul 2

Pope John Paul II
(Catholic Saint)
 Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn
(Wall Street Billionaire)
 Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag
(Writer / Activist)

The study of philosophy provides excellent preparation for a broad range of careers that require critical intelligence as well as oral and written communication skills. In addition to careers in business, students with a background in philosophy pursue careers in law, education, government, and work connected with social concerns. The undergraduate program is also structured to prepare students for graduate study.

Many research studies and articles in the national press have touted the value of a philosophy major for career success, preparation for graduate and law school, and personal development. Here are a few examples:

American Philosophical Association’s Guide to Undergraduate Study in Philosophy


Statistical Data showing the success of Philosophy Majors on the GRE and LSAT:


(Mirrored with gratitude from UO Philosophy)


Some Practical Information for Prospective Philosophy Majors

Socrates famously claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living. The credo of philosophy in general could well be that everything is worth examining, and philosophers examine all manner of esoteric things: truth, justice, beauty, knowledge, antinomies, possible worlds, various kinds of concreta and abstracta (as well as the distinction between such), and on and on. This leads many people mistakenly to think that a BA in philosophy has no practical value, where ‘practical value’ is understood to mean something like usefulness in finding and keeping a “real" job. Nothing could be further from the truth. In what follows you will find some data and sources of information that give the lie to the myth of philosophy's practical uselessness.

It's well known that a BA in philosophy provides excellent preparation for study in a philosophy graduate program as well as in law school. The superior performance of intended philosophy graduate students on the GRE and philosophy majors on the LSAT are evidence of this.

GRE Scores

Philosophy GRE Verbal Scores
Philosophy GRE Quantitative Scores
Philosophy GRE Writing Scores

LSAT Scores

Philosophy LSAT Scores

GMAT Scores

Philosophy GMAT Scores

Less well known is that a BA in philosophy also provides excellent preparation for employment in a variety of business settings. In a nutshell, the chief skills developed in a rigorous philosophy curriculum are the ability to communicate clearly and effectively, especially (but not exclusively) in writing, along with the ability to critically analyze and creatively solve complex problems. These skills are being increasingly recognized and valued by business.

On this, see:

Some have even recently seriously entertained the idea that philosophy is the most practical undergraduate major:

Finally, mid-career median earnings of persons with just a BA in philosophy ($84,000) compare very favorably to similar earnings of persons with just a BA in another humanities discipline or a social science. Among humanities and social sciences, philosophy is in the top 10 for both starting and mid-career median earnings.

(mirrored with gratitude from LSU)