Information about the Philosophy Major

Definition of Philosophy

Philosophy is the art and skill of analyzing and evaluating both theoretical and practical claims and arguments. This makes it an excellent preparation for most fields of study where debate and dialogue, 'what-if', multiple-perspective thinking, design, human care or concern, and the application of new ideas need to be thought through carefully and comprehensively.

Compatibility of Christianity and Philosophy

According to I Pet 3:15b, not only are we permitted to have a philosophical mindset; we are commanded by God to do so. "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. ..."

Two of the biggest, most well-attended societies within philosophy today are the Society of Christian Philosophers and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Many people find that philosophy helps them to understand and express their religious faith clearly.

Getting a Job 

Philosophy trains you to think and write clearly and solve problems in unique and compelling ways. A significant proportion of the national and global workforce is made up of positions that demand quality people who can write thoughtful, grammatically-pristine texts and clearly describe work in their area of the organization to others. Any training you need is gotten on the job. According to an in-depth study published in April 2014, philosophy majors had a decent average starting wage of $39,700, which nearly doubles by mid-career (with an average of $78,300), very respectable among competing majors and among the highest mid-career incomes for non-science majors.

Career Trends for Philosophy Majors 

  • 52% go on to graduate and professional education (law, medicine, academia)
  • 36% take jobs closely related to philosophy
  • 64% take jobs indirectly or unrelated to professional philosophy, including careers such as insurance, stock trading, real estate, sales and business service
  • 30% work in the private, for-profit business realm in executive, administrative, and managerial positions
  • 5% work in communications, including writers, editors, public relations specialists, and broadcasters 

Philosophy Prepares You for Graduate School

Philosophy is an excellent undergraduate program (or double major) to prepare you for graduate school. See placement of graduates

  • Philosophy majors score #1 in the Verbal part of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), even better than English majors. 
  • Philosophy majors also score #1 in the Analytical Writing portion of the GRE (on a scale of 0 to 6, Philosophy majors score 4.4; English majors are #2 with a 4.2 average). 
  • Philosophy majors tie with economics majors for #2 highest score on the LSAT, the law school entrance exam. (Physics and Math majors tie for #1; note that Criminal Justice majors score #29.) 
  • Philosophy majors score in the 570-580 range on average on the GMAT, the exam for getting into business school, higher than any other major except math, physics and engineering.

Sources

For sources, see these links: