undergraduate program

What Can you do with Philosophy?

Concern about the practical value of majoring in philosophy is often quite specific: What does one do after graduation with a philosophy major? Obviously there are other fields that lead more directly to specific careers, and if one is primarily interested in choosing a major that will give technical training for a career, one should probably not consider majoring in any of the humanities or social sciences. Many students who major in philosophy go on to graduate or professional schools, usually in law, medicine or business. Philosophy is an excellent field to major in for these professional schools. The emphasis on careful and rigorous analysis of arguments is particularly helpful for law (and the LSAT's). According to a recent study by the University's Office of Career Planning and Placement entitled "A Comparative Study by Major of Law School Admission Test Performance", the average LSAT score for a philosophy major at the University was nearly l5 points higher than the average score for any other major. While the significance of these results is, of course, open to question, it seems very likely that the kind of critical reasoning that is stressed in all philosophy courses is at least partially responsible for the superior performance of philosophy majors on this exam. It is also worth noting that according to a study recently completed by the American Medical Association philosophy majors had the third highest acceptance rate into American medical schools. Many philosophy majors go into business (investment banking being a popular field), teaching, and a number of other fields. Some continue their study of philosophy at the graduate level.

For More Information

If you have further questions about the desirability of a Philosophy Major, we suggest that you talk to the Undergraduate Advisor, to any member of the faculty, or to some of the current Philosophy Majors.