Careers for Philosophy Majors
97% of recent Notre Dame Philosophy majors found full-time employment, enrolled in graduate school, entered service programs, joined the military, or launched independent projects within six months of graduation.
Anne Hamilton '03
In the News:
How Studying Philosophy Guides Alumna’s Work as a Hollywood Film Director
“Philosophy tests our intuitions about what the truth and good are, while the study of law trains you to argue both sides of a viewpoint,” Hamilton said. “I think great films do both of these things, and that’s what I’m looking for in what I direct — stories that challenge us to think differently about the world and ourselves.” Read More
Many of our philosophy majors go on to graduate school of one kind or another after graduation:
- Many philosophy majors go to law school. This is no surprise, since much of philosophy consists of learning how to formulate and evaluate arguments. Philosophy majors outperform virtually all other majors on the LSAT.
- A perhaps surprising number of philosophy majors go to medical school. While more recent data is hard to come by, a 1998 study indicates that Philosophy majors have a higher acceptance rate to medical school than science majors of any kind. A professor at the Harvard Medical School explains why this might be here.
- Philosophy majors also outperform business majors, and virtually all other majors, on the GMAT (which is the test taken for admission to MBA programs).
- And philosophy students also do extraordinarily well on the GRE (the general graduate school exam for students pursuing masters or doctoral degrees), outperforming all majors on the verbal and analytical writing section, and outperforming all humanities majors on the quantitative section.
- In the last few years, we have also placed students into some of the top Philosophy PhD programs in the world (Princeton, MIT, Oxford, North Carolina).
But not all of our majors go to graduate school; many go directly into employment of various kinds. Philosophy majors turn out to be much more successful in the business world than many think. (This, again, is not a surprise; the ability to think clearly and logically about difficult questions is as much an asset in the business world as it is in law.)
“Investing is a discipline where a thesis is created and gets continually tested for fallacies. My training in philosophy gave me an ability to analyze problems and structure arguments that I wouldn't have otherwise had. My training in philosophy has been as valuable as my background in finance."
-John Mirshekari '03, Portfolio Manager at Fidelity Investments
In the News:
Philosophy major Grace Watkins and Glynn Scholar Alexis Doyle named Rhodes Scholars
Juniors Caleb Pine and Christa Grace Watkins Named 2016 Truman Scholars
- A Forbes article on why philosophy majors are attractive in the tech industry.
- A Wall Street Journal article on average salary growth by major.
- An article on the link between philosophy and entrepreneurship.
- A report by Payscale.com on the earning power of Philosophy majors.
- See what philosophy majors are doing 6 months after graduation
- Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies
- Visit Career Services
- Arts and Letters students from every major succeed in business, graduate or professional school, or full-time service. Learn more about the career outcomes of all of our graduates.
Note: Outcomes data comes from First Destination reports, a survey of recent graduates conducted by the Notre Dame Career Center and Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research. Status is known for more than 90% of each graduating class.