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Philosophy - BACHELOR'S (BA)

CIP CODE 38.0101.00


Philosophy majors study many of the most fundamental questions of our existence and how to think more effectively about them. Questions such as what science is, what the role of the state should be, whether God exists, and how to live an ethical life are just a small sample of the questions that could be explored in philosophy courses.


Through exploring the history of ideas and the structures of good argumentation philosophy majors develop the highest reading, writing, and critical thinking skills of any major. Students are required to take introduction to philosophy, logic, and a course on philosophical writing. Besides those courses, students have a wide variety of options so that they can study the areas of philosophy they find most fascinating.



  • Accountant
  • Banker
  • Business Professional
  • Consulting
  • Counselor
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Journalist
  • Labor Relations
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Marketing
  • Minister
  • Nonprofit Work
  • Professor
  • Public Policy
  • Public Relations Director
  • Publisher
  • Research
  • Retail Management
  • Self-Employed
  • Social Worker
  • Teacher



The general track major is ideal for double majors or students who want the greatest degree of control over which courses they study After taking intro, logic, and research methods students need to take six more philosophy classes (two at 3000+ level and two at 4000+ level). Students can choose any PHIL courses to fill those spots. The disadvantage of a general track major is that they do not get the benefits and experience of working on a senior thesis. If you are convinced that you do not want to do a senior thesis, this is the option for you.


The professional track is ideal for students considering graduate school, students who wish to ensure they have a broad understanding of different areas of philosophy, and students who wish to have the experience of completing a senior thesis. Also, students who are not sure which track they wish to pursue ought to think of themselves as professional track majors. It is easy for a professional track major to later decide to change their degree to general track. But a general track major may miss vital classes and be unable to later change to professional track. After taking intro, logic, and research methods students need to take ancient philosophy and renaissance and early modern philosophy, a course in the metaphysics and epistemology category, and a 2000 level or higher course in the ethics category. Besides those courses, students must complete three other upper-division courses of their choice and a senior thesis. The disadvantage of the professional track is that students have less choice than a general track major over which philosophy courses they take. The main advantage of the professional track major is the opportunity of doing their own research on a topic they choose while completing a senior thesis. To choose between pursuing a general track or a professional track major ask yourself if you want to do a senior thesis. If the answer is yes or maybe, pursue the professional track course line.


Ideally, philosophy majors enjoy their field of study and did not choose the major simply because they wanted to make lots of money. Surprisingly, however, deciding to be a philosophy major purely for economic reasons might not be a bad idea.

The skills developed in a philosophy degree are extremely valuable for career advancement. Data pulled from 2016-2017 from payscale.com show that philosophy majors have highest starting and lifetime earnings of any humanities major. Further, philosophy majors have the largest growth in income between early and mid-career salaries of any major. At mid-career, philosophy majors not only outperform all majors offered in the College of Liberal Arts, but also outperform many majors often thought of as being among the most economically advantageous majors. These include business, biology, chemistry, psychology, and public administration.

Common jobs for majors

Salary Increase By Major

The economic success of philosophy majors likely stems from the reading, writing, and communication skills philosophy majors develop. Consistently, philosophy majors have the highest performance of any major on the Analytical Writing and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GRE as well as the highest overall GRE score. Philosophy’s stress on formal logic, however, also causes majors to do extraordinarily well on the Quantitative Reasoning section. Not only do philosophy majors outperform all College of Liberal Arts major, but they even beat accounting majors in the math section of the GRE. This impressive performance makes philosophy majors well prepared to succeed whether they choose to pursue a career or choose further graduate study in a wide range of fields.

Best GRE Scores by Major

While the philosophy major’s skill set and GRE scores make them excellent candidates to a wide range of graduate programs, our society’s focus on law and medicine makes it significantly easier to gauge how well students with different undergraduate degrees perform. Most years, philosophy majors have the highest placement rate into law schools of any major Further, according to Paul Jung’s "Getting In: How Not to Apply to Medical School," philosophy majors have the highest placement rate of any major entering medical school. UTA’s program is exceptionally well-suited for students considering medical school or law school. First, we offer a minor in medical humanities and therefore have a heavy interest in teaching classes that would be of interest to students considering medical school. Further, philosophy majors have a large number of elective credits allowing them to pursue additional classes outside the department that would be useful for placement into either law schools or medical schools.

While the skill set a philosophy major develops will make them likely to succeed in whatever they choose to do next, very few philosophers would think that living a successful life merely consists in making lots of money. The reasoning skills and communication skills that a philosophy major develops have value well beyond their monetary value. Exploring the most fundamental questions of our existence is in and of itself rewarding. Learning the history of ideas and how they developed into the worldviews present today is essential for helping shape our own view of ourselves and our place in the world. Fortunately, the data shows that a philosophy major is more likely than most majors to receive a good return on their investment in a purely economic sense. Yet, the full value of a philosophy major extends well beyond those numbers.


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Charles Hermes 



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Philosophy - BACHELOR'S (BA)

Learn more about this program on the Department or College website.

Department of Philosophy and Humanities

College of Liberal Arts