Best Research Universities for Philosophy Degrees

Best Research Universities for Philosophy Degrees

The best philosophy research universities are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best philosophy degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding philosophy faculty.

A bachelor’s degree in philosophy is an excellent starting point for a career in public service, corporate governance, education, and a host of other intellectually stimulating fields. As a philosophy major, you’ll study ethics, epistemology, and rhetorical debate. Your philosophy degree will incorporate classic works by great thinkers alongside a critical analysis of relevant literature, history, and social order. The best schools for philosophy are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of philosophy concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Frequently Asked Questions About Philosophy Bachelor’s Degrees

Earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy can open numerous professionals doors. As a philosophy major, you’ll spend a great deal of your time poring over compelling historical texts, exploring complex ideas, and engaging discourse over subjects like ethics, religion, and politics. This education will provide you with valuable skills of debate, communication, and persuasion. Moreover, areas of consideration such as morality, behavior, and the human condition have historically factored into the way we understand entities such as national governments, religious organizations, and communities. Philosophy majors must build a strong background in these dimensions of human life in order to contextualize much of the literature they’ll be required to read. As such, philosophy majors are uniquely positioned to understand history, participate in the political process, analyze policy impacts, and even to serve in public office.

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Philosophy is a great major because it is interdisciplinary in nature. This means you’ll gain various practical skills. The skills of communication, research, and critical analysis that you’ll develop as a philosophy major are highly transferable to a wide range of workplace settings. Increasingly, progressive companies in the tech, marketing, and retail industries have recruited professionals with a background in philosophy to help attack challenges and seize opportunities with creativity, critical thinking, and a strong grounding in ethics.

This makes the work of today’s leading thinkers extremely consequential. Today, top influencers in philosophy are breaking new ground in feminist theory, the philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and much more.

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Once you’ve declared your major in philosophy, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of humanities-related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized philosophy electives, there are several common courses that most philosophy majors will be required to take, including:

  • Social and Political Philosophy
  • Critical Thinking
  • Philosophy and Globalization
  • Topics in Feminist Ethics
  • Philosophy and Literature
  • General Ethics
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Philosophy of Knowledge
  • Environmental Philosophy

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Philosophy is not an inherently career-oriented major, insofar as this degree may not necessarily lead you down a specific career path. Instead, majoring in philosophy will arm you with an array of 21st Century workplace skills that are applicable in a wide range of fields from education, marketing and government to healthcare, information security, and corporate ethics. This means that your philosophy major can lead to a wide range of career opportunities, including these top jobs:

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Best Research Universities for Philosophy Degree Programs

If you think a liberal arts college may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best liberal arts colleges for a bachelor’s in philosophy.

Best Research Universities for Philosophy Degrees

  1. #1

    Harvard University

    Cambridge , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    Harvard University Philosophy Major:

    • AB in Philosophy
    Source
  2. #2

    Yale University

    New Haven , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

  3. #3

    Princeton University

    Princeton , NJ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    Princeton University Philosophy Major:

    • AB in Philosophy
    Source
  4. #4

    Columbia University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $64K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    Columbia University Philosophy Majors:

    • Philosophy
    • Philosophy & Economics
    Source
  5. #5

    University of Chicago

    Chicago , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1535/34

    University of Chicago Philosophy Majors:

    • BA in Philosophy
    • Philosophy and Allied Fields
    Source
  6. #6

    Stanford University

    Stanford , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/33

    Stanford University Philosophy Majors:

    • BA in Philosophy
    • BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies
    Source
  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    43K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/33

    UC Berkeley Philosophy Major:

    • BA in Philosophy
    Source
  8. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1540/35

    MIT Philosophy Majors:

    • Philosophy
    • Linguistics & Philosophy
    Source
  9. #9

    Cornell University

    Ithaca , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

  10. #10

    Duke University

    Durham , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1525/34

    Duke University Philosophy Major:

    • BA in Philosophy
    Source
  11. #11

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    26%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    University of Michigan Philosophy Major:

    • Philosophy
    Source
  12. #12

    New York University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    49K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1440/32

  13. #14

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    University of Pennsylvania Philosophy Major:

    • Philosophy
    Source
  14. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is University of California, Los Angeles known for?

    University of California, Los Angeles’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    UCLA Philosophy Major:

    • BA in Philosophy
    • BA in Linguistics and Philosophy
    Source
  15. #16

    Brown University

    Providence , RI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

  16. #17

    Northwestern University

    Evanston , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1495/34

    Northwestern University Philosophy Major:

    • Philosophy
    Source
  17. #18

    Georgetown University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    Georgetown University Philosophy Major Concentrations:

    • Bioethics
    Source
  18. #19

    Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore , MD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    JHU Philosophy Major:

    • BA in Philosophy
    Source
  19. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

  20. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    USC Philosophy Majors:

    • BA in Philosophy
    • BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
    • BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Law
    • BA in Philosophy and Physics
    • BA in Linguistics and Philosophy
    Source
  21. #22

    University of Virginia

    Charlottesville , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    23%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    University of Virginia Philosophy Majors:

    • Philosophy
    • Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law
    Source
  22. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1405/30

    What is University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill known for?

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    UNC Philosophy Major:

    • BA in Philosophy
    Source
  23. #24

    Dartmouth College

    Hanover , NH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1500/33

Go to all Research Universities for Philosophy programs

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