Why Major in Philosophy?

The ThinkerOf course, this question presupposes that you know what Philosophy is. If you don't, which is not unreasonable giving that almost no student studies Philosophy in high school, first visit our "What is Philosophy?" page. If you do, then you know that studying Philosophy requires using a range of critical thinking skills that include asking relevant and interesting questions, recognizing and evaluating arguments correctly, and defending one's own claims, both orally and through analytical writing. Studying Philosophy also requires entertaining criticism from people who do not share your assumptions, as well as presenting opposing views sympathetically. As it turns out, the knowledge, skills, and attitudes one acquires being a Philosophy major translate into professional success in a wide range of fields. So, what can you do with B.A. in Philosophy? Anything! This is one reason why you should major in Philosophy. To explore this more, check out our "Famous Philosophy Majors" page.

Another reason is this: Being a Philosophy major at UNO pays. Literally! Through a generous gift to the department of nearly $2,000,000 by Mr. Carl E. Muckley, an alumnus of this program, the department will pay each major who graduates $2,000! To explore this and other financial benefits to being a Philosophy major, visit our "Scholarships & Awards" page.

Finally, another reason for majoring in Philosophy concerns the success Philosophy majors have in pursuing educational goals beyond a B.A.

Statue SocratesIf your educational goal is an M.A., M.B.A., J.D., M.D., or Ph.D., then majoring in Philosophy will help you get admitted.

The Department of Philosophy has a high success rate in placing its graduates in law schools, along with other types of graduate programs across the country. Our department is hardly unique is being able to say this. That a Philosophy major is more likely to get into graduate school than most other majors has nothing to do with taking any specific courses, and everything to do with the skills one masters being a Philosophy major translate into academic success.

  • If you are interested in going to graduate school, Philosophy majors score higher on the verbal and analytic portions of the GRE than majors from any field.
  • If you are interested in going to law school, Philosophy majors score higher on the LSAT than majors from any field in the humanities or natural sciences. And with the exception of mathematics and economics, Philosophy majors score higher on the LSAT than any major in the social sciences, including political science (10% higher).
  • If you are interested in entering an MBA program, Philosophy majors score higher on the GMAT than business majors (15% higher). The only undergraduates who score higher are mathematics majors.
  • If you are interested in attending medical school, Philosophy is one of the top majors with the highest acceptance into medical school.