5 Most Popular Colleges for Philosophy Majors

Learn some useful philosophy skills at colleges where it's a major focus.

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News outlet The Daily Beast lists philosophy as one of the "most useless majors." But philosophers in departments across the country would strongly disagree. Studying philosophy gives students training in critical thinking, finding and articulating arguments and rational counter-arguments, understanding arguments for alternative views, and valuable speaking and writing skills. This kind of training is excellent preparation for law school, business school, seminary, and other career paths.

Some schools find that philosophy is a more popular option with their students than at other schools. Many of these schools have a religious base.

5. Colorado College: $41,332 each year

Colorado College runs on an innovative Block Plan, which has students take just one course a time and professors devote their attention to just one course at a time. They emphasize hands on learning, boast about their non-traditional methods, and are located in a gorgeous part of Colorado.

  • Location: Colorado Springs, CO
  • Enrollment: 2,040
  • Programs: Combined major in history and philosophy
  • Why this program? Their program focuses on a wide range of philosophies including Western, African, Asian, and Latin American. The Philosophy Colloquium series offers lectures and seminars by knowledgeable visiting scholars.

4. Thomas More College of Liberal Arts: $17,600 each year

Thomas More College offers one degree, a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts, but they have various emphases, including philosophy. The school offers a unique experience for their students and maybe just right for students looking for something less traditional.

  • Location: Merrimack, NH
  • Enrollment: 82
  • Why this program? This highly individualized program includes a semester in Rome (for every student) and an optional Oxford program. Because it's such a small program, students get a lot of attention from professors and meaningful relationships with other students.

3. The College of Wooster: $39,810 each year

Wooster boasts that it is "America's premier college for mentored undergraduate research." Some students begin to work with faculty on their research in their first year. Faculty members are expected to spend a significant amount of quality time with students on individual projects, something that most college students don't receive.

  • Location: Wooster, OH
  • Enrollment: 2,000
  • Programs: Offers a minor in philosophy in addition to the major
  • Why this program? Wooster requires each student to fulfill a senior thesis obligation. Past theses have covered topics like foreign aid, health care, and artificial intelligence. Wooster also has programs specifically for the study of ethics and is willing to facilitate study abroad in dozens of places.

2. Wheaton College: $30,120 each year

Wheaton is a Christian, residential liberal arts college with a high academic rigor.

  • Location: Wheaton, IL
  • Enrollment: 2,500 undergraduates
  • Programs: Human Needs and Global Resources
  • Why this program? Wheaton has two major centers, the Center for Applied Christian Ethics and the Society of Continental Philosophy and Theology, that gives students access to more information and discussion about philosophy than they would receive in class.

At a school where many of the students are focusing on philosophy, you'll find that you'll learn not only from well-trained faculty but also from other students.

1. Dartmouth College: $41,736 each year

Located in a beautiful (often snow covered) area of New Hampshire, Dartmouth is an Ivy League institution that seeks to provide a comprehensive education to each of its students.

  • Location: Hanover, NH
  • Enrollment: 4,200 undergraduate students
  • Programs: Offers a minor in philosophy in addition to the major
  • Why this program? Dartmouth is one of the few schools that has an undergraduate journal in philosophy. Dartmouth students publish Aporia biannually. The philosophy department also has an on-going lecture series that brings in visiting scholars. The department also sponsors a study abroad program in Scotland.

Quick Tips

  • Check out the websites of colleges you're considering in order to see what kinds of jobs their graduates find. Philosophy majors find their place in business, government, insurance, journalism, writing, law, and other sectors.

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