The Philosophy Department has conducted research about the career paths of those who have graduated with a major in philosophy from 1901 to the present. This study, Careers of Philosophy Students, is available from the department office.
We have identified eleven career paths that are frequently followed. The following advising guidelines are related to those paths.
- Teacher/Scholar: Majors interested in becoming teacher/scholars at the University level will need to go on for a Ph.D. in philosophy. These students should do some additional work in philosophy beyond the requirements for the major. They should write a thesis or do directed research in the final year of study. Language study is recommended. A second major or minor in a relevant area is also recommended. Writing courses are also helpful.
- Education Administration: Majors interested in working in secondary or higher education administration will need an advanced degree appropriate to such work. Students may want to consider courses in communication and management. Consultation with the School of Education is also recommended.
- Religious Careers: A second major or a minor in Religious Studies is recommended for students wishing to pursue religious careers.
- Legal Careers: Students should consult with the Prelaw advisors. Many of the recommended skills areas are well developed in philosophy courses. PHL 314, Philosophy of Law; PHL 201, Practical Logic; PHL 302, Symbolic Logic; PHL 310, Social Philosophy; and PHL 370, Political Philosophy are all helpful for legal careers. In addition students should consider taking a basic computer science course such as CPS 111; ECO 203 and/or 204; ACC 207, 208, or 301; MTH 128, 207, or a calculus course; ENG 316 and/or 474; HST 360 and 361; and POL 201. A second major or minor in political science is also recommended.
- Business: Economics and courses in communication and business may be helpful. Majors taking this career path usually complete an M. B. A. program.
- Social Service: Social work courses or a second major in sociology or psychology are helpful complements to the philosophy major.
- Health Care: Majors can complete pre-medicine recommended courses as well as the philosophy major.
- Public Service: A major or second major in political science is helpful. Courses in communication and management may also be helpful.
- Philanthropic Foundations: Work in social and political philosophy is recommended. Additional work in fine arts may be helpful. Basic skills in economics and accounting may also be helpful.
- Writing: A minor or second major in English is recommended. The English department also offers a writing certificate.
- Arts Careers: A second major or minor in visual arts or music is recommended.
These career paths are broad guidelines. We encourage you to consider your own talents and interests and take time to construct a program of study that is most appropriate for your interests and career directions. Two sources of assistance to philosophy majors in learning about and obtaining non-academic careers are especially helpful:
The American Philosophical Association's publication, "A Non-Academic Career? Information, Resources, and Background on Options for Philosophers" contains voluminous relevant information. Especially recommended is John Krauser's "Finding Philosophy in Everyday Life."
UD's Career Services Center. Schedule an appointment with the career counselor designated for Philosophy, Mark Sisson (x92072). Also, look at the Hire a Flyer Network on Career Services' website. This allows students to post resumes online for employers to review.